THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – the Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,075 other followers


  • "BRYCE's UNCOMMON SENSE SERIES"
    4 New Printed Books & eBooks from Tim on:
    Change/Technology, Management, Politics, and the American Scene
    Click HERE.

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    hit counter

     

  • Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

THE FAST-FOOD KIOSKS ARE COMING, THE FAST-FOOD KIOSKS ARE COMING!

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 29, 2017

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Get ready for major changes at the fast-food franchises.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Back in the 1960’s, teens gravitated to drive-in restaurants with “carhops,” who delivered food to your car, sometimes on roller-skates. This all changed with the burger chains, yet young people still showed up for shakes, burgers and fries. When I lived in Chicago, there was a local McDonalds where you went to hang-out and be seen with your friends. It was one of the original McDonalds, complete with the big golden arches out front and the “number served” sign updated regularly. More than anything, it was a social venue which propelled the restaurant.

Such fast-food franchises have changed over the years and I’m not sure young people look upon it as the Baby Boomers did. Whereas such restaurants back then required a crew of people to operate it effectively, it is finally giving way to a hi-tech approach.

Robotic-like kiosks have been in the experimental stage since about 2006, but with the recent push to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, the fast-food industry has accelerated its plans. Although many people embrace the idea of raising the minimum wage, industry executives realize there is limit to what the public will pay for service, hence the need to automate.

Today, virtually every major fast-food chain is either in the experimental stage or in the process of rolling out automation to speed up the processing of orders while minimizing the need for manual labor. This includes McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and many more. Even my beloved white Castle, home of the original “sliders,” is embarking on such automation.

McDonalds recently reported they have implemented automation in nearly 2,600 of their restaurants around the world with hundreds more planned for 2017 in urban areas such as San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, D.C. and Seattle. Approximately 500 have already been implemented in Florida, New York, and Southern California.

Wendy’s has announced they will place kiosks in about 1,000 locations by the end of the year at a cost of about $15,000 for three kiosks, according to the Columbus Dispatch. This is cheap when compared to McDonalds where a single kiosk is said to cost between $50K-$60K. Even at this rate, a franchise can realize their return on investment in as little as two years based on the labor savings.

In China, a KFC restaurant is experimenting with a kiosk featuring facial recognition to predict a customer’s order. The company plans to roll out this technology to 5,000 stores throughout China. If successful, look for it to migrate to America.

Fast-food automation comes primarily in three forms:

1. Self-ordering – using touch screens, the customer can quickly make their selections, and tailor the product to their tastes. After watching a demonstration of this, it appears to be user friendly, but I still believe you can place an order faster with a human-being.

2. Order by App – using smart phones, you can quickly find a local franchise, and place an order ready for pickup.

3. Mobile payments – again, using a smart phone, you can pay by credit or debit card. McDonald’s claims “you can pay with your card at the kiosk or use mobile pay options like Apple or Android Pay. We’re even testing Google Hands Free payment options in the San Francisco Bay area.” I suspect PayPal is another option. The companies will still accept cash, which requires a human to process and make change, but the lion’s share of business will inevitably be conducted by smart phone.

There are two benefits related to fast-food automation, a reduction in labor costs and stimulating sales, particularly by young customers imbued with such technology. Older people may shy away from it.

The point is, through their protests, the “Fight for $15” activists are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Even if they are successful, the pace of fast-food automation will accelerate, thereby reducing the number of employees. They may get their raise, but at a price of replacing workers with automation.

Like it or not, fast-food automation is here to stay and we will have to adapt to it. One thing is for sure, there won’t be any attractive “carhops.”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  FUN AND GAMES AT THE AIRPORT – “Please report any suspicious behavior.” Are you kidding me?

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING MILLENNIALS  – What we read in the news cannot all be true; can it?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Food, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY RESTAURANT

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is more important than you think.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have a friend who owns and operates a family style restaurant nearby. It has been around for at least thirty years, maybe longer. I’m sure you have one in your neighborhood as well. Sometimes they are called “diners” or “grilles.” My personal favorites are the prefabricated or silver streamliner diners I would frequent up north.

