Archive for the ‘What’s Jay Eating?’ Category

Today’s Jay’s birthday. The big one. Well, the big one until the next decade rolls around. Jay is in a class by himself: he has so much personality, and is always coming up with the funniest things. And I’m not just talking about his famous food concoctions. No, one of his latest goals is to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. If you asked me, I’d say he was trying to break the world record for the most Selfies and Photo Bombs. I think Jay created Selfies. Here’s a picture below, taken by Jay somewhere around 2001 with a Kodak camera, when no one really knew what a Selfie was:


I remember thinking what a weirdo he was. Cute, but weird. Who takes pictures of themselves? Of course, then I saw Dave Attell take pictures of himself on “Insomniac With Dave Attell” when he was pub crawling with complete strangers. Now that was funny.

Here’s another Selfie Jay took circa 2003:

jay selfie mirror

Now that’s a fancy version of a Selfie. Taking a picture into a mirror? Somebody loves himself.  I also remember all the times in the past Jay would sneak into staged photos right when they were being snapped – which is now known as photo-bombing. Guess he invented that, too. Jay’s photo-bombing rubbed off on my Dad. Here’s Papa Don photo-bombing us. Jay was taking another Selfie and I just happened to be in it:

selfie with dad photobombing

Actually I guess Jay’s quite the revolutionary. So back to the Guinness Book of World Records. He got my attention with the word “Guinness.” Jay has many talents, and the one he’s working on now should result in, as he claims, making him the guy who can catch a grape in his mouth thrown from the farthest distance. He’ll often ask nieces and nephews to throw a grape, peanut or M&M at him so he can practice catching. Sometimes it lands in his mouth. If it doesn’t, he eats it anyway.

You know before the Guinness Book of World Records was established, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! was the world authority on oddities, extraordinary feats and weirdness. I should know; this is my Uncle:

Uncle Gardner

Yep, that’s my Great, Great Uncle Gardner Taylor. He was a blacksmith with very strong ears (“cauliflower ears” as my Dad called them) who fashioned hooks to an anvil and lifted said anvil up by his ears: 150-something pounds of anvil. He made it into Ripley’s Believe It or Not! When I was a little kid, I remember my Grandma showing me an old postcard Uncle Gardner sent her featuring him doing the same thing. That’s when I realized I came from fancy lineage. Let’s see if I married into it.


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Chapter 4

Most evenings we make dinner – and not from boxes, cans and frozen stuff. But every so often when the grocery stash is running low, I get lazy and grab mac and cheese or pasta noodles from the cupboard. Even though I’m perfectly happy without meat, Jay isn’t. He almost always wants some kind of meat for dinner. So the other night when I realized we didn’t have any chicken, pork or beef in the fridge, I started looking through the cupboards. I don’t know why. I would never have a meat product in the cupboard. Only tuna, and Jay doesn’t like fish. But wait. As I was looking through the cupboards I saw it … the prank gift I’d given Jay for Christmas. The funny, goofy meat I thought would end up in the trash the day after Christmas. But there it was in the cupboard, in all its glory …


I remembered Jay was pretty excited about that prank gift. Well, it had “bacon” and all. But turns out, Jay actually likes Spam. Loves it, to be precise. So, I told him I was making him Spam for dinner. He was excited. Sigh. I opened that can and looked at it. I was flooded with childhood Spam memories. We had to eat Spam often when I was a kid. Fried Spam. Spam for breakfast. Spam in scalloped potatoes. Spam. It’s what’s for dinner. (Imagine Sam Elliott saying that in a commercial voice-over; it’s much more impressive.) But still, ew — just look at it:


Blecch. It looked like dog food; smelled like it, too. Yeah, I smelled it, not sure why. So I turned on the fan and opened the windows. It was creepy … I couldn’t even get it out of the can; I had to wedge a knife around it, in all that jelly stuff, to pop the hunk of Spam out. So I sliced it into four pieces and plopped it into the skillet. As soon as it started sizzling Jay called out from the living room, “Oh my God, that smells delicious.” Was he talking about my perfume? He certainly couldn’t be talking about the Alpo I was frying. But for one split second, I’ll admit, I smelled that hint of bacon – you know, the scent of bacon frying in the pan during a camping trip. But no, it was just the dog food Spam on the stove. Then Jay yelled out, “Oh man, it smells like heaven!!” I remember thinking it was too late for an annulment, so I pressed on.


