Tag Archives: Personal

I Feel The Magic…

It’s been a while since we’ve engaged in a meaningful chat, dear readers of The Wannabe Gourmet. Pull up a chair and I’ll pour a cup of coffee for you.

Most people find Autumn/Winter to be a time for descent/death and spring to be a time for Rebirth. While I feel that way, too, I also see beauty in the rebirth brought during the Autumn/Winter timeframe, when the slate is proverbially “wiped clean,” giving us the ability to create, to find ourselves again.

Since I started this website in October 2008, there have been many ups and downs in my life. Sometimes the gardens have blossomed in beauty and life has been better than I could ever imagine. Other times, the weeds took over and an occasional tornado has blown it all away. I’ve been catfished, I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced. I’ve gone through hades in employment, but kept on travelling and, after a period of almost 17 years outlasted a supervisor whose sole intent it was to either terminate me or make it so I’d resign. I’ve had health issues culminating in a heart attack due to stress. Through it all, however, has remained the desire I have of assisting others in learning there’s more to life than just take-away food and UberEATS.

We’re at the start of a New Beginning for The Wannabe Gourmet. To be pendantic, I, Jonathan Everyday, am looking forward to this continued journey. My love for photography and cooking has never waned…though it had been severely curtailed due to circumstances. The kitchen should never be a place that scares you. So you have a dish that doesn’t turn out the way you’d like…. we’ve all had that. The important thing is that you learn from your experiences. Grow from life. Move beyond what didn’t work…into what allows you to shine. Maybe you’re not meant to be able to make beautiful desserts. Maybe main courses just aren’t your thing. Maybe…just maybe…you’re like me and can’t cook in small amounts. (The solution to that is simple: either get a freezer, or feed your friends and extended family!)

Join me in the voyage to new beginnings. Feel the sparkle. Embrace the magic!

Photo © 2022 L. B. Siegfried, Richmond, VA


2010, a better year

Egads. Where on earth did 2009 slip to? I mean, I know I had a lot going on in my life, but that was no reason to let everyone think that The Wannabe Gourmet had hung up his apron and decided to survive solely on take-away foods. No! In fact, once i had the kitchen totally overhauled in January 2009, things took a turn for the strange. The best thing is that I came out of it all a stronger, hopefully wiser person. My goal is to start back up again, slowly, of course, and see how it all goes now.

This week is going to be a “seafood week” at Jonathan’s house. Last night, Shrimp and Roasted Asparagus Pasta. Tonight, Coquilles St. Jacques (Scallops au gratin). Tomorrow night, Sesame crusted Tuna Steaks. Thursday, Crab Cakes. Who knows what Friday will bring?

What have you all been up to (my two faithful readers who keep popping by to see if I’ve updated)?


Back in 2009!

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted — there’s been lots going on in my life that has kept me out of the kitchen and away from the blog. 2009 has started with a great number of resolutions for me — mostly dealing with breaking free of my restrictive past, moving into the future as a new and improved Jonathan.

What did you resolve to do in 09? I will be posting more recipes and babbling more. New updates, coming soon!


In the morning, when the madness has faded…

Now that the elections are over, it’s time to get back to cooking, enjoying life, and looking forward to the future.

Whether or not the person you voted for was elected, you can look at the situation as the opportunity to make the best. When life hands you lemons, make meringue pie, limoncello, and chicken piccata. After all, why limit your output, right?

I, myself, am looking to an end of this 70 hour work week that I’ve put in, so that I can spend some time behind my stove, making bread, soups, and other foodies to get me through the cooler weather. Besides, I am owner of a few new baking dishes that are crying out to have tarts, cakes, and pies baked in them.

What’s your favourite cold(er) weather dish? Do you crave fresh baked bread? Roasted turkey? Soups? Stews? Or do you long for warmer weather where nothing but grilled veggies, steak, and Bloody Marys rule?

The important thing, to me, is to enjoy each and every season as it comes. It’s almost time for eggnog. Peppermint tea. White Chocolate Snow Caps (I didn’t come up with that recipe — I saw it years ago on the Discovery Channel, though I try to make it once a year or so, because it makes me feel good, even though it’s hideous in fat!). Stuffed bread (Pano alla Nunzia, I tend to call it because of who invented the recipe). Something called Hot Virginia Dip that I picked up out of another sampler, this one from the Junior League of Virginia. Guaranteed to harden your arteries, raise your blood pressure, yet make you smile from the taste.

Here comes the weekend. Don’t just anticipate it. Relish it!


Happy Halloween!

It’s a day where kids get trucked into neighbourhoods where they don’t belong, to obtain sugared treats that mom and pop are going to toss in the trash and give a “safe” bag of candy to.

Do I sound curmudgeonly? Damn right I do. When I was younger, we used to go around our neighbourhood, but we NEVER got taken to other neighbourhoods to beg for candy. Of course, unwrapped treats were off limits, as were candied apples, caramel apples, and popcorn balls.

These days? Kids (and I use that phrase LOOSELY) of all ages come and bang on your door — even if you don’t have your porch light on. Just the thing you want — kids of 17 or 18, looking over your shoulder to case your house and come back at a later time to steal your canned goods and your stereo.

No, really, I’m not paranoid. But in this day and age — there are FOUR children under the age of 12 that live in this neighbourhood. If you count five streets in each direction, you may have a total of 20 kids. I’ve stood, in the dark, and counted at least 60 kids going up and down the streets, as mom & pop, in a minivan, watch as they go from house to house.

With the economy being in a downturn, even buying treats from the Dollar store to hand out was more than I was willing to front. Of course, in the last 11 years, I’ve not given candy out once — simply because I work with a number of parents and the did all confirm what I mentioned above — they take the little plastic pumpkins or treat bags, and dispose of them once the kids are home, giving them a bag filled with treats that they bought themselves, just to make sure that no one has slipped poison, drugs, razor blades, or needles into the candies.  It’s a shame that our culture has come to this, isn’t it?

Moving past that, however, have a Happy Halloween. Go to a party, throw a party, BE the party. Turn the lights all on (after trick or treating hours are over, obviously) and dance like there’s no tomorrow. Drink wine from the bottle. Call up an old friend and tell them how much you miss them.

Most importantly, however, celebrate life. It’s another day that you’ve woken up alive, and if it’s worth living, it’s worth living WELL.