My wife and I recently went on a drive to Hamilton Ontario to go shopping and also to my favorite restaurant to get some delicious chicken shawarma. I’ve been visiting this place for ten years now and I have ordered the same thing every single time. Every other place I’ve gone to makes a good shawarma, but this place is by far the best I’ve ever had. There’s just something about this dish that makes it such a perfect meal. The perfectly spiced chicken, the massive amount of sauce they use, the onion bits that are cooked just long enough to still be crunchy, and the lettuce and tomatoes with just a hint of vinegar. Add all that together and put it in a pita and you can never go wrong.
(If you haven’t seen the Avengers movie and you don’t want one of the humorous scenes ruined, I suggest not reading further. Although it doesn’t reveal any important plot info)
That night, we went to see the Avengers movie. Towards the end, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) asks Captain America (Chris Evans) if he has ever had shawarma before, and that he has never had it but would like to try it. Immediately my wife and I began laughing at the weird coincidence that we had just eaten some shawarma ourselves.
As in most Marvel Movies, they added a few minutes of footage after the end credits. Usually it’s useful info leading into a future film or at least something that gets you thinking about what’s gonna happen next. Not this time though. It’s just 40 seconds or so of the Avengers sitting at a table in a thrashed up Lebonese restaurant while mowing down on shawarma. Not a single word is uttered, just chewing. I have no idea why they decided to reference shawarma the way they did, or why they ended the film that way, but it was pure genius. I felt as though if I were a film maker, it’s how I would have added my favorite food into a movie for no other reason than to persuade people to go out and try it for themselves.
I have chosen not to add a link to a recipe for shawarma because there are to many different ways to make one. They are all good, but the only way to try the best is to go to Safin Grill on Mall Road in Hamilton Ontario. It will change your life.
Since then, my wife made a homemade shawarma recipe and we plan to keep tweaking it and getting it as close to our favorite as we can. I can honestly say its the second best shawarma I’ve ever had. The key is in the sauce. The more the better. Once we feel we have reached our goal of shawarma perfection, we will post the recipe for all to enjoy. Until then, please visit your local shawarma restaurant and enjoy the goodness. If you live in or near Hamilton, good for you.
I always try to write things on the lighter side of life. I think that life is short and we need to have as much fun and as little drama as we can before it’s too late. But I do like to research things that can sometimes not be on the lighter side of life. One of those things is what the future holds for mankind. Although I do believe that mankind will continue to rule this planet for many many years to come, it doesn’t hurt to look at some of the scenarios that could bring us to an end.
Some of the possibilities I’ve read about recently are actually so plausible that I could see them actually happening very soon, some are so off the wall that I just laugh, but then I look at human history…, anything is possible. Just look how successful people can be in music that can’t sing or play an instrument, ANYTHING is possible.
We’ve all seen on the news that natural disasters have become bigger and badder than at any other time in recorded history. New Orleans, Haiti, Chile, Japan, India, just to name a few. I’d say this is the most believable of the scenarios I’ve seen. There are many ways that our own planets can kill us. This is a very believable threat because we are already seeing it happen. Heat, cold, rain, drought, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, sinkholes, forest fires, the list is endless. If you live in an area where these things aren’t an issue, you are off to a great start. At least until everyone who doesn’t starts showing up.
Although the news, and politicians (especially in America) talk about terrorism being a huge threat to our culture, I don’t think it even ranks in the top 100 things that can hurt us. Don’t get me wrong, terrorists have taken many lives, and they were all totally unnecessary deaths, but am I at risk from it living in a small town in a neutral country? Very unlikely. Armies are responsible for far more deaths than terrorist groups. I’ll just end by saying all violence is bad. I don’t agree with any of it. But it’s the armies I fear more than the terrorists.
Disease is a freak out for me. Every flu season, the media scares the crap out of us because it’s always said to be stronger than the last seasons flu. SARS, Bird flu, swine flu, fish flu, monkey flu. Ok the last two were fake but you get the point. The part that really gives me the chills is when I hear that governments and armies are designing new bugs and viruses for military use. That should be just as illegal as cloning, and who the hell thought this was a good idea in the first place. Weapons are only good if they don’t kill you too. So whether it’s natural or manmade, disease is one my personal scariest scenarios.