When it was finally crispy and disgusting, I threw it on a plate with some packaged noodles. I added a few slices of organic tomatoes to make if fancy. Jay had to give it the Papa Don treatment:

SAMSUNGAnd then this is what happened:


Apparently it really was heaven. So much for wasting my time making fancy gourmet meals. With each bite of Spam he took, the seas parted. He said it tasted just like his Mama used to make. Aw, that made it all worth it. He asked me if I wanted a bite. Um …no thanks. I’m good. But wait. I figured, I’ve been bad-talking this bacon Spam. I heard my parents in my head, “Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.” True. Maybe this canned bacon Spam really was delicious. How would I know if I didn’t try it? So I told Jay to give me a tiny piece — the tiniest piece in the history of the universe. He did. Of course, the second I tasted it I realized it really was dog food. That tiny bite went straight down the garbage disposal, along with some of my bile.

After dinner, Jay showered me with compliments. He loved the Spam, truly loved it. Said it was totally delicious. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. And I still love the guy. So I guess I’ll be making more Spam. With these:

Secret #1: What.The.Huh.


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Chapter 3 – Holy French Fry, Batman

I haven’t made fun of Jay for a while, so I guess it’s time.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (you three know who you are), you know that Jay loves food. Loves it. He loves it so much that at holiday and dinner parties he goes around taking pictures of the food. For example, here’s one from Thanksgiving:

Those are Tracy’s homemade rolls. Not sure if she ever found out who had stuck their finger in one. Well, she knows now.

Sometimes I think Jay uses his “food picture-taking hobby” as an excuse to snag some of the food before everyone else.

Those are a few app platters from New Years. If you look closely, you’ll see that one of the chicken teriyaki skewers on the left is gone and one of the gyoza on the plate in the back is suspiciously missing.

Once we picked up fast food and Jay found this French fry on his plate:

Yes, it was shaped like a “J” and he couldn’t believe it. A “J” for Jay. He thought it was a miracle. So he took a picture of it. And another:

I’m not sure why he set it on the table; maybe just for a different perspective. The table was glass, and all I see is the metal table leg underneath. For Jay, seeing that “J” French fry was like seeing the likeness of the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich.

He finally ate the “J” fry after admiring it for a while. Well, naturally.

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Forgive me Mary Ann, for I have sinned — it’s been four weeks since my last post.

Well, Mary Ann of all people knew what it was like to juggle everything AND make dinner, well, until we were all old enough to be her slaves.

Jay and I haven’t been doing too much real cooking these days. There have been lots of frozen pizzas, spaghetti and frozen fish. At least we always dress them up with spinach salad to make it fancy.

Oh yeah!! I almost forgot to tell you the big news!! Jay, hater of all things seafood, actually tried frozen fish. You know the kind, a step up from fish sticks … the battered cod filets you make with homemade tartar sauce (Miracle Whip and ketchup … hey,don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.) Well, Jay gave in one day. I don’t remember why. Here’s proof:

Oh yeah, he plugged his nose for real. Then after he determined he wouldn’t die, he took another bite:

That’s actually a tiny smile on his face. I think. The only other time I saw Jay eat seafood was in 2001. Oh yes, I remember it well. We were at a friend’s birthday party in Hermosa Beach. We were at some Asian place by the beach that brought beer bongs around to your table. Which might explain why Jay tried seafood. Somebody ordered a plate of oyster shooters. Now, I love seafood but I won’t even touch oyster shooters. Jay thought this would be his big triumph over seafood. I tried to talk him out of it. If you’re not a seafood lover, the LAST type of seafood you want to sample is raw oysters. Especially if you think you’re supposed to chew them (like Jay did). All I know is that he grabbed one of them, despite my attempts at talking him out of it, and popped it into his mouth. And then he realized: it … was … nasty. I’m pretty sure his gag reflex had already kicked in, because he couldn’t swallow it. Took him about a solid minute to get that thing down without puking. If it was me, I would’ve just spit it out, but he had friends to impress. Of course one of those friends projectile-vomited his oysters and sushi down our birthday table after indulging in a few beer bongs.

