Why yes, I am combining:
1. Paper (Hammerpress, specifically)
2. Michael Symon; and
3. Cleveland pride
In one succinct blog post. What can I say about Michael Symon? He’s an advocate for the city, for healthy (well, natural?)/whole foods and one of my personal favorite chefs. I’ve mentioned our foodie-like tendencies before, and truly I think that Michael Symon had a lot to do with that, along with Heinens, of which we have not found a replacement in Charlotte. Some of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland are Michael Symon’s- from the late Bar Symon to B Spot… I love everything I’ve had there. Some favorites? The Lola Burger, the Lizzie Burger, Lola ketchup (so good), rosemary mac n cheese, bacon and vanilla bean milkshake… actually, I could go on.
Here’s the part where I totally geek out and tell you about how I once met him at the radio station where I used to work. He was a big fan of the morning show, and one day showed up with food for the famous “free food Friday.” I walked into the studio to meet him, and he was leaning back in a chair wearing sandals (it was probably November or something), swearing like a sailor, chit chatting with my bosses. The food he brought in that he made that morning was SO good- and yes, I ate steak at 8:30am that day.
You can find so many of his recipes, and some of his personal back story in his cookbook. I know I read cookbooks like novels, but this one I would think that even casual cookbook purveyors could read from cover to cover- it’s that good.
I’ve been feeling the Cleveland pride the past couple of days because a suburb of Cleveland is still reeling from a school shooting. I used to teach high school English, my mom still teaches in a high school, my dad just retired from my hometown school board, and I have more friends than not who are teachers. Suffice it to say that tragedies such as this one hit close to my heart. High school is a very tough time, and it’s easier these days, with 24/7 access via social networks, a personal brand and image to protect, to have an even harder time. I think that this means that school administrations, teachers and parents should be even more cognizant of the ways in which kids are communicating to and with each other, respecting each other and learning to be just a bit more advanced… as technology advances, so must the ways in which we treat each other and the expectations we have for ourselves and each other.
I could clearly go on about this, but I don’t want to. We can all make a positive impact on the world around us, and this type of self-awareness, while unusual to find in high school students, isn’t an impossible demand. I’m going to be thinking about ways in which I can spread some love and positivity in the future (specific, tangible ways)… and I’d encourage any of my small audience to do the same. So many thoughts are going through my head in relation to this violence… but the loudest is simply that we could do with less hate in the world.