Updated: Jan 15
Yooo! I'm sitting here in my usual, Monday spot searching for that first line to get me going for this week's "Disco Kitchen" blog installment and I got nothing. Therefore, I default to music. lol. The song that inspired and triggered the absolute, non cohesive title just happens to be a banger! "Mi Sabrina Tequana" by Ingram. Shit! It works for me. I'm writing ain't I? lol. Anywho, Welcome to week #6 of my rhetorical commentary/promotion/sales/relevance maintaining journal (so to speak). I hope everyone had an, at the very least, enlightening week. If I look back closely at all of the emotions, happenings, thoughts and actions of the past week (big or small), I must say, "enlightening is an understatement.". We are blessed to be above ground yet another week. These small things aren't to be taken for granted. However small and viewed in the moments as "a given" are huge and the actuality of just being alive another week is rather enormous- profound even; And for that I am grateful. So I say again, "Welcome back! Thanks for coming." If it's your first rodeo, I hope you enjoy my weekly, left brain musings and in collusion with today's technology, via apps, audio/visual, etc. I'm able to include some serious right brain vibrations as well. With that said, let's get it! You may as well listen to the song too. Here's the link: https://youtu.be/IQP7ZYxoCDk and there's the group. *Look up*
This week I was happy to, once again, have the opportunity to work with one of my favorite fruits of all time. Although I had no clue of its existence until maybe 10 years ago, I've found the Platano to be one of the most versatile, understated, chameleon of God's fruit creations. I didn't grow up around a variety of cultures so how would I know? It wasn't on TV. Hell I remember when white folks were able to say "Nigger" on all national broadcasting stations. Growing up for me, in my environment, there were African Americans and there were white people. Mexican culture gradually became a part of my environment towards the end of my young adulthood. The fact that I was born and raised in Chicago, a city that you can find just about any and every culture that there is, makes you wonder, 'how the hell!?!?' A friend of mines ones described Chicago as "A World-class city with a small town mentality." I agree with him 100%. World-class because of it's size (both geographically and population), abundance of culture, history of becoming, international airport, professional sports teams, etc. Yet Small town because of how segregated the multiple cultures are. Even if one wanted to expand outside of their neighborhood to explore this cultural Mecca, just about anyone that you mention it to can and will produce multiple deterrents, rationalizations, excuses and justifiable "facts" why you should not. Most of it is based on violent occurrences and other fears that probably won't be accepted today. "Exploring while Black" in Chicago, at least when I grew up was definitely a "no-no". Venturing out to a place like Humboldt Park, a section in Chicago that I know for a fact would've overly enlightened me on the Plantain was an absolute suicide mission/death wish for me to go as a young African American male. Chicago's gang/mob culture was set by Irish and Italian immigrants yet mimicked and grossly over exaggerated to great detriment by the indigenous ("Blacks and Puerto Ricans cuz we're butt naked streaking in the urbanized areas...-QTip ATCQ). Humboldt Park is to this day or at least in my mind "Puerto Rican Hood". (Viva La Boricua!). I've been away for a few years and I'm pretty sure that gentrification has disassembled this unique Chicago neighborhood. As a matter of fact I know it for sure as right before I moved to Los Angeles in 2017, I resided in neighboring, Logan Square, which was also a highly Boricua populated hood. My block, in the heart of Logan Square was all but Puerto Rican. However, there remained several Mom and Pops grocery stores scattered about. You can tell that they were doing all that they could to maintain it's cultural heritage and authenticity. The stores were mostly manned by Mexicans yet loaded with Puerto Rican history and products. If I think about it, Logan Square and my infatuation with authentic Jamaican Jerk recipe's pretty much inspired the dish that I created: "The Jive Time Turkey": Jerk Turkey Jibaritos with Caribbean Rice and peas and my very own Red Cabbage/Jicama slaw (I substituted Collard greens for Jicama the other day though...)
#LunchTimeDisco: A monthly live stream where we collaborate with @discodavemaze, literally fusing the Disco and the Food live on @twitch.tv is where I had the opportunity to recently prepare, "The Jive Time Turkey". The Jerk Jibarito sandwich was accompanied by a nice, warm and creamy Butternut squash soup and Avocado Fries. The avocado Fries were breaded and deep fried, live on the stream. I also made my usual sauce that I created for this food item. The sauce is based with a mashed avocado, plain yogurt, sour cream and/or mayonnaise. I used plain yogurt this time. From the base, I like to wing it with whatever I have present. It comes out the same yet different every time. I like it like that. Dave Maze, an old college friend, played a pretty much, all vinyl set of disco and rare grooves that at one point made me put my knife down and boogie! Hey! There's a title for you: "Put the knife down and boogie!" I'm sure someone in this cowardicely violent society would thank you or would have "died" for the suggestion (tee-hee). #LunchTimeDisco, as of now is a monthly, every second Saturday thing but you can catch the replay on Twitch.tv/dizcodavemaze for... I don't know how long. Just check it out after reading the blog.
