"One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
~Laurie Colwin 'Home Cooking'
Who inspires you to be your best self? Who gives you joy, makes you laugh, and gives you the most comfort when maybe things aren't going exactly as they should? Is there a person in your life who you love so much that when they do something incredible it makes your heart ache because of how proud they just made you; its like your heart is physically stretching because your love just grew larger. This person for me is my amazing husband Scott. He is honorable, strong in heart and mind. He is a wonderful teacher and is always pushing himself to be a better student in whatever it is that has caught his interest at the moment. He pours his whole self into a project. Whether it is learning about a movie director and watching every single movie they ever made or were a part of while reading their biographies, and listening to pod casts spoken of them. Or if it's building a fence, a picnic table and even a swing set- when he had never done a stitch of carpentry before last summer. (And let me tell you, those are some beautifully made, professional pieces!)
Scott and I have known each other for about 11 years, been dating for just shy of 10 and married for 4 1/2 of those. Just when you think you couldn't know or love someone more they surprise you. So now there is a whole new side to this person to respect, love and cherish. My biggest memory of this happening was when we had our son Jackson. Seeing Scott as a father made my heart break wide open and I fell in love with him in a way I never knew possible.
What I hope is that each of you reading today has This person in your life. They truly make life GOOD. So todays segment of Fridays, Feasting with Friends I present to you my husband, Scott Kanengeiser.
Scott in the Botanical Gardens of Glasgow, Scotland
What is your favorite thing to cook?
Definitely eggs. I love breakfast, and I could start everyday with eggs, bacon and toast, although there's not always time in the morning to make all that. A fried Egg sandwich at night is also my favorite go-to for dinner when Amie's working.
How about your least favorite thing to cook?
Since i don't do a lot of cooking I'd have to say vegetables since they are a side dish i could always do without on a plate.
What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
My favorite local restaurant used to be Club Isabella, since it was one of the first "nice" restaurants Amie and I would frequent. I'd even meet there with friends for drinks. They always had great food and great live music. Since they have changed names/owner's i haven't been there, so I can't qualify this as my current favorite, although it will always remain important to me. Currently I would say that Bar Cento is a favorite. First of all any place connected to a Beer (Bier) Market gets a lot of points with me, but mainly because of there Duck Confit. It is one of the few dishes I have had where all of the components (duck, risotto, squash, and wine) all blend together so well that they create something special. Usually with a dish the components remain separate and may compliment each other, but it's rare if they combine to create something all new and wonderfully unique. The place I'm dying to try is Michael Symon's B-Spot because one of my biggest weaknesses is a juicy burger, and I've heard they're great.
You are hosting a dinner party, what music would you play?
This depends on the guests or audience, but one that i think i could have on in the background for any audience is Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. No other album for me sets such a great mood. It's soulful, calming, romantic and "cool". It can blend into the background or fill the silence's beautifully.
What makes you laugh?
My son Jackson makes me laugh more than anything. He has such a great sense of humor and loves to be funny. The best is his laugh because it is one of those infectious kinds that makes you laugh when you hear it.
What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
I alluded to it above. First choice, one of Don's (my step-father) burgers from the grill. Prepared medium/medium rare with bacon and blue cheese. My mouth is watering right now.
What are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading an author named Graham Swift. He is a contemporary British author. I'm reading a collection of his non-fiction writings and interviews that have appeared in magazines over the past 20 years. I would highly recommend his story Last Orders which i just finished. It's a story of four friends, one of which just passed away and he has requested that his ashes be thrown into the Caspian Sea off of a beach in Kent, England. His friends embark on a road trip and each short chapter is a recollection from one of the friends of a memory of the deceased, and it bounces back in forth over different characters and different stories. So you not only learn a lot about the deceased, but you learn more about the other characters and what there lives have been about up to this point. It often funny, occasionally sad, but wonderfully entertaining. I highly recommend it.
What was your happiest moment in life?
With out a question the day Jackson was born. What could be more wonderful than having a miracle brought into your life like that.
What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?
The Bottle Opener.
What is your favorite thing about your beautiful wife? (I had to squeeze that one in there!)
I love her passion. When there is something she really wants to do, she will put all of herself into it. It's truly inspiring.
Do you have a signature go-to dish?
See my answer to the first question.
What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?
My favorite thing is how diverse the area is, and how you can explore a number of interests. You can go to a museum downtown, and 20 minutes later be fishing on a river in Rocky River. You can be on a boat in Lake Erie and then an hour later be inside Brown's Stadium with thousands of people. You can go to a famous chef's restaurant for lunch downtown then go to the West Side Market and get something to make for dinner. It's rare to be this close to so many wonderful things that can be done both inside and outside and not have to go far to do them.
Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you still enjoy it now as an adult?
I was just talking about this with my Mom although she still might know how much this dish means to me until now. She would occasionally make a pork chop glazed in mustard baked over stuffing. When I was living at home I would always look forward to this dish, and I remember having a stressful time during college finals and breaking down a little over dinner and what's in my memory is that we were having this dish. So when i think of this dish I don't only think of the comfort qualities that pork chops and stuffing symbolize, but truly being comforted by my Mom and Don while eating this dish. And its delicious!
Top 3 Movies of all time?
High Fidelity would be number one, because i can put it on anytime and it will make me feel good. Second would be Notorious by Alfred Hitchcock. It was the first time I really started to understand that Movies could be art too. Third would be Royal Tenenbaums because I've never seen something so unique and original while being at the same time very accessible.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
I've already mentioned burgers, but it's also the grease that comes with them. When I write it it sounds disgusting when i say I like to eat grease. But its true. Sometimes i get such a craving for greasy french fries and a greasy burger. And what is better at 2 in the morning or the day after a night of partying then something greasy. Please don't judge.
What are you most proud of?
My wife Amie and my son Jackson. And I'm not just saying that because this is Amie's blog. When i look at the two of them I know that i would do anything for them and nothing makes me happier. And maybe that is what true pride means to me, that I would lay down my life for it.
One word that describes you is: Lucky