So every time since then when I’ve tried to talk Jay into trying crab, or lobster, or salmon … he won’t have it. That oyster had ruined him, or so I thought until the fancy battered frozen fish. Oh well, you gotta start somewhere. Of course, maybe I won’t try to get him to try crab again. If he likes it (and how could he not), I may never get my fair share again on fancy crab leg night.

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Welcome to a regular post that’s usually called “What’s Jay Eating?” You may remember me telling you that all of us go up to my Dad’s place on Tenmile Lake for the Fourth of July weekend. That’s what we all did a few weeks ago. It’s lots of fun–the lake, games, poker, food, beer, ATV’s and what not. There’s a few campground areas on the property where we all camp out. There’s also a boat dock where we hang out and the guys try to catch fish. Why Jay fishes, I’ll never know. He hates fish. I guess it’s a guy thing. We all eat our meals up at the house. Most of those meals consist of hamburger or some other meat. I’m not a huge meat eater—don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of most meat, I just try not to eat too much for health reasons. But the breakfasts. Yum. There’s always lots of eggs, potatoes and your basic breakfast meats—bacon, ham or sausage. This is when I indulge in the meats.

On our first morning I came in to the kitchen to find my Dad making this:

See, his dog Cocoa was recently diagnosed with diabetes and she needs a special diet now. This dish consisted of some fancy-schmancy dog food, served up with some broiled chicken breast—all smashed together. But that’s not too scary. What’s scary is the green pitcher he’s using: (Flashback: Powdered Milk) Yes, after 40 years my Dad still has that pitcher. Poor Cocoa. Well at least that wasn’t the end of the infamous pineapple juice inside that green pitcher. It was just homemade chicken broth. My Dad poured that chicken broth over the mixture and Cocoa was eating like a queen. While Cocoa scarfed that up, here’s what Jay ate:

That’s a bowl of oatmeal that he threw some bacon in. I guess that is either completely disgusting or a morning serving of heaven. And here’s Jay eating it, just to show you I don’t make this stuff up.

What’s that fancy walking stick there with him? More about that later… Not to be outdone, Papa Don made his own concoction later that day. I have to wonder, is this where Jay learned his culinary talents? My Dad served up strawberry shortcake for everyone, except me, I hate strawberries. Yes, I’m weird, whatever…more strawberries for everyone else I say. But Papa Don made his strawberry shortcake fancy. He started with the poundcake, then added his strawberries. Then I think he followed Jay’s lead by scooping chocolate ice cream on top. But then things got out of control. He poured milk into the dish to “soak up into the cake” he said. Soggy cake? “Get thee away Satan!”

And again, just to prove I don’t make this stuff up:

That’s Papa Don eating his soggy strawberry shortcake. There’s almost nothing worse than soggy cake or bread. Just me? Regardless, my Dad and Jay were having fun with their disgusting food concoctions until THIS happened:

That’s Jay’s foot with its fancy new bruise. He got into a fight with his dirt bike and ended up hobbling around in pain the whole weekend. When we finally made it home, we visited the hospital. Yes, we spent the actual Fourth of July in the emergency room:

Jay’s pretty grumpy in this picture. At least nothing was broken. Just badly sprained. And I’m talking about Jay’s ego. It could’ve been worse. And I mean that literally. Here’s the view out of the emergency room window that day. Someone in there that day was certainly pretty unhappy about spending the Fourth of July in the emergency room, only to finally get out of there and try to remember where they parked their car:

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Chapter 2 – Gluttony

They say that Gluttony is the second of the Seven Deadly Sins. Well, if it really is a sin, Jay is going to hell in a hand-basket…or a rocket. The definition of gluttony is “excess in eating or drinking.” (Uh-oh…drinking in excess is also gluttony? Sorry Coens.) Jay does eat in excess a lot. He just loves food; he can’t help himself. He will be full, to the point of being uncomfortable, and still keep eating. When I turn on the Food Channel, I’m still surprised that Jay hasn’t replaced Adam Richman on Man vs. Food. There should be 300 trophy t-shirts from restaurant challenges in our closet.