Last week I mentioned me going on a job interview. I think I worded like, "I'm fukking losing my Got damn shirt with this entrepreneurial shit!" No? Well that's what I should've said and last week, that would've been mildly stated. Dig this! I ain't no fool by a long shot. I believe in what I do. I know that I have quality products. I most definitely know that I provide impeccable service. There's never a question in my mind about my professionalism as a Chef. My prices, in respect to the times and geography are the best that I can do and most often better than even my corporate competition. However, in pimpin' terms, "Put the money on the wood and it's all good!" Well, it ain't enough money on the wood for me and in the words of a very wise man, "I can't get jiggy with this!" so I got a job. It's a good job. It's full time and it pays well. Nope! I'm not as proud as I would've been some time ago about it but I'm doing what I have to do. I mean, I can't remember the last time that I've been this financially inept. This is a "no go" for a grown man. I learned a lot of useful tools and principles in my recovery but the one that resonates with me the most has definitely gotta be the quote: "Attached to nothing/Connected to everything". This would include but is not limited to people, places and things. With that said, I think it's fair to say that I will, "drop shit like a hot potato/no oven mit!" and keep it moving to the next thing that God may have for me. Nevertheless, I've dropped a shit ton of money into my brand and business, "Disco Kitchen, Inc." and I would slit my own throat before I let it go, only to see my ideas taken and introduced as "new" by a "so-called" friend or family member. Ok, the latter is extreme but it's very valid in my experience. I have a start date for work, my direct deposit is set up and I've even read the employee handbook. I'm in! My "interview" was pretty much a drug test and badge photo shoot! If you really know me, then you know that I was totally prepared and eager to participate, equally in both events. While I work, regroup and rethink DISCO KITCHEN, INC. in respect to sales, marketing, advertising and fulfillment, I will continue to produce a few products and provide services if the price is right for me. I put a lot of time and effort into providing my products and services. I've frequented the best of the best of restaurants and worked/thrived in even better ones. I know my worth and now, so will my prospective customers. Long story short, you should've purchased my rookie card.
Of the products that I will continue to produce in full force, just so happens that one is what I believe to be a gift from God. Disco Juice is a product and a service all in one. Even if you make it for yourself, sell it and/or purchase it from me; It's from God. I'm just a conduit. Nevertheless, I got it for sale.
Disco Juice is a combination of natural roots and juices, concocted with love and compassion for the people in these serious, pandemic times. All ingredients are either high in alkaline and/or are known to be anti-inflammatory agents that embody multiple health benefits including boosting the immune system. Originally, Chef Craig created a Do It Yourself video on YouTube, demonstrating, step by step instructions as to how to create this product for yourself. However, we understand that many of us do not have time to even watch the video let alone make the juice. Don’t worry. We got you! We’ve made it easy and affordable to get you what you need to confidently survive these troubled times.
Yes! To conclude, I bring to you my song of the week. The song of the week is a song that pretty much resonated with me through the week, either via research, downloading or ear hustling other artist's, djs and/or music aficionados. Last week I did a deep dive into Vincent Montana, Jr. While digging in his extensive catalog of music, I found this familiar gem; "I Love Music"; An obvious cover of the original 1975 release by the Mighty O'Jays and written by the incomparable Gamble and Huff. As i scrolled, listened and perused (You like that word don't you? "Peroooz'd"), through Vince Montana Jr. productions, his contemporaries made it even more obvious that the song, "I Love Music" could have very well been inspired by him. From Frankie Avalon to TSOP "The Sound Of Philadelphia" this guy has pretty much shaped and influenced my whole foundation of music. If he didn't, he was definitely directly connected to those who did. This version of "I Love Music" sang by a female vocalist that, for some reason or another is undisclosed, has that signature, Vince Montana orchestra sound but with this raw, "around the way girl" of the era style vocals that always seem to hit me in the Jack Zone. I searched and searched but for some reason, I just could not find the woman's name. It could have been anybody from Charo to Loleatta Holloway. My guess is that whoever it is, she's probably a native "Illa Delph-Phi" resident. Philadelphia, to this day, is a musical power house of a city that always seem to produce artist's who directly effect my soul. I think I have a clue as to why but that would be a whole new blog. Let's just say, "The struggle has and always will produce powerful, soul shaking art." -pb
HERE'S THE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnXdV0vfB0I
"Vincent Montana, Jr., known as Vince Montana, was an American composer, arranger, and percussionist, best known as a member of MFSB and as the founder of the Salsoul Orchestra. He has been called "the Godfather of disco".
Born: February 12, 1928, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 13, 2013, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States, Father of Denise Montana". *Discogs*.
Dig "Young Vinnie" on the vibes! I'm actually listening to a Vince Montana feat. Double Exposure cut, "You Are My Everything" where Vinnie is KILLING the vibes right now. Aiight that's enough. I gotta go...BYE! Until next week, PEACE AND HAIR GREASE!