The Wailing Wall Of Metal

Eddie Van Halen is the reason I’ve finger tapped endless Friday nights away, whenever my wife is out of the house, leaving me free to blare Eruption on Vinyl and use my kids like mini air guitar appendages, which is what dreams are made of. In these moments of high kicking, rip roaring delight, I’m able to let my hair down, relive my age of innocence and become in touch with what made my unsure, pubescent putz plagued self, come roaring to life like no other, Heavy Metal music.

But it was pictures of Heavy Metal guitarists such as the late great Eddie Van Halen who received prominent placement throughout my childhood bedroom, which I affectionally nicknamed The Wailing Wall Of Metal, in the pilot episode of a TV show I tried selling to VH1 Classic called Heavy Metal High.

The first time I heard the haunting, stuck in time, Church bell clang on Hells Bells by AC/DC, my pubescent soul, no longer felt like an amorphous void of scaredy-cat goo. It was as if God came down from Heaven himself through my boom box of yesteryear to tell me, “You’re more metal than you think kid. And you’ll only start living, when you get out of your self-esteem strangling head already, which is what Heavy Metal is doing to you right now. So stop acting like another Richard Lewis in the making.  As you can see, I also breath renewed life into knock kneed, putz prone kids like yourself through AC/DC to. Your manly metamorphosis has begun. You’re welcome.”

So it was only fitting for me to eventually receive my TV writing break, which was 15 years in the making, when I was hired by VH1 Classic to write all the TV Host reads for America’s Hard 100, which ranked the greatest hard rock and heavy metal videos of all time. But the 1st time I heard the song Eruption at my all Jewish sleepaway camp in Kent, Connecticut, it felt like a meteor shower blasted through my Hanes Tighty Whities, which amplified my Heavy Metal loving soul with a higher octane surge of propulsive might than ever before.

The most special thing about Eddie Van Halen’s music making career, is being blessed to play with his son Wolfgang for a living. His son Wolfgang, who was taught to play piano, bass and drums posted on Instagram, “I couldn’t have asked for a better father.” He got to make magical metal with his dad, which is what made Eddie Van Halen feel most in touch with the divine. He was quoted as saying “I couldn’t wait to make music with my son.” Because from what I’ve read, Eddie Van Halen wanted to transfer his love of creation through songwriting and guitar playing, which is what made him feel most alive, knowing he constantly made comments about wanting to make the most of his God given blessed talents.

No wonder the late great Eddie Van Halen kept running to his son Wolfgang to play more majestic metal music again and again.   Also, the name Van Halen is an homage to the family name, because Eddie’s brother Alexander Arthur Van Halen, their longtime drummer, was also one of the founding members of the band, responsible for the band’s signature funk filled, pounding backbeat, which I got the entire world off its feet.

Long live Van Halen’s wailing wall of metal. Van Halen ruled on top of the metal world for more than a while. Wolfgang’s professed love of his dearly departed father on Instagram really got to me, strumming my heart strings ever so light, because his dad gave him the opportunity to dream and boy did he love his dad back for it, for making him feel like the center of his universe, instead of the reverse. And that’s how you know when it’s love. Sammy Hagar lives.

Michael Kornbluth

Hot For Hummus

Hummus is Chickpeas are great in Arabic. It’s the most popular dish in the Middle East among Egyptians, Jordanians, and Israeli offshoots of the Zohan tribe, 7 degrees separated from the golden Jew Adam Sandler. Actual unity is getting your Hummus resistor Jewish father from the Bronx to follow your 3 Koshertarian diet embracing children by joining the party to try your homemade Hummus made in his Arizona estate home for a pre-nosh nibble snack on top of toasted pita triangles with some diced up cherry tomatoes, fresh scattered parsley and vibrant looking, just grated carrots on top. I’m not betting the farm on my father to try my workshopped, perfected homemade Hummus over Thanksgiving break but as my father likes to rightfully point out, I don’t own a farm let alone a John Deer lawnmower or the personal property big enough to justify the expense because I’m still so broke, my Hebrew name is under judicial review.   Everyone can unify behind the depressingly dreary premise of a degenerate Jew like myself not being financially secure in life yet, who uses his fingers for basic arithmetic like a retarded version Dustin Hoffman at the Blackjack table at Talking Stick Casino.

