Dad, Church and Our Sunday Morning Breakfast Table

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Honoring All Dads on Father’s Day

For me, Father’s Day is a special day, not only was I lucky enough to work alongside my Dad and learn the ins and outs of the business, I also got to experience a very special tradition growing up, Sunday Morning Breakfast. In our house, Sundays were all about family time. We rose early, all went to church (a topic for another post…18 in our family), and then returned home for a big breakfast. Dad would run the stove and cook all our favorites: eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage gravy, pierogis, crepes, and my personal favorite, ground meat on toast. Breakfast seemed like it lasted for hours, as my brothers and sisters and I could eat and eat! We laughed, poked and joked together, telling our tales and events of the week, as my Dad held court watching over us. I remember how proud he would be watching us all spend time together just being one big crazy family and I have been blessed to be able to carry on this tradition with my daughters as well.

This Father’s Day, enjoy time with your family, and if the kids are around, cook ‘em breakfast and let the magic of being Dad, and family, happen in your house.



KHT Heat Style Slow Cooked Ribs

A job worth doing is worth doing well. Especially if it’s a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job!

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At Kowalski Heat Treating, there’s two things we love –  thermal processing and great food.  And for me there’s simply nothing as tasty two step char-grilled ribs.  The secret, like many of the jobs we have here, is slow cookin’.  Here’s a recipe we love.  It’s a bit of work – what you may consider a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job – but believe me, well worth it.  Serve with potato salad and a cold beverage like lemonade or your favorite Cleveland-based Great Lakes beer.

Give ’em a try, and then send me a note or call me on Monday and let me know how they turned out. And if you have a favorite barbecue sauce, please pass it along.


Servings: 8

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 pounds baby back pork ribs (8 racks) or St. Louis-style spareribs (4 racks)
  • Low-salt chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade barbecue sauce (try ketchup, few tablespoons of honey, Franks Hot Sauce and a good splash of Italian Salad Dressing


Prep: 20 min total: 2½ – 3½ hrs

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil; generously sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap each racks individually and place on baking sheets – ok to use more than one sheet.
  • Bake the ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour any juices from foil into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup; reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely. DO AHEAD: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through). Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.
  • Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Add broth or water to rib juices, if needed, to measure 1 1/2 cups. Whisk in barbecue sauce to blend.
  • Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.



A Toast to Charles Strite!

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As you know, heat treating is near and dear to our hearts here at KHT. Everyday we strive to “make history” with our efficiency, consistency, performance and reliability, never taking for granted any one of our customers or customer’s jobs.

Well, nearly 100 years ago, a gentleman named Charles Strite also contributed to heat treating history, by patenting something we’ve come to rely on each morning – the pop-up toaster. (Filed for U.S. patent on May 29, 1919. Patent #1,394,450 was granted on October 18, 1921 for the pop-up bread toaster)

He hated that the toast in the cafeteria of the plant where he worked was always burned because it required a busy human to keep an eye on it. So he took on this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job and figured out a way to automate the toasting process so it wouldn’t burn.

Before the electric toaster, sliced bread was toasted by placing it in a metal frame or on a toasting fork and held over a fire or kitchen grill. The first electric toaster was actually invented in Scotland in 1893. It was a crude device known as the Eclipse. It still relied on users to end the toasting process and was not very fire safe.

So, while some tried to flip the bread, it was Mr. Strite who invented the automatic pop-up toaster. History shows many innovations since – dual sided toasting, wider slots, auto-drop feeds, and numerous interior and exterior material innovations.

This weekend, make yourself some toast and thank crafty Mr. Strite for tackeling this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job. Oh, and try one of my favorite toppings – honey. Yum!




We All “Deserve A Break Today”

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McDonald’s. Still one of my favorite places to eat.

It’s hard to image “micky dees” started 75 years ago today as a single restaurant and has grown to become the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants (70 million customers a day in 119 countries across more than 35,000 outlets) – WOW. Coming from a family of 18 (I’ll save that for another post), as a kid, going to McDonald’s was a big deal – my own burger, fries and a drink.

Founded by the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice, McDonals’s started out selling hotdogs, and then converted to a simple barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, CA. It became “McDonaldized” in 1948, and then franchised by the famous Ray Kroc. Ray had a simple vision applying production line thinking to the business – quality materials in – quality finished products (and happy customers) out.

As a businessman, I really appreciate the core of their business – consistency (something very near and dear to us here at KHT) and their guiding principles (QSC – Quality, Service and Cleanliness). When I get the urge for a Big Mac and fries, no matter where I am, I can almost taste the food, and know it’s going to be good – (I’m still hooked on the fries).

At Kowalski Heat Treating, we strive every day to meet your requirements and to delight our customers – and we love it when you return again and allow us to apply our knowledge and skill to your never ending PIA (pain in the @%$) jobs. My guys take great pride in delivering for you, load after load.

40 years ago, my dad, Robert Kowalski, had a vision – to provide top quality heat treating to area customers and help them grow their businesses. His principles are still with us today – honesty, family, hard work, integrity, quality, and faith. And as we celebrate our anniversary this year, we in a way salute the McDonald brothers in their vision.

So next time you are in the area, swing by, and we’ll go treat ourselves at McDonald’s – as I’m sure you deserve a break too. And just for fun, call my voicemail at (216-641-4411) and sing me your best rendition of the Big Mac jingle – I’ll pick my favorites and send you one of our brand spankin’ new KHT coffee mugs.