I’ve watched the clientele change in my friend’s restaurant over the years, but he still gets civic clubs, golfers, groups of neighbors, special interest groups, and of course families, where they enjoy camaraderie, a few laughs, talk a little business, or just to pass the time of day. It has become a cultural icon in the area, as most family restaurants do.

I do not believe my friend truly understands the significance his restaurant has on the community though. He sees it as nothing more than a place where people come to enjoy his food, particularly breakfast and lunch. However, it’s much more than this. People come in to discuss such things as local politics, developments in the area, such as the need for a new traffic light or sprucing up the downtown area, business interests, make travel plans, plan family events, or to simply relax from a difficult day. In this way, the family restaurants of today perform the same function as the old taverns of yesteryear, a place to sit and discuss current events or catch up on news. Because of this, it is an important social hub for the community. More business can be conducted in such a venue than can be accomplished over the phone.

Unfortunately, the family restaurant faces two threats to its existence: coffee shops, and fast food franchises. Coffee shops are rapidly becoming the de facto place to meet and talk business. Unlike the restaurant where you typically stay longer and enjoy a full meal, the coffee shop is for quick meetings. You spend less time at the shop, and for good reason, the company wants to flip the table in order to make more money. As such, they do not encourage long dissertations.

The fast food franchises have changed the way people think about meals, particularly breakfast and lunch. Instead of sitting down to a regular meal, people have been trained to consume their meal on the run. The cuisine includes such things as breakfast sandwiches, chicken fingers, burgers and fries. This explains why the menus in family style restaurants have been changing in recent years. Fading from view are such things as Swiss steak, beef tips on noodles, lamb shanks, goulash, meatloaf, even fried or baked chicken. If all you want is burgers, dogs and chicken fingers, what is the point of stopping at a family style restaurant?

Overseas, lunches are considered important. In Europe, for example, it is not uncommon to take a full hour for lunch, not just to enjoy a delicious meal, but to talk business. The same is true in Japan. The Japanese have a fast-paced lifestyle, but they understand the importance of a luncheon meeting, be it formal or informal.

Over the next ten to twenty years, we are going to see the family style restaurants in America slowly disappear. It is already starting to occur in my area. To compound problems, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified cooks who know what they are doing in the kitchen. So, one by one, we are watching such restaurants quietly close their doors.

What I fear, as such restaurants go, they will have an impact on our social mores. We already have problems communicating with one and other, but this is going to be compounded when there is no longer a suitable venue to meet and talk.

As I told my friend, do not underestimate the importance of the local family style restaurant. As they disappear, our socialization skills will greatly diminish, and our communities will not function as well.

Yes, such restaurants are very important as they serve food for thought, as well as meals.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT – Where you learn to sing “Kumbaya.”

LAST TIME:  MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP  – Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

HOW NOT TO COOK A THANKSGIVING DINNER

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 23, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– No, this is not about cooking recipes.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Let’s face it, cooking a Thanksgiving dinner can be quite an undertaking. Whether it is a major family function or a gathering of friends, a considerable amount of work is required. First, the house needs to be cleaned (particularly if you are having guests for dinner), not to mention the dishes, pots and pans, glassware and cutlery. Then there is the researching of pertinent recipes in order to establish a menu. This is followed by several trips to the market to shop for everything from appetizers to dessert and everything in-between. On Thanksgiving Day, the kitchen is put into high gear, the likes of which is unlike any other day of the year. There is, of course, never enough counter space or cooking utensils. When dinner time arrives, the meal has to be served at the table, a few thoughtful words are spoken as a prelude to the meal, and everybody “digs in.” Afterwards, the kitchen has to be cleaned, and everything needs to be washed. What little is left of the bird is cutup for later consumption or to be given to guests to enjoy later as a snack. Finally, the garbage has to be disposed of, which can be substantial. Other than this, cooking a Thanksgiving dinner is a piece of cake.

Actually, my family doesn’t mind doing all of this as everyone has learned to pitch-in and help out. If we manage our time properly, it turns into a pleasurable experience as opposed to an imposing task. However, I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm and, instead, many people loathe the thought of preparing such a meal. It’s not that they don’t know how to make the meal, they just don’t want to expend the energy, preferring to allow someone else to knock him/herself out. As much as they love the meal, they despise the hassle of putting it all together. So much so, they’ve worked out several schemes to avoid cooking, namely:

* Prepare a TV dinner – this requires perhaps the least amount of effort, and will only cost you a couple of bucks. It ultimately depends on whether you want to socialize with anyone this time of year. To recluses with a microwave, this is the preferred meal of choice.