Growing up in elementary school, all my Loan Officer mother ever made me was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, which didn’t help my blobby physique one bit at the time. Still, I never complained or requested anything different, urging my mother to make me Bento box lunches with Power Rangers stickers on the outside, with Cucumber and cream cheese Koshertarian rolls wrapped in seaweed and sticky rice within. Also, as a kid, I always preferred sesame bagels, for my egg and cheeses at the local Greek dinner, inhaling 2 in one sitting, after a night of drinking, with my old school high school buds, which is why my father called me the” human shovel” for a reason. So, I don’t need to be a math savant like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man to realize my love of nut based spreads like peanut butter would eventually lead to my developed steamy love for Tahani flavor in Hummus, which is where the oily, creamy, pulverized sesame seed spewing essence derives from. Hummus is basically, the more versatile, infinitely less tubby version of peanut butter, which also packs leaner blasts of less sticky mouth protein. So of course, I’m hot for hummus but only after I stared making my homemade versions to spice up my kid’s lunches, so I didn’t burn them out on peanut butter, ruining their capacity to ever savor a Reese Pieces Butter Cup, made at all the specialty chocolate chops like in Ridgefield CT again, which is an American shishy bitch rite as it gets.

If you never tried hummus, the famed sesame paste can be a turnoff, if you never sampled the primo goods before. On the surface, some store-bought hummus or homemade hummus can look like a sad plop mound of dried out earwax. That’s why you must add color and a dash of sophistication to your presentation. Pine nuts, who needs them. Chopped hardboiled eggs, gross, too overtly Israeli for my taste sorry. Pesto on top of hummus, is a blatantly unnecessary, awful idea, knowing Hummus when made right, requires no parm cheese garlic infusion to make it more swoon worthy than it already is. For me, I dress up my Hummus triangle creations with a menage a trois of radiant, lick it up color such as hot to trot, Little Red Corvette, cherry tomatoes and Arizona wild, desert bloom orange specked shredded carrots or some Polo Lounge conjuring green in the form of thick strands of Jalapeno on top to keep it extra steamy in the process.  

Just like it any relationship, you have to spice things up, incorporating needed color and variety to keep things interesting or you’ll lose sustained stiffage, which is the perpetual state of arousal necessary for any relationship to get excited for toppable tomorrows. The same rule applies to homemade loving infused creations versus the mass produced, manufactured kind, which lacks the length and depth of personalized pop compared to the real thing.  So invest in a Cuisinart to blend your Goya Chickpeas, add some store bought Tahini from your local Kosher butcher, add a garlic bulb or 2, throw in a generous heaping of sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salt, I don’t give a shit, before pouring in a steady steam of medium grade Olive oil, as the hummus magic swirls into scrumptious loving perfection before constructing your pita triangle pizzas with the steamy garnishes I mentioned prior and call it a day.  At the very least, your kids will love you more putting in the extra effort to tantalize and awaken their tastebuds to newer, fresher, yummier possibilities than ever before. Plus, your kids won’t become instantly tubby and resent your existence for it later. Last, your wife tasting like hummus won’t lure you into sucking face with her on the spot, but you’ll take whatever justified outs a 10-year marriage can give you.