Nuclear war is a scary thought for me, especially because once it starts, it’ll probably only end once all the bombs have been launched. America didn’t have to worry much the last time because nobody else had it. Now everyone has a few laying around. Do you know how many went “missing” when Russia split up? You don’t want to know. This scenario will be the hardest to recover from, fallout, wiped out food sources, sterility, lizard tails growing on humans. Makes me want to move to the north pole.
I strongly doubt the a Zombie outbreak would ever happen, but a new and improved version of rabies is more realistic. As long as a bite is the only way of spreading, it’s virtually impossible for this to happen. But wouldn’t it be freaking terrifying? My wife and I watch The Walking Dead tv series and it’s so interesting to follow the small group of survivors that make up the cast. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it, but I will say that in a zombie situation, Rule 1- Don’t get bitten. Rule 2- Don’t lose your humanity. You can become an animal by trying to stay human.
The thought of a third world war is hard for me to understand, mainly because I wasn’t around during the first two. I could be forced to fight in a war I disagree with, I could flee and be looked at as a coward, or I could be blown up before even knowing a war broke out. I don’t know for sure what I’d do. It would mostly be determined by how much of a threat the “enemy” is to my family and way of life. The only time I’ve fired a gun is shooting at a barrel with my grandfather. So we get invaded by barrels, I’d whoop some ass.
I know this hasn’t been my typical lighthearted blog, but my message is that we have no idea what is coming, good or bad. For all we know, aliens could come down, take all our weapons, put our world leaders in a corner and give them a time out. One thing is for sure, we’ve made a lot of bad choices as a species. It’s not too late to do something about it.
I love shrimp as much as Bubba. If you’ve never seen Forrest Gump, it means that I freaking love shrimp. I could eat it every day with every meal and NEVER get tired of it. Every time something big happens in my life, a family member will boil some up for me and we celebrate together. Who needs cake when you have a delicious platter of shrimp. Any person who loves a specific type of food can read this without laughing, but some of my fondest memories in life somehow involve shrimp.
When I was quite young my parents would take my brother and I out to a restaurant once a week or so and I’d always be hoping and praying for Red Lobster. Not just because I could order the same thing every single time (boiled shrimp on ice with cocktail sauce), but because they would let my brother and I pick a toy from the treasure chest. I had one of every toy in that box. Those are memories I’ll carry with me forever. It’s been many years since I’ve been to a Red Lobster, but I’d much rather have it at home anyways.
In my teens I spent a lot of time in the summer at the family cottage. On Fridays after his work, my uncle would stop at Gus’s Lobster Trap before leaving town and bring fresh shrimp for the two of us. We’d go out on his boat and fish or water ski. Then come back to shore, we’d feast and lie to everyone about the fish we caught. My uncle has since passed away, but every time I drive past Gus’s or go fishing I remember how much fun I had hanging out with him, and how perfect his boiled shrimp was. I wish I’d asked him what his secret was, that was the best shrimp I’d ever had.
Last Christmas I bought a plush doll of Pepe The King Prawn for my wife. She said it was probably more for me than for her, she was right. Although we both find that little muppet to be hilarious. I have not yet read his book, though I’m sure it’s going to be on my bookshelf very soon…(that’s a hint to anyone who is looking for a gift for me in the future haha).
Last year She and I went on a trip to Florida with her parents and grandmother. My plan was to consume as much seafood as I could in the two weeks we were there. Most of the food I got was prepared unlike any others I’ve tried. I had never tried blackened fish or shrimp before. Now I’m addicted. Kat even bought a can of the seasoning from the grocery store and I have it every time I make shrimp at home. Sorry…every time Kat makes me shrimp at home. She’s the best. We went a place called the Dolphin View Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach Florida, I ordered….guess….blackened shrimp and fries. JB’s Seafood Shack….blackened shrimp and fish. The Garlic Italian Restaurant…..shrimp and scallop linguini. Beef O’Bradys Pub….fish and chips with shrimp on the side. I had been transported to seafood heaven for two weeks. Every meal I ordered there was beyond good, it was like a dream. I had never eaten more in one sitting than at the Garlic. The kind of full where you have to breathe lightly. It was so good that I ate what everyone else couldn’t finish, then ordered desert. But the best part was sharing it with my wife. She was now part of my fondest seafood memory of all. It was sad to have to leave Florida, but we’ll go back for sure. She even wrote a blog post about one of her new nail polish colors, Cajun Shrimp. When she wears it I get hungry.
