Monday, August 16, 2010

A Slight Change of Pace

So it has taken quite some time for me to get back on here and write another post.  Part of it is that this summer has been absolutely crazy and the other part is that I have been struggling with what to write about but I think I have solved my problem!  I love food.  Eating, cooking, name it and I love it.  So in the next two paragraphs I am going to attempt to recreate my summer based on the foods I have eaten or crafted and hopefully your mouth will be drooling by the end (mine already is).

We started it out right by roasting a pig for Memorial Day.  Crispy skin, juicy pork, add a little BBQ sauce and it doesn't get much better than that!  Then came New Orleans...WOW.  I'll just list the craziness:
 -Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes with Ricota Salata and a lemon-vinegrette
- Beignets from Cafe Du Monde- Pillowy pockets of dough with a mound of powdered sugar on top!
-Spicy crawfish and fresh caught fried fish.
- A spicy sausage po boy from Gene's
- Emeril's deserves its own list:
          -Humboldt Fog Cheese with Apricot Preserves
          -Smoked Andouille Jambalaya
          -Fresh Grilled Bacon with Local Melon
          -Housemade Sausage
          -Crispy Catfish Fingers with Coleslaw
          -Local Louisiana Crab Cakes
          - #1 Dish--- Crispy Pork Cheeks (Words don't even being to describe)
-Locally Brewed Abita Amber Beer
- Fire Grilled Oysters with a Parmesan Cream Sauce
- More Beignets from Cafe Du Monde!!
All that was just New Orleans!!  Some of the best food I have ever tasted and our summer was only one month old!
We then traveled to New York where our culinary adventures ranged from eating fried puffer fish and lobster rolls to eating the juiciest peaches I have ever tasted.  While we were picking peaches the juice was literally running down my arm.  I think I ate 19 peaches in one day.  Peach cobbler followed that night taken directly from my fav Paula Deen!  We were still only halfway through the summer!!!

Next we headed further north to visit Rick and Edina in Boston.  I'm still craving another one of the best cannoli's on the planet from Mike's Place!  We had the freshest lobster I have ever seen from the barking crabs.  The meat was so rich it didn't even need butter!  Fenway franks made an appearance and we discovered the greatest grocery store on the planet!  Too bad Trader Joes hasn't popped up in South Florida.  We made homemade pizza, ate imported prosciutto, salami, and sopresata right from Italy.  The prosciutto was so good you could just let it sit on your tongue and it would melt in your mouth.  That was one amazing trip!

We then came home and I began my foodie challenge.  I first made grilled pork belly that was the best tasting pork fat I have ever eaten!  Then came my personal challenge to make the perfect biscuits.  After a few tries I succeeded in fluffy buttermilk biscuits that were perfect with a little butter on them.  Now I'm in my canning phase and I think I might have struck gold.  Homemade strawberry jam that tastes good on everything from toast to ice cream!  And more recently spicy, sweet, dill pickles with just the right amount of crunch to them.  Coming soon to a store near you! Just kidding, but seriously.
This has been one amazing summer filled with great food from family, friends, and total strangers.  Just remember, good food is always good food, no matter if its Taco Bell or foie gras in the finest restaurant!  Looking forward to the next great bite of deliciousness!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Good Ole American Way

I remember the days that we would spend at the lake fishing with cane poles and catching bass after bass after bass.  That was all we called it, "the lake."  I still don't know what the name of that lake is, but I'm sure that Granny will tell me when I talk to her.  The only thing better than eating the fish that we caught after Granny fried it up for us was getting to take the boats out on the lake.  I still remember the smell of the water and moss covered trees, and the feel of the wind rushing by as Papa opened up the throttle once we got out into the lake.  The best weekends were those when all of us could make it up there.  Grandma and Grandpa, Granny and Papa, and the family.  One memory that always comes back is of Kelli catching a catfish without even knowing it because it was wrapped up in algae.  It was a simple life that enjoyed cold coca-cola and peanut butter crackers while watching the fishing poles go untouched for hours.  As far as I'm concerned, it is the simplest pleasures in life that give us the greatest satisfaction.  BBQ with family, a fresh peach in the middle of summer, catching a fish, watching a movie with my wife, or laughing with family and friends.  These simple things are what makes life special.  Thank God we live in a country where we can choose to enjoy the simple things and make our lives what we want them to be.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Honorable Man