Michael Kornbluth

Chicken Cutlet Hunters

The Chicken Cutlet from the Edgemont Deli on Central Avenue next to Danny’s Cycle in southern Westchester County, 30 minutes north of Manhattan was always the best.  My old school dear friend Ari, now a Kidney doctor who part owns his own practice in CT, a graduate of Washington University, no dummy, would agree with me, we became fixated on hunting down the perfect chicken cutlet sandwich ever since. I remember inhaling down this chicken cutlet thinking, I was in the presence of greatness, just based on the crispy enough, herbed spice breading on it alone. Back then, I didn’t know the difference between sage or rosemary. I wasn’t aware of how cilantro was used as an herb in salsa. Shit, an underclassman fooled me into buying oregano for weed senior year in high school, so I wasn’t obsessing over the herb installation componentry embedded in my bomb chicken cutlet from the Edgemont Deli at the time, that wasn’t Calista Flockhart skinny but more Jo plump like from Facts of Life, which gave you something more excitable to chomp into again and again. The perfectly shredded lettuce, semi-thin, actual fleshy red tomato on top,  nestled between the banging Kaiser roll, which was never drowning for dear life in an amorphous plop of mayo goo didn’t hurt the chicken cutlet sandwich’s overall appeal one bit either. Ah, those were the days, pre-Yelp, where you actually had to rely on your own intuition and New York bred sense of adventure to try and consume it all, like a less hyper articulate, perpetually suave, mini Anthony Bourdain in the making, minus the French royal rocker look working in your favor either.

Now, that I’m getting my 3 kids more courageous about trying different Kosher meat creations because they know I’m writing a book about it and unlike others, they still believe me in pounding my dreams of comedic superstardom into freaking reality already, especially when I involve them in the act of pulverizing the homemade Kosher chicken cutlets I made tonight with real deal Hebrew Hammer fury.  I told my son Arthur to choke up on the mighty mallet before pounding the chicken cutlets for round 2 with the intention of smooshing those cutlets into barely recognizable form like when Mitch Blood Green came up with the bright idea to start a street fight with Iron Mike in Harlem during his prime time domination years, where he knocked out legendary heavy weights by the time you banged another one out to Taste Of Amber again.  

My wife had to Nazify my dream chicken cutlet recreation tonight, using a combination of panko breadcrumbs and homemade ones while also using a mishmash of chopped parsley, sage and rosemary, by insisting on calling it the meal “Schnitzel”, saying, “I haven’t had Schnitzel since Oktoberfest in Germany.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “Chances are you had pork schnitzel for starters, which is fine, but don’t lump my dish into your non-eating Kosher past in Germany before the open borders invite to invade and resist assimilation lead to no-go zones, proving too much for Angela Merkel’s hunched shoulders to bear alone. Where is W to give Angela Lansbury’s, more homely, less talented, dour dumpy clone to give an unsolicited back rub, when you need him?  Also, I didn’t  know what the hell Schnitzel was in high school, I just knew how to order a chicken cutlet at the deli, with shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo, Russian dressing or getting some melted provolone on it if I was feeling particularly eccentric for lunch, that day, that’s it. Granted, tonight, I did fry up gargantuan flatted breasts which looked like Pauly from Rocky passed out on Bridget Nielson’s tits. But I wouldn’t call a schnitzel dish using Panko breadcrumbs and Kosher certified chicken as a sterling example of keeping it real Arian like either.  Actually, for those food nerd historians at home, schnitzel was actually invented in Austria before famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal helped track down Adolf Eichman’s Nazi footsteps in Buenos Aries pleasuring himself to more Malbec and Nazi trading cards bound for the ashbins of truly deplorable history. Before shiny shoes got hanged in Israel for being Farrakhan’s dreamboat exterminator against you know who Gervais, and it wasn’t your mole infested British commoners working as Bank Tellers for Barclay’s Bank either.

I’m most impressed with my how kids continue to embrace and try any new meat creation I make for them, because they know it’s made with love and kids always love you back twice as much, when you make them like feel like the center of your universe instead of the reverse. Last, your kids can’t help but look up to daddy a little bit in the kitchen knowing he’s doing his best to please God  and obey his dietary laws in exchange for blessing him with the greatest home team imaginable, which grows closer every day, yeah, yeah.

I’m about to put my 3-year old son Samuel in the car today on our way to pick up a couple of last minute, improvised inspired ingredients and he says with a wink and brightened smile, “I hate your jokes and your books to.” I laughed long time. The fact my 3-year-old son already understands the full spectrum of silly minded, sarcastic fueled ball busting while also comprehending what work I’ve been pounding away at since he was born is a sign that God really is looking after my back through this miracle wonderkid. Samuel Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo really is the pubescent, Total Package, Lex Luger after all.