* Go to a restaurant or hotel – there are some rather excellent meals available with all of the trimmings you can imagine, for a price. It will certainly cost more than a TV dinner and will require you to dress up a bit, but it may indeed be worth it, particularly since you will not be asked to clean up afterwards.

* Charitable groups may offer a free dinner, particularly churches, schools, soup kitchens, and groups like the Rotary, Lions, Elks, and Masons. The food may not be home cooking, but you are pretty much guaranteed a square meal (and you can’t beat the price; free). Sometimes, such groups may ask you to assist in the preparation of the meal or the cleanup, such as “busting suds”, dumping garbage or pushing a broom. It ultimately depends on your finances and if you are willing to lift a finger. If your objective is to do nothing, then you might want to ask what is required of you before you accept the meal; either that or sit close to the door so you can make a speedy exit.

* Mooch off a friend, neighbor, or family member – This is perhaps the most common tactic used by people who do not want to cook, by wrangling an invitation into a person’s home where you not only enjoy the meal but socialize and consume their libations. If you are not invited, you have to learn how to hint for one, e.g., “What time should I be there?” Very important though, your presence should not be viewed as a burden, which means you have to socialize and volunteer to help out, such as cleaning up. It is also good form to bring something with you, such as a bottle of wine, flowers, or perhaps a side dish (check with your host/hostess first). Whatever you do, master the art of thanking the host/hostess graciously. The point is, if you contribute nothing, it is highly unlikely you will be invited back.

* Hospitals – It is also possible to check yourself into the hospital for the day, at which time you’ll be treated to a comfortable bed and a full course of some rather bland food. It all depends if your insurance is paid up, otherwise it can be an expensive proposition.

These are just a few of the ways to avoid cooking during Thanksgiving. I’m sure there are many others, but these are the most common. As for me, I simply resign myself to the task and try to make the best of it. Heck, we even have fun.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT INSPIRES US? – The acts and words of others influence us greatly.

LAST TIME:  MICROSOFT DUSTS OFF SPEECH RECOGNITION  – Company introduces new voice technology.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

 

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

OUR CHANGING TASTES

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 23, 2016

BRYCE ON FOOD

– Explaining why family restaurants are in decline.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have a friend who owns a family style restaurant offering basic comfort food. It’s not cheap, nor is it expensive either; just a family-run restaurant offering some home cooking. I’m sure you know of such a restaurant in your neighborhood.

Periodically, I help my friend update his menu. In the course of doing this I’ve asked him why he no longer offers certain items on his menu; things like lamb shanks, beef stroganoff, beef tips on noodles, Chicken a la King, Salisbury Steak, stuffed peppers, Sausage and peppers, pot roast, casseroles and the like. These were items I remember well from my youth but are disappearing from menus across the country. The only rationale my friend could offer was that people’s tastes were changing, and such items were more identified with the older generation than the new. The younger people seem to relate more to burgers, chicken tenders and pizza; items normally associated with fast food franchises as opposed to anything else. Consequently, the idea of a home cooked meal is becoming more of a nebulous concept to them.

Bread is another commodity changing as well. Instead of white, rye, and whole wheat, people now want shibata, muffala, and panini. I remember a time when sourdough was considered the epitome of exotic bread, now it is generally regarded as nothing special. The new breads are nice, but somehow the idea of a PB&J on panini doesn’t sound right.

Our cuts of beef and chicken haven’t really changed, but fish has. At one time, your only choices were cod, haddock, swordfish, flounder, and maybe some tuna (in a can). Now we ask for tilapia, grouper, mahi-mahi, ahi tuna, and orange roughy. As an aside, years ago grouper was considered a “garbage fish” fisherman routinely discarded, but somehow we developed a taste for it.