So there you have it. Some of the memories I’ll carry with me for life with a side of shrimp. Even some of my favorite movies involve shrimp. Forrest Gump, Tommy Boy “why do they never de-turd these things?”, Mr. Beans visit to the restaurant. I think that no matter how good food is, it’s never as good as food that brings back great memories. That’s why the dinner table makes so much sense, you can sit with the people you care about and share a lot more than just food.
A big thanks to anyone I’ve ever eaten shrimp with. You are my friend forever, like Forrest and Lieutenant Dan.
Photo Credit: Google Image Search
As my 30th birthday is quickly approaching, it has become undeniable to me that I am becoming what I said I’d never be, out of touch. In my late teens and early 20’s I always said I’ll never get sick of the newest songs on the radio, I’d never hate the coolest new movies, I’d never watch the grown up shows and stick with the youthful casts on the popular shows etc. etc. etc. Well guess what. I can’t stand any of that stuff anymore. I got old, how did this happen. I even think about getting heartburn before I eat. Maybe I should ask for some Pepto Bismol for my birthday.
Over the course of my life I went from a Fisher Price cassette player, to a ghetto blaster with cd and cassette, then a disman, car stereo with subwoofers, minidisc player, then an mp3 player. Now I have an iPod that I take with me everywhere. Something I could never have imagined when I was young. And even though I still have a lot of new music on it, it’s not the popular stuff. I’m so out of touch with popular music, when I watch music award shows I have to google the performers. I keep confusing Bruno Mars with Pluto Nash (the movie with Eddie Murphy). I’ve been introduced to so many new acts in my lifetime that eventually I just quit looking at them. When watching these awards shows I notice that some of the bands I loved growing up are still sitting in the crowd and possibly are up for an award. It comforts me that maybe I’m not so out of touch. Then reality sets in and they get a lifetime achievement award. I realized when they referred to the Red Hot Chili Peppers as “classic rock” on the radio, that I really am getting older. My favorite DJ is now 48 years old, The Fresh Prince has kids who are now famous, and U2 can get seniors discounts at the grocery store. And I’ve only talked about music so far.
My first video game was Madden 92, now I play Madden 11. My second was Street Fighter II, now I play SF 4. Some things never change. Ive been asked why I can play football games even though I haven’t always watched actual football on tv. My only answer is that it’s no different from scoring perfect on every Guitar Hero song and not being able to play bah bah black sheep on a real guitar. It’s just fun to play. The progress these franchises have made is mind blowing, but the fun factor has not. I had just as much fun playing 16bit Madden where I used the same three plays to destroy the other team as I do playing it now in 128bit, 1080p, or whatever it is now, I lost track somewhere between Nintendo 64 and PS3. I thank god for game franchises like those because without them, I wouldn’t be a gamer anymore. Call Of Duty doesn’t appeal to me, give me Duke Nukem 3D. Warcraft isn’t my thing, give me a character sheet, some dice, and a dungeon master. I’m old school. I’ll still buy the new Madden when it comes out, but it’s because I’ve lived through that game for 20 years.
Movies sure have changed over the years. My favorite trilogy recently had a younger brother trilogy, and it crapped all over him. A perfect example of how CGI has been abused by film makers. Not all film makers, but a select few should have their special effects privileges revoked. I’ll be the first to admit that some of the movies I loved as a kid were lame. But the level of lameness in some of today’s blockbusters is crazy. But don’t take my word for it, I’m an out of touch adult. I loved the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Now I hear they plan to “honor” it by making another one. This time they are from space, and maybe just resemble turtles, but not actually turtles. Congrats Michael Bay, you just killed my hopes and dreams.