Michael Kornbluth

Sloppy Second Joes

Sloppy seconds are underrated, especially if they inspire back to back inhalatory attacks.  Do homemade Sloppy Second Joes using Kosher meat from my local butcher in Mount Kisco, NY compare to the same intensified level of joy I received from sucking down every last parcel of my delectable Porterhouse during my 1st IT recruiter sales promo dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, as I cursed my father afterwards for exposing to only mere anemic, anorexic Kosher steaks growing prior? No, but I also wasn’t slightly tiffed the next morning, to learn my wife had nearly polished off what little Sloppy Second Joes remained, because she just needed the “extra protein”. Just like I need a memory easier to delete any instance when my wife used the expression “zero calories” to describe anything because I’m not telling Rolling Stone she’s a hippier version of Jessica Simpson, whose sexual napalm in the sack either.

Sloppy Joes are in need of rebrand refresh because the name alone grossed all 3 of my kids from the start.  Raw ground Kosher meat looking like Plato grinded cow brain doesn’t help Sloppy Joes overall appeal either, regardless if it’s coated in ketchup, onion and brown sugar from Mick Jagger’s secret stash either.  So I renamed Sloppy Joes, Sloppy Second Joes, to inject more sexualized, loving feeling into my making of them because nobody is going to back to make out with the Sloppy Joe lady from Billy Madison, regardless if you’re in and out of a black out or not.  Also, calling these scrumptious bad boy, sticky sweet, sandwiches nestled between bomb baby egg challah rolls, Sloppy Second Joes, I’m double daring you to resist coming back for repeat inhalatory attacks with sloppy drunk conjuring relish.

The Sloppy Second Joes weren’t huge hits with my 3 kids. Exposing them to Kosher meat based dishes is a new development for them, and they can’t quite get over the look of lumped together, blood splattered cow brain, which is what Kosher ground meat looks like in a Sloppy Joe before being browned into scrumptious, supple soft, garlic and mustard imbibed lifted perfection.  

But I’m not quitter. I’m a doer. That doing doesn’t include my wife anymore, especially since our 3rd kid turned our bed into a 24/7 open milk bar but that’s beside the point. Yesterday, I stock up on another serving of ground turkey and make my own version of Sloppy Second Joes not married to the recipe from the Modern Jewish baker for good old fashioned regular Sloppy Joes either. No, this second batch of Sloppy Second Joes lived up to its name because my son Arthur went for rabid attack seconds from my vegetable oil fried up cheese-less ground Kosher Turkey quesadillas, flush with diced up bits of rosemary and parley coated fennel, red sweet pepper, red onion, white meaty turnips, which took this improvised, made up reimagining of the standard Sloppy Second Joe so much higher.  I also served my Sloppy Second Joes with some homemade, chunky hot sauce from a local farm, which my son went to triple dipping in without my nudging whatsoever, prompting memories of my favorite summer loves dipping past. Sloppy seconds isn’t always a bad thing and we all can’t taste like sexual napalm in the sack either.

Michael Kornbluth

Death Of A Bose Salesman

Once upon a time there was Sales Rep for Bose who suffered from Loud Man’s Disease.  He loved blasting The Who, Led Zeppelin   and AC/DC at work in the listening booth before he turned borderline deaf. Now, all Michael the Sales Rep from Bose hears is AC/DC’s song Hells Bells. Michael Yeller always believed louder is better until now because he was longer ablet to sing Search and Destroy by Iggy Pop and Stooges at the local Karaoke bar in White Plains, NY after work with his boss anymore.   