Soft drinks have also changed as well. Whereas we used to live on colas, lemon/lime drinks, root beer, ginger ale, ice tea, fruit juices, and Kool-Aid, now we have power/sports drinks in a variety of colors and tastes to hydrate us, and others loaded with caffeine and sugar to shock our system. Orange juice was orange juice. Period. Now we have varieties with pulp, without pulp, with added vitamins, lower acid, and of course the blends with other fruit juices. Ice tea is no different; now we have a wide variety of flavors to suit different tastes. Coffee has also changed, instead of a basic black cup of coffee in the morning, we now add all kinds of ingredients to make it look like a hot fudge sundae or some other dessert.

Speaking of desserts, cakes and pies are still around, but are a little harder to find. Then of course there are items like tapioca pudding, rice pudding, and other flavored puddings, most of which the kids turn their noses up when they are served. Ice cream is still a favorite, but we’ve come a long way since basic vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The competition in the ice cream world is fierce and consequently many new varieties have been introduced with strange names (and higher prices). I have to admit though, I am a sucker for Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip or their Pumpkin Pie which comes out around October.

For breakfast there was oatmeal, Farina, Maypo, Cream of Weat, Malt-O-Meal, Pancakes, Waffles, and, of course, bacon and eggs. These have all been replaced by such things as Pop Tarts, Granola Bars, breakfast drinks, and other instant snacks. Heck, basic cereals are even struggling as people are rushing out the door in the morning.

I’m not suggesting our tastes are any better or worse today than yesteryear; I’m just noting the change. However, I wonder how much of this push to multiple varieties and instant meals is a result of our changing tastes as opposed to creating a higher profit margin for the vendors; I suspect the latter. More than anything, I believe our tastes change because of vendor competition and the need to make a buck. No matter how you slice it though, there is nothing better than “mom’s home cooking.” The only problem though is that a lot of people today think baking and cooking are two towns in China.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE POLITICAL FINANCIERS – Who really funds our electoral process? No, really?

LAST TIME:  THE GOP CULTURAL REVOLUTION  – Understanding Republican Deserters.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHY WE EAT

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 4, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Please, do not tell us it’s “good for you.”

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

When they have commercials on television for food, you often hear about its nutritional value. In a way, it is like when you were a youngster and your mother admonished you to eat your lima beans because it was “good for you.” I realize our taste buds change over the years, but I never acquired a hankering for lima beans, even to this day.

To my way of thinking, this “good for you” argument is nothing but a clever subterfuge to get you to eat some rather nasty tasting food. In all likelihood, it was invented by unscrupulous farmers, advertisers, nutritionists, and mothers to induce us to eat through this form of brainwashing. It’s a dirty trick and they should just stop it. I would much rather eat something based on its appearance, smell and taste.

Let me illustrate, over the years I have consumed thousands of gallons of citrus drinks, be it juice, the fruit itself, or in some other form, such as a soda. Since I was a kid, I was told it was loaded with Vitamin C, which is good for our immune system and fighting a cold. In the many years I have ingested Vitamin C I have never had a problem contracting the common cold. The point is, if I didn’t enjoy the taste of such products, I certainly wouldn’t be drinking it just to prevent colds. It’s an old wives’ tale.

Then we have spinach which, among other things, is said to contain enough iron to make you as strong as Popeye. Sorry, I have seen nothing to this effect. Liver is also supposed to have a lot of iron, but I cannot bring myself to eat it simply due to the horrid smell, which they try to mask using onions and bacon. This does nothing more than ruin some perfectly good bacon.

Then you hear mothers pushing a variety of products containing “antioxidants,” which is a fancy name designed to frighten children. There are also vegetables like broccoli and kale which are sources of Vitamin A, C, calcium and manganese, etc. Try selling that to an eight year old.

As to lima beans, they are supposed to be a fat-free source of protein. What they don’t tell you is, many beans, including lima, are toxic if they are not boiled for 10-15 minutes. If prepared improperly beans can easily result in food poisoning. It’s like the pharmaceutical warnings you hear on television, “May cause nausea, vomiting, strokes, or death;” otherwise it’s great for you. So, as a kid, you’ve got to wonder if your mother was really trying to feed you something nutritious or if she had ulterior motives.

They should forget the nutritional sales job and simply concentrate on preparing something delicious and smells heavenly. Look, if we like it, we will eat it. Why not just give us the nutritional mumbo jumbo in pill form and let us enjoy our meal.