Jay isn’t overweight like you’d expect. You’d never know he was a gluttonous fool. He even takes pictures of food at family gatherings. Sometimes the result of Jay’s indulgence isn’t pleasant for him…or me. One time we were up at my Dad’s and Jay was eating everything. My Dad’s wife Phyllis makes fancy little snacks that she sets out on the counter, and one time she had left some of the treats out all day by accident. I’m guessing they contained some sort of dairy product because after dinner (and after indulging in large amounts of Phyllis’ creations), Jay said he didn’t feel so well. I saw a glaze come over him…he jumped up from the table and tried to make it to the bathroom. He didn’t quite make it, well; actually he made it to the bathroom wall, and the floor, the lid of the toilet and the wall behind the toilet. He immediately went to lie down, and yes, I had to clean up the mess. If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.

After Jay felt the rush of fame acquired after the first “What’s Jay Eating?” post on this blog, he decided to let me know anytime he felt one of his “concoctions coming on.” Now I grab the camera and follow him into the kitchen to watch the master at work. This usually happens within 15 minutes after a full dinner. This special creation below came about after a healthy and hearty meal I fixed for him comprised of tri-tip steak, mashed potatoes and spinach salad. See, I do feed him. As I write this, we just finished a full dinner and he is relaxing on the couch with a 10-pack of miniature Hershey Bars, two huge Lemonheads and a bag of some Cinnamon Toasty cereal. And that’s probably just the beginning. Oh no, he just turned on Man vs. Food. Oh well, at least I’ll have more material for my next post.

Here’s how one of Jay’s concoctions plays out. First, he sets out all of the ingredients:

He starts layering them in to a huge bowl. Jay starts with a foundation of Rocky Road ice cream, and then adds some mini shredded wheat cereal and crunch berries:

Then he cuts up some fresh strawberries to make it fancy:

Next, he drizzles on some chocolate sauce for good measure:

Adds milk:

And tops it all off with some Sour Patch Kids.

I hope he makes it to the toilet tonight.

Note: I just asked Jay to proof this. While I was semi-gagging he proclaimed, “There’s an art to eating that bowl.” So now he’s an artist…

P.S. Check out this funny blog: http://thegoodgreatsby.com. I won his Caption Contest this week, so you know he has good taste!

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Hope you all enjoy this new post. If you do, I’ll post more like it…if my stomach can handle it, that is.

My wonderful fiancé Jay has a healthy appetite. Well, I don’t know if it’s exactly healthy, it’s just enormous. Everyone who knows Jay guards their plate when he’s at the table until they’re done…if there’s anything left they’ll offer it to him, if he hasn’t already helped himself. On our first date we went to a Thai Restaurant. I ordered my fave, Pad Thai, and halfway through the meal, Jay helped himself to a few bites from my plate. I looked at him, somewhat surprised, and he said to me, “Get used to it.” I have.

Jay loves food and eats just about everything. In fact, when I asked him to proof my “Friday Night Casserole” post, he said, “Hmmm, that sounds good—I would’ve liked your Mom’s cooking.” Maybe he has a mild brain disorder.

There are only a few things in the world Jay won’t eat: seafood and liver. I can understand the liver, but seafood? C’mon, crab legs? Shrimp? Lobster? It must stem from his childhood. His cute little Japanese mom would serve up whole fish with the eyeballs, gills and everything, so I guess he has an excuse. (If my Mom would’ve served up a cow head complete with the eyeballs and their little eyelashes, I guess I would gag over steak.) Jay will watch Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain eat animal testicles from every corner of the earth, but he can’t handle the seafood. Oh well, more for me.

After dinner every evening, Jay will plop on the couch with an arsenal of goodies…any combination of M&M’s, peanuts, a box of sugar cereal, an orange or apple, popcorn and any other pastry/candy/nut he can carry. Some nights he gets pretty creative as he tries to make do with the treats he can find. He’ll do the same with leftovers and random ingredients on nights we don’t make dinner. I’m always astonished (and usually disgusted) by most of these concoctions. I’ve learned to take pictures of these creations, and I’ve decided to post them here for your amusement.

Jay’s Fancy Leftover Dinner Creation #1

For this dish, Jay started with a foundation of two pieces of wheat bread. He then poured on some pork and beans, and plopped on some spoonfuls of leftover mashed potatoes. Next he added a leftover barbequed hot dog (sliced nicely in half lengthwise) and paired it with some leftover macaroni salad. The finishing touch…a few splashes of Tapatio. The only thing appealing about this photo is the plate he chose to use for this concoction–it’s from a set that belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa Coen, and I’m pretty sure this is the still the weirdest thing this plate has ever seen.

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