Growing up, Michael only wanted to play air guitar like the great metal shredders throughout the walls of his childhood room, which included pictures Mick Mars from Motley Crew, the Freddy Kruger of shredding, the steel guitar slaying, Gypsy Road howler Tom Kiefer from Cinderella and the Tasmanian Devil of pretty good metal pop CC Deville from Poison. Later, Michael tried to learn the guitar after his parents got him an acoustic one for Hannukah but he already started smoking weed by junior year in high school, so the hand dexterity and hours of practice necessary to assume any semblance of functional playing mastery over the guitar were out of his self-imposed reach.

After college, Michael tried to make a living as an IT Headhunter in LA but IT Directors half his age didn’t appreciate being hounded by a such a loudmouth New Yorker who had less voice control than Busta Rhymes at a midnight showing of Higher Learning. Also, everyone in LA is very cagy, accustomed to time alone in their cars and airy, open rooftop hotel bars and non-descript, low key bars on random, zero foot traffic streets, unaccustomed to Vince Vaughn clones from Swingers from New York like Michael who was actually told to hush while on a date to see Eric Clapton at the Hollywood Bowl once. Eventually, Michael moved back to NY and did digital ad sales for Citysearch and started to try open mike stand up comedy. When working for Citysearch he’d say on stage, “Citysearch is city guide used mostly by gay men to find who gives the best facial.” But Michael struggled to unleash his inner rock star on stage, because if his 1st joke bombed, he could never win the audience back, which stripped him of the confidence to riff and piggy back off the waves of laughter, opting to go into any new inspired direction of hilarity he choose.  

At the Christmas party for CitySearch Michael sang his best rendition of Wanted Dead or Alive yet, which he had perfected over the years. The high end 15-year Macallan scotch helped. Still, he got fired the next day for getting black out drunk and dry humping the coat check girl on the dance floor to Oh What A Feeling.

Knowing Michael couldn’t pay rent through playing air guitar renditions of Fallen Angel in Times Square, or make any money at stand-up comedy in NYC because he had to actually invite his friends to get performing time at the NY Comedy Club at all, he decided to find a job, where his loud man disease could be neutralized, where it wouldn’t become such a career hindering liability and got a job in suburbs at The Westchester Mall in White Plains, NY selling state of the art stereo equipment for Bose. Michael’s boss gave him some leeway and allowed him to tell some jokes, because he knew the stand-up comedy bug wasn’t out of his system all together. Michael would be selling noise cancelation headphones, “Yenta Silencers”, is what he’d call them specifically before sampling new bits on random customers such as, “Did you know Google fired 25 software engineers for sexual harassment? But software engineers are too busy banging out code to hit on girls at work. Plus, if you’re a software engineer at Google, your typical Pearl command script isn’t, “Massage my carpel tunnel ho.”  

But one day during a demo presentation for AC/DC Back In Black on surround sound in the primo listening sampling room at work, Michael lost his ability to hear fully, now only hearing the death knell Church bell clang to Hells Bells. Was God punishing Michael for his Loud Man’s Disease forever? How could Michael ever sing Karaoke again, losing all semblance of voice control now whatsoever?

Michael was a really a good sales rep for Bose, but reality is, the speakers sold themselves. Michael’s boss and favorite Karaoke partner let him keep his job at Bose but got him off the sales floor to work as a blogger for their digital marketing team instead, allowing him rant and rave about all the loudest and proudest, most bad ass metal rock records of all time, which are only accentuated on Bose’s premium blast speakers, naturally. Michael would fire off blog record recommendations for albums by The Who, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Van Halen with divine powered authority. He’d pound the keyboard non-stop-all day long, which was sweet music to his boss’s ears, knowing his employee and friend Michael could channel his love of fast, loud, kick ass metal like a Bat Out Of Hell, which sent his heart soaring, flying high again. In the end, Michael couldn’t sell Bose speakers on the main sales floor anymore but he was still able to sell his love of loud, metal music through his blogs, and also had the kick ass, momentous clang of Hell’s Bells playing in his head for company. And Michael didn’t need Meatloaf to tell him, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

The End

Michael Kornbluth

Death Of A Bose Salesman

Once upon a time there was Sales Rep for Bose who suffered from Loud Man’s Disease.  He loved blasting The Who, Led Zeppelin   and AC/DC at work in the listening booth before he turned borderline deaf. Now, all Michael the Sales Rep from Bose hears is AC/DC’s song Hells Bells. Michael Yeller always believed louder is better until now because he was longer ablet to sing Search and Destroy by Iggy Pop and Stooges at the local Karaoke bar in White Plains, NY after work with his boss anymore.   

