Sunday, May 26, 2013


If you're anywhere near the same place I am these dark, damp, dreary days, a nice culinary pick-me-up is just what can turn the tide away from the mudflats of despair, the shoals of aimlessness and the craggy rocks of self inflicted bodily harm.

The following just might save your life. First go find three other people and follow these directions. This can work for just one, or two, of course.

Go get four 6 oz salmon filets or a sections - it isn' critical. Sprinkle a little salt on the fish.

Then put these things in a small bowl and mix well. If you have large pieces of fish then increase the amounts a little. After you do this a few times you may want to add a little more of this or a little less of that. It's just a guide.

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Heat a non-stick pan to medium and wipe the bottom with an olive oil soaked napkin, or spray with some good non-stick spray, just to be sure. We are not frying this fish.

Rub the fish with the dry spice mix to coat it well.

Cook about 7 minutes on a side and about half way through the second side cooking time, drizzle some maple syrup on the fish. Some of it will run off and sizzle in the pan. That's not a problem.

Maybe some peas or carrots on the side along with a fresh spinach salad. It's up to you. You want French Fries, go on ahead. It's your happiness we are working for here.

Most any nice chilled dry white wine will do and soon after your first taste of salmon treated this way, you'll begin to think you are truly important and that the sun will actually shine again in your lifetime.

Enjoy! Jerry Henderson

Monday, May 20, 2013

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Friday, May 10, 2013


There really is nothing that compares to a nice quiet evening spent in a nice quiet restaurant with someone you care for, and enjoying a good meal and conversation.

If you find such a "quiet" place, please call me.

I love to have a dinner out now and then. I also love breakfasts at a few favorite places. But I am a special case. I know, I know, you have thought that for years. You are probably right, but I am talking about another thing altogether. Without hearing aids, I do not hear much at all. Let me be clear - I don't hear anything at all. Even with them, I am hearing only part of the audible spectrum and have great problems in noisy environments, which describes most restaurants.

Don't get me wrong. I am quite thankful for the instruments. Without them, I would be entirely left out of normal social activity. As it is, I don't get half of what's being said, even in a quiet group. Add the usual cacophony of restaurant ambient noise and I can't sift through it enough to hear my dining partner well enough to have an intelligent conversation.

Many people who have more or less normal hearing say they have similar issues in similar situations. Why, then, is this a persistent problem? Forgive me if I venture an opinion. It's either callus disregard for the customer experience or plain ignorance.

For instance: if there were some noise dampening treatments on the floors, walls and ceilings, the noise would be reduced to a tolerable level in most situations. One of my favorite places, Stones, over in North Yarmouth is the "liveliest" room on the planet. You drop your "ticket" on the floor and it sounds like an anvil falling through the roof. The Freeport Cafe is another example. I love that place but when it is full it is nearly impossible to place your order without shouting. Tin ceilings, hard floors and nothing at all in place to dampen sound.

There are places that when you go there you expect to be assaulted by deafening noise. Irish bars, sports bars, juke joints and Texas beer parlors. Places for adolescents to behave like adolescents. Ye, Ha!

I walked into a place in Camden some years ago and there was immediately a wave of quietness that washed over me as I walked into the room. I think the place was called Swan's Way. I had to wonder if Marcel Proust would have been comfortable there. There was a Willy Nelson CD playing softly and it was deliciously quiet. The tone was set by the decor and music. I feel certain that if four hockey pucks came in and began shouting and slamming fists down on the table someone would have suggested they find another place to have dinner.

Obviously this is my problem. But quite often other people with normal hearing say similar things about their experiences in restaurants and other places. There seems to be a premium on noise. The more noise the more lively things are. It's normal. I can't argue with that. But is it better? I think not.

If things keep on the way they are going and I live long enough, it won't make any difference, as far as I am concerned.  I won't be able to hear a damned thing. Hearing loss is a progressive condition.  Total silence.  There has to be an up-side to that.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Well, I'll be damned.  I can't believe it's really you.  I never thought I'd ever hear your voice again.  Where are you calling from?
LL Bean?  My god you are practically in my driveway.  I hope you are coming by here.  Surely you must.
Well, I could at least feed you and it would be great to put you up for the night.  I have fresh booze too!  Heh. Heh.
What?  Doctor took you off of the booze?  Change doctors. . . . . 
Oh, I see. . . . I see.  Well, that is too bad.  I was joking of course. You need to take care of that.
So it's just you and Darlene? That's nice. Nice little romantic getaway?
Okay, just a getaway then.  Heh Heh. 
I am curious, after what – 60 years, how did you find me? - - - Bill?  You in touch with Billy are you? Well, yes he comes up at least once a season and we have a good time with each other.
I stopped trying to find old boyhood chums a long time ago. I found it depressing.  Kind of like graveyard browsing.  But that could just be my own problem.  I drug up and left town and never returned.  It didn't occur to me at the time that I was leaving my entire childhood behind, but I suppose that's what we all do at some level. I did it big time.  2000 miles and 60 years makes intimacy just a tad difficult.  So many have passed on, you know.
Yeah. You got it.  No, I am not in touch with too many of the old gang.  Billy, of course.
Louise? Yes. She married a cousin of mine you know and we have managed to be in touch for the past 20 or so years. 
I do email another cousin now and then. I don't even know where any of the others are these days. You move on, you know. I find it best not to hang around too much or too long in the past.
So, where'd you say you are headed? Canada?  Love it up there. Well, I do wish you had the time to come by.  It would be good to see whose the fattest.
Ha!  So you think you're the champ in that category?  Let me tell you, at our age we are just plain lucky no matter what body type we sport around.
Yeah, ain't it the truth?
So you're getting on the road now, huh?
Yes, my father used to say that.  Got to make that good time when going somewhere. How far do you think you'll get today? 
All the way to Moncton? That's a good days work. And you were outside of Boston last night? 
Oh, I see. So you flew to Logan and rented a car. That's the way to go.
No, I never get down south anymore since all the old folks died.  Listen to me. Whose calling who old?
Well, yes.  I can imagine driving down.  We've talked about that.  Road trip, you know.  I'd rather like that.
Listen, I am so glad you called.   I still think you need to come by here.  

I understand, believe me, I do.

You drive carefully now, and have a good time.
And stay in touch too, you hear?
You too. . .
Bye now.