What I learned writing this is that music is constantly evolving, video games are constantly improving, and movies are being recycled at an alarming rate. And most importantly, my age means nothing as long as I can still enjoy my outdated CDs, my cartridge games, and my VHS movies.
All pictures from google pictures.
When I woke up today I started getting ready for work. I’m getting dressed and I hear my wife – Kat in the other room. “BRENT, Holy, Brent, Oh My God, What.” At first I thought I had broken something, spilled something, left the balcony door unlocked maybe. She went on to tell me I’d been Freshly Pressed. At first I didn’t really get it until she told me how many hits I had so far.
I wanted to say thank you so much to WordPress and to everyone who has read my blog. It has really made me excited to continue on with writing. I will work as fast as I can to respond to every one of the comments I’ve gotten. I’m still a bit overwhelmed that this got the response it did, and clearly so was my wife. Honestly, I’ve only seen her get this excited for when I proposed, our wedding day, last Christmas, and now for my hamburger blog. Lol.
Last month, my wife encouraged me to blog. She started her own a bit before I did. A big thanks goes out to her. In fact, when we started dating, her online profile said she could make a wicked hamburger. So I dedicate this post to her. Check out her blog here. It’s very good, and it’s why I started my own. She sometimes writes about nail art she creates herself. This is not her pic but I thought it was a good way to mesh our styles together.
Another funny story, we were in the drive through at a local fast food restaurant last week, we both ordered hamburgers, and the lady working the drive through told my wife her nails were amazing. True story. So the glue that keeps she and I together must be made from hamburgers and nails. How sweet.
Thanks again to everybody, I’ll be responding to all comments as fast as I can. See you all in hamburger heaven.
Photos courtesy of google pictures.
Have you ever been watching a fast food commercial and wondered why paid actors can’t hold hamburgers like normal people. It’s makes me laugh every time I see it. Holding a hamburger can be considered a science, and the directors of these commercials must have failed science in school. When you consider how many different burgers are available, technique may vary from one to another, but should never resemble what I see in these ads. So I have decided to give a few pointers on the do’s and dont’s of how to properly hold a hamburger, without looking like a paid actor.
This guy above has it all wrong. Poking at the bun with his weak little fingers. Giving no support at all to the contents inside. This hamburger doesn’t stand a chance. And look at his face, he looks like he’s reminiscing about an old girlfriend, maybe Wendy was her name.
A few tips I could give him would be: 1. They make burgers to fit in the palm of your hand, so use your palms, not just the fingertips. It’ll help keep your burger from sliding and shifting, and less things will fall out of it. 2. Use your fingers to stop the patty from sliding to the opposite end of the side you are eating. 3. Concentrate. Pay attention, no daydreaming about a world where we all hold burgers like a-holes.
This guy here knows a bit better. He still has a lot to learn about hand position, but I really admire his aggression and complete disregard for table manners and the opinions of others. He’s getting awfully close to the desired u shape that your hands should be in. When your hands are c shaped, it’s not natural. Just try it now without a burger. U shaped I could keep my hands like that all day, C shaped my hands cramp up and get tired. Most people would say his girlfriend is looking disgusted because he’s being a slob. I disagree, she’s probly thinking either that she can’t enjoy her salad as much as he’s enjoying his burger, or why the hell is he holding it like that, what am I doing with him, will our kids hold burgers like an a-hole too.
I looked on google for a half hour looking for one picture of a proper burger holding technique, this is the best I could find. Folks, an infant can do it right. Why can’t we. This kids got all the right ideas. Full contact with the hand. Fingers, palms, the whole thing. The use of both hands is a must, but at least this kid has one hand right, which is more than I can say about the others.
So I guess I didn’t give as many pointers as I thought. The only thing I ask is that the next time you grab a burger, ask yourself a few times while you are eating “do I look like a moron?” if you answer yes, put the burger down and order something else. God put napkins here for a reason. Get your hands dirty you nancy boy. Think of it as a sport. You get points if nothing falls out and the coach doesn’t care if your uniform gets dirty. Do you remember the saying to dance like nobody is watching. Same thing applies here. Eat like you just don’t give a damn.
Pictures all courtesy of google images.