What is honor?  What makes an honorable man?  My dad was an honorable man.  I miss him every day when I wake up, and I love telling stories about him just so I can smile about them.  Every time I think of him it is still a struggle to try and understand why God had to take him from us so soon.  In a world filled with evil dishonorable men, Ken Holz was one of the few shining lights, and he remained so until the moment that he was called home.  Two days before he passed away, my dad was awake and able to communicate with us and his nurses.  He was able to write a thank you note to one of his nurses for all the care he had been given.  The way my dad was able to touch people it wouldn't surprise me if that nurse still had that note.  More importantly, my dad was able to forgive.  That is what I will forever keep with me.  When my dad first went to the hospital, I was angry with him because we were going to a basketball game that was outside, and I thought he was just complaining of the heat.  I didn't get a chance to apologize to him until two days before he died.  Unable to speak, and completely confused as to why I was in the room with him (us Holz boys never believe that there is anything wrong with us), deep inside this honorable man I found the true meaning of unearned love.  After talking with him for a few minutes, and him struggling to communicate with me, I made a simple gesture that I will never forget because of the reaction it caused.  If you know the Holz family, you know that we like to make a sign with our hands to tell each other "I love you."  I put my hand on his chest and curled my fingers up to tell him I love him.  Unable to speak, my dad looked me deep in my eyes and our souls shared a moment that I knew was his forgiveness and unending love.  Two days later when he passed away, I'm not sure I completely understood what had happened, and I still have days where I just want to scream.  Despite this, I know that dad is home and is waiting for us to get there.  In the meantime, if I stop to share a story with you about him, or if you have one to share with me, I know that he is listening to us as well, smiling at all the trouble he got into and the great stories he created.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Simple Life

So I was driving down the road the other day with the windows rolled down and my beautiful wife sitting next to me.  We were both wondering out loud like Whinnie the Pooh used to do while sitting on his thinking log as the radio was drifting from one annoying person to the next.  Then the song "Where I'm From" came on and it got us thinking...How great would it be to live in a place like that song?? The quarterback dates the homecoming queen, the truck's a Ford, and the tractors green... I've come to realize in the past few days, and while falling asleep listening to the waves crash against the beach that most of us already do live in a place like that.  Follow me on this... I may not climb on top of a tractor everyday or ride a horse to work, or even talk with a southern drawl (though my ya'll pops up every now and then) but thats not the point.  I have an amazing wife, a loving family, and life isn't about where you live its about the Lord you serve and the company you keep.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't talk to my friends or family as much as I should, but there is one thing about my family (Holz's, Delfino's, Van Wyk's, Stubbe's, Hearn's, Avery's, Pincus's, Rollin's, Roselle's, Palmer's, anyone else I missed) get us together and we'll blow any reality tv show out of the water!  There's guaranteed to be food (Hopefully as my favorite Paula Deen would say "Will put some South in your mouth) and the rest always just tends to happen.  Rachel (my wife) always asks how I am always able to let things that should drive me crazy just roll off my back.  Behind any negative thing that could ever come out of my family is a love that is unconquerable.  John told us that "God is Love" but people are driven crazy trying to wonder why tragedies happen if that is true.  I've done plenty of thinking about this...Pastors and counselors and everyone else has their own opinion, but mine is this..tragedies and sadness and negatives and all that other junk are a painful reminder to us that beneath all of that, He is Love and that love is the driving force that causes families to stick through the thick and thin and ask ourselves...When is the next pig roast baby???

Until next time (Hopefully soon)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Do I Call Home?

I've heard the saying home is where the heart is, but what does that mean?  Where is the heart? I am a firm believer that we glorify God by living free of regrets and full of life.  I proudly wear my Toby Keith hat, eat BBQ as often as I possibly can, and enjoy every sport I have ever watched.  I think tofu is nasty.  I'm willing to try just about anything once, especially food, and my family and friends are my way of knowing that God loves us and wants nothing but the best for us.  Sweet tea and beer go with anything.  My mom makes the best chili and cornbread this world has ever seen.  My wife and I truly enjoy living life together.  The highs and lows, the ups and downs make for the greatest adventure I could ever wish for.  Her love carries me through each day and makes me crave for the moment I get home each day.  I hate cats, they freak me out.  Dogs really are man's best friend.  I love to cook and my favorite tv channel is the Food Network.  I have an awesome family filled with brothers and sisters and grandparents and aunts and uncles that are some of the greatest men and women to ever walk this planet.  My dad is my role model and I know that he is playing in a men's softball league where Jesus is the all-time pitcher and you're allowed to hit more than one homerun a game.  There is no purer sport than high school football and Friday nights are proof of that.  Vermont is the coldest place on the planet to play football, and Boston might be the greatest city in the United States.  I love the beach but can't stand the salt water.  One look at the night's sky is enough proof for me to know that God created the heavens and earth.  I am a proud believer in the United States no matter who our President is.  What does any of this have to do with the place that I call home?  I'm not completely sure, but I know this is where my heart is.