It’s all about filling the hole, nothing more, nothing less. Somehow I feel duped after all these years.

And when you still do not want to touch your meal, mothers try to lay the guilt-trip on you of, “Do you realize there are thousands of children dying from hunger in Africa.” They are not amused when you answer, “Well then, why don’t we send them my plate?”

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  TECHNOLOGY PENETRATION – Noting a shift in the devices we use.

LAST TIME:  AT HOME WITH THE MILLENNIALS  – Why are so many staying home?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

CHILI RECIPES – IT’S PERSONAL

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 15, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Safely guarded family treasurers.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Chili cookoff at a nearby town. For the uninformed, a “cookoff” is a cooking competition that concentrates on a particular dish, in this case, chili or “chili con carne” to be more precise, a spicy meat stew which is particularly popular in the South. There were a few dozen vendors in attendance and I took my time to sample all of them. I’ve tasted a lot of different interpretations of chili over the years, e.g., shredded beef versus ground beef, various types of chili peppers, textures, not to mention how served, such as on a bed of rice, on spaghetti, with corn bread, etc. Because of these many variations, I like to believe I have a pretty open mind when it comes to chili.

The competitors in the chili cookoff came from different backgrounds; everything from restaurants to mom and pop operations, to individuals who relished participating in such events. Usually when you go to a cookoff like this, you are likely to run across some commonality between entries. Interestingly, I didn’t find anything remotely similar between the various competitors. Although I thought when it came to chili I had seen everything, I of course didn’t as everyone seemed to have their own unique interpretation. Most had little or no spice whatsoever in it, which baffled me. Some were runny or soupy and others had more kidney beans than meat. I even found one with shrimp that could have easily passed for gumbo as opposed to chili (I think the guy was lost). There was also a vegetarian chili which I personally consider blasphemous. Regardless, each and every competitor was genuinely proud of their entry and boasted it was the best in the competition. Frankly, most of the entries could have been better used as fishing chum in the Gulf. I may not be a chili connoisseur, but this was bad and I think it would have offended everyone in the great state of Texas where chili is the official dish.

Regardless of the outcome, I discovered chili is a very personal dish and there are probably no two people who prepare it exactly the same. Even if people use prepackaged ingredients, I have found they like to add their own unique nuance to the recipe. When you ask someone to describe their version you usually get a contrived answer like, “It’s Spanish style,” or Cuban, Greek, Filipino or Ethiopian (huh?), not to mention Cincinnati-style with its “5 ways” of combining ingredients.

I have also found chili recipes are usually jealously guarded family secrets (sometimes even between family members). As to the cookoff competitors I experienced, I don’t think they have to worry about the misappropriation of any trade secret. They could paste their recipes on every telephone poll from Tampa to Fairbanks and I think it is safe to say their secrets will remain proprietary.

I guess I don’t see chili as a complicated dish. There is meat and there are spices. To me, it’s the spices that distinguishes the dish. When you are in the southwest, it’s usually a matter of red chilies versus green chilies, both have different tastes and degrees of heat. We could easily stop there but inevitably we do not as evidenced by the many different interpretations I experienced at the cookoff. But shrimp chili? Vegetarian chili? Turkey chili? Ethiopian chili? No, no, no, and Hell no. Just give me the beef and an interesting spice, two things I didn’t find at this year’s “chili cookoff.”

Originally published: November 29, 2010

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  A COMMUNICATIONS CURRICULUM – What should High School students know about this important subject.

LAST TIME:  LEARNING A LOT FROM VOTER REGISTRATION  – Just sit and listen to the people; you will get an earful.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

STUFFING

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 25, 2015

BRYCE ON THANKSGIVING DINNER

– a unique family tradition.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because it has less to do with the marketing madness of Christmas, and more to do with family. Turkey Day has always been a big event in our household. We would get the kids up early to watch the parade on television, prepare the meal, feast, then close our eyes while watching football. In the last few years, we’ve started to invite friends over to the house at noon, which we call “halftime” before the big meals start, at which time we serve up Bloody Marys and cook up deep-fried turkeys for anyone interested (a southern specialty).