Growing up, Michael only wanted to play air guitar like the great metal shredders throughout the walls of his childhood room, which included pictures Mick Mars from Motley Crew, the Freddy Kruger of shredding, the steel guitar slaying, Gypsy Road howler Tom Kiefer from Cinderella and the Tasmanian Devil of pretty good metal pop CC Deville from Poison. Later, Michael tried to learn the guitar after his parents got him an acoustic one for Hannukah but he already started smoking weed by junior year in high school, so the hand dexterity and hours of practice necessary to assume any semblance of functional playing mastery over the guitar were out of his self-imposed reach.

After college, Michael tried to make a living as an IT Headhunter in LA but IT Directors half his age didn’t appreciate being hounded by a such a loudmouth New Yorker who had less voice control than Busta Rhymes at a midnight showing of Higher Learning. Also, everyone in LA is very cagy, accustomed to time alone in their cars and airy, open rooftop hotel bars and non-descript, low key bars on random, zero foot traffic streets, unaccustomed to Vince Vaughn clones from Swingers from New York like Michael who was actually told to hush while on a date to see Eric Clapton at the Hollywood Bowl once. Eventually, Michael moved back to NY and did digital ad sales for Citysearch and started to try open mike stand up comedy. When working for Citysearch he’d say on stage, “Citysearch is city guide used mostly by gay men to find who gives the best facial.” But Michael struggled to unleash his inner rock star on stage, because if his 1st joke bombed, he could never win the audience back, which stripped him of the confidence to riff and piggy back off the waves of laughter, opting to go into any new inspired direction of hilarity he choose.  

At the Christmas party for CitySearch Michael sang his best rendition of Wanted Dead or Alive yet, which he had perfected over the years. The high end 15-year Macallan scotch helped. Still, he got fired the next day for getting black out drunk and dry humping the coat check girl on the dance floor to Oh What A Feeling.

Knowing Michael couldn’t pay rent through playing air guitar renditions of Fallen Angel in Times Square, or make any money at stand-up comedy in NYC because he had to actually invite his friends to get performing time at the NY Comedy Club at all, he decided to find a job, where his loud man disease could be neutralized, where it wouldn’t become such a career hindering liability and got a job in suburbs at The Westchester Mall in White Plains, NY selling state of the art stereo equipment for Bose. Michael’s boss gave him some leeway and allowed him to tell some jokes, because he knew the stand-up comedy bug wasn’t out of his system all together. Michael would be selling noise cancelation headphones, “Yenta Silencers”, is what he’d call them specifically before sampling new bits on random customers such as, “Did you know Google fired 25 software engineers for sexual harassment? But software engineers are too busy banging out code to hit on girls at work. Plus, if you’re a software engineer at Google, your typical Pearl command script isn’t, “Massage my carpel tunnel ho.”  

But one day during a demo presentation for AC/DC Back In Black on surround sound in the primo listening sampling room at work, Michael lost his ability to hear fully, now only hearing the death knell Church bell clang to Hells Bells. Was God punishing Michael for his Loud Man’s Disease forever? How could Michael ever sing Karaoke again, losing all semblance of voice control now whatsoever?

Michael was a really a good sales rep for Bose, but reality is, the speakers sold themselves. Michael’s boss and favorite Karaoke partner let him keep his job at Bose but got him off the sales floor to work as a blogger for their digital marketing team instead, allowing him rant and rave about all the loudest and proudest, most bad ass metal rock records of all time, which are only accentuated on Bose’s premium blast speakers, naturally. Michael would fire off blog record recommendations for albums by The Who, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Van Halen with divine powered authority. He’d pound the keyboard non-stop-all day long, which was sweet music to his boss’s ears, knowing his employee and friend Michael could channel his love of fast, loud, kick ass metal like a Bat Out Of Hell, which sent his heart soaring, flying high again. In the end, Michael couldn’t sell Bose speakers on the main sales floor anymore but he was still able to sell his love of loud, metal music through his blogs, and also had the kick ass, momentous clang of Hell’s Bells playing in his head for company. And Michael didn’t need Meatloaf to tell him, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

The End

Michael Kornbluth

The Regrettable Road Traveled

I thought making brownies with my kids for the 1st time would be a dose of old school American fun. It wasn’t.  Domestic bliss is a lie when a semi straight man tries to make brownies with his kids. Now I know why I occasionally watch The Great British Bakeoff with my wife to feel a tad more snug secure in my drooping masculinity. I’ll never get into the domestic science of experimenting in the kitchen with my 3 kids hovering around me wanting to get involved in making brownies again because caring about perfecting a homemade desert is too fussy sweet for my taste. Also, did you know most brownie recipes, require an entire stick of butter? I’d rather stick to pounding more Sierra Nevada Pale Ale’s, the pale ale that never gets stale, thanks. And microwaving down an entire stick of butter in a measuring cup is gross. It’s like watching what happens to Martha Dumptruck after a whopping minute on the Peloton.  

So, what does raising my kids Koshertarian have to do with my brownie bust experiments? Did I use Kosher salt over Pinko Himalayan Salt?  No, I stuck with Kosher salt because using Pink Himalayan salt didn’t feel Kosher to me because whenever I think of Nepal I think of mind melting hash I got baked with in Amsterdam, which would’ve stripped the old school, this land is your land, American vibe I was trying to tap into for my brownie bust experiment regret of 2020 man.  Still, trying to make brownies with my kids was important to me at the time, because I wanted to instill a sense of American community and a dash of do it all dad bliss, so I could prove to mama, whatever you don’t do, I can do a smidgen better.  The ghost of Robert Frost can go pound Kosher salt, because I took the road less traveled to please my kids and do a group of activity that didn’t involve me wrestling with my kids on our yoga mat, throwing them around our blown up pool this summer from China or playing blackjack with our fancy poker chip set, and regretting every second of it. Our 1st batch of brownies was too cakey, the other batch was too sugary, and I don’t have a spare third testicle, so doubling down on my shot at becoming Betty fucking Draper tweaked on Adderall to feel like a more essential domesticated homemaker hearth warmer failed to fill me with good intended cheer, leaving me with nothing but morning after disgust generated from doing Martha Dumptruck more than twice.

So, what is the magical recipe for domestic brownie bliss. Easy ,use flower, egg, coco powder, sugar, butter and your wife to do it, unless you want to feel like those permanent eunuchs in Empire Of the Sun. Do I sound like a bitter clinger to my non-baker bust past? Yes, but I’ve lost all interest in acting like an American sweetheart when I don’t want to be. Gen X Dads understand. We grew up in the age of Aids, 9/11, multiple recessions and now have massive mask shaming hysteria to contend with from our NPR worshiping wives. So, don’t expect us to do cartwheels over the prospect of relishing the campy, airy, non-divisive feel of The Great American British Bakeoff. No, our tastes in sweets and coffee is like our preferred taste in comedy, dark and bitter, with a dash of some fun filled, foam party conjuring foam on top. Gen X dads are the Macchiato generation, hyper focused, around the clock hustlers obsessed with American made success and teaching our kids more than Different Strokes did such as how a Macchiato is a circumcised Cappuccino, which makes you feel like a less empty, blowhard baby boomer inside.

Michael Kornbluth

Tofu The Terrible Slayer

Matilda, Singing Rose Kornbluth, was in no singing mood today. Every day, she’d wake up singing,” Good day sunshine” by the Beatles even if she got up at the crack of dawn again or decided to work in Norway away from her mom and dad throughout an entire darkened 5 month winter as a 9-year ski model for Northface, knowing in a post-corona universe, she was used to doing remote learning away from school anyway. But this drab Thanksgiving morning was different, because she had to act thankful for eating Tofurky Roast again, despite the spirit of Tofu The Terrible terrorizing her dreams since she described soy dogs in her school lunch cafeteria blog as “Rubber dog link nosh toys.”

But how could Matilda Singing Rose Kornbluth act grateful for eating a Tofurky Roast, since her 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Right, made it clear how the native American Indians weren’t responsible for teaching the Pilgrims how to turn soy milk into white blocks of semi-firm bricks of soy with higher levels of estrogen to feminize John Smith’s sturdy stock of sailors with. Also, Thanksgiving this year post-Corona wasn’t feeling particularly festive, knowing Matilda was suffering from PTSD from wearing all of those Corona masks to death. Matilda was now having nightmares of being terrorized by the masked man, Tofu The Terrible who ruined every favorite meal she’d dream of. For example, if Matilda had just won the Gold Medal in the Hardcore X Games for Equestrian Riders within the Under 10 Years age bracket, having to complete jumps through rings of fire with an occasional baby dragon on her tail. She’d normally celebrate with her best friend Shannon in her dream over their favorite treat Jellybeans for a sleepover party soon after. But now all that appeared in her dream were pasty, slimy soybeans in the place of jellybeans because Tofu The Terrible was punishing her for calling soy dogs on her cafeteria food blog, “Not good enough to pass for rubber dog toys.” And Matilda hated pet dogs because they ate dog food with minced horse meat inside. Matilda had always been a hardcore vegetarian loyalist, yet she greatly offended the spirt of Tofu The Terrible, a ferocious Chinese vegetarian warrior from the Ming Dynasty, who even got Genghis Khan into Mapo Tofu over Jasmine Rice, a fiery, dish loaded with super scary Sichuan spice. The smell from the grounded up Sichuan peppercorns would make most grown men cry, making their lips tremble in fear at the prospect of having to try one more bite, knowing Genghis Khan would be hoarding all the Sake rice wine for any temporary relief for themselves soon afterwards.

Matilda was convinced she’d never enjoy the food she loved in real life again such as her Dad’s fried Icelandic cod in a barbeque aioli without tasting anything but mushy, dog drool instead.  

Now, it was time for everyone at the table to give thanks for Thanksgiving, which Matilda had been dreading from the start, because she was consumed with nightmarish visions of Tofu The Terrible ruining all her favorite foods in her dreams and in real life, such as her Dad’s star side dish creation, caramelized cauliflower potato  gratin, combining cave aged Gruyere and Raclette cheese from the Swiss Alps, which  injected the dish with an extra scrumptious, creamy fresh finish.

Matilda’s Dad, a Stay At Home Comedian Author, Podcast Host and self-taught semi gourmand Chef could tell his daughter was dreading her turn to participate and says, “Matilda, you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Is Tofu The Terrible ruining the taste of your Jellybeans again?” Matilda perks up, shaken out of her petrified, frozen comatose and says, “How did you know about Tofu The Terrible Daddy?” Matilda’s dad says, “I helped you launch your own lunch cafeteria blog on WordPress remember? Your last piece Tofu Brownie Blues, was about how Tofu The Terrible threated to shred everyone’s masks at school, unless the Brownie Girls started selling his special batch of Tofu Brownies at the next school bookfair instead.” Matilda says, “Do we have to eat the Tofurky Roast this year?” Dad says, “No, try this veggie Barbeque Pita instead.” Matilda takes a reluctant bite but is moved by her Dad’s gesture of goodwill. She says, “Yummy daddy. Her Dad says, “I fried up cubes of semi-firm soy inside that bad boy. The sautéed onions and peppers keep the memories of mushy dog toy food at bay. Tofu The Terrible was dead in Matilda’s head and she started singing again while giving thanks and praises at Thanksgiving, singing, “Soy Dogs still suck, Tofu The Terrible to, but you’re no longer so bad, since my daddy came to my rescue.”

The End

Michal Kornbluth