As a kid, I loved the white meat of the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and turned my nose up at just about everything else, such as cranberries, string-bean casseroles, pearl onions, beets, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, even stuffing. Now, of course, I’m a sucker for these delicacies, but to me, I’ve found the real trademark of the Thanksgiving dinner is not the bird but the stuffing instead, something that is unique to each family. In fact, unless it comes from a box, I believe no two families fix stuffing exactly the same, there is always some nuance that differentiates it from family to family.

Some people prefer a corn bread type of stuffing, others like stale day-old white bread or sourdough, some like to add oysters or perhaps sausage, ground beef, even venison. There is also wild rice, apples, raisins, cranberries, etc. I understand there is also an excellent recipe involving White Castle hamburgers I would like to try some day. The list is practically endless and is only limited by your imagination.

Despite the many combinations available to us, when it comes to stuffing, we suddenly become pretty picky about what we eat and loyal to the peculiarities of family recipes. Even the slightest suggestion of changing the stuffing recipe is strongly rebuffed by family members. You would think you were preaching heresy. If you really want to try a different stuffing, you have to either go over to a friend’s house, or cook a turkey some other time and away from prying eyes. The only other food item I can think of that commands such loyalty and devotion is the family’s Chili recipe, but that will be the subject of another article.

Yes, we should be giving thanks during Thanksgiving. Thanks for having the family and friends together, and for a bounty of food to share and enjoy. Thanksgiving is definitely a personal thing which is why it is endearing to me.

But I still hate those damn cranberries.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Originally published: November 25, 2009

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PASSING THE BUCK – Don’t make your problems mine.

LAST TIME:  TRUSTING OUR BANKING SYSTEMS  – Do we really trust the banks to manage our money?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHO’S ON BEEF?

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 27, 2015

BRYCE ON FOOD

– Let’s see, we have hot dogs on first, burgers on second, chili at short, and I don’t give a damn on third.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently took aim at our consumption of meat, claiming it was a carcinogen, much like tobacco. They specifically included processed meats, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and just about anything prepared at a butcher shop. They also took aim at red beef, bacon, and cheese. No doubt, vegans from around the world ran a celebratory lap after learning of this. I’m sorry, but I’m not quite ready for tofu burgers or chili made from bean sprouts. Nope, not going to happen.

The report implies the consumption of such meat products should be regulated like tobacco, and likely taxed as such. Sorry, but I do not want the government any more involved with my food than they already are. I also foresee a class action lawsuit in the not too distant future against supermarkets and butcher shops, much like the ones against the tobacco companies. I can see the attorneys drooling already. If such a lawsuit is won, this will be the end of meat consumption as we know it, and hello to “Soylent Green.”

As for me, I’ll continue to “mainline” on beef. Sorry, I’m hooked. I love my char grilled hot dogs (particularly from Buffalo), my Cincinnati-style Chili, Beef on Weck (another delicacy from Buffalo), hot Italian sausages, pork ribs, tacos and burritos, meatloaf, burgers (e.g., White Castles), and, of course, steaks, chops and bacon. I also love fowl and seafood, but save the beef for me.

Frankly, I believe this to be nothing more than another liberal conspiracy to change our habits and make us feel guilty about ourselves, much like climate control. To paraphrase Charlton Heston though, they will have to take my hot dog “from my cold, dead hands.” These “do-gooders” are going to be the death of us all, not the meat. Why can’t they just leave us alone? Maybe its finally time to divide the country and let the liberals live in one section of the country and the sane people in the rest. Maybe its time to let the the Godless ones of California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington, Chicago and New York City secede and leave the rest of us alone.

Either that or I guess this means we will all have to give it up; reading the news that is.

As to the WHO, thank you for your research. You have advised us accordingly. Now, like tobacco, we will take due notice and govern ourselves accordingly. Now go away.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MORALE IN THE MILITARY – Lowest since the Carter Administration.

LAST TIME:  HOW THE PRESS CONTROLS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS  – “The judge, jury and executioner of American politics.”

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

CHINESE FOOD SAMPLER

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 11, 2015

BRYCE ON FOOD & LIFE

– Chinese food says a lot about the local area.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have enjoyed Chinese food since my youth. As I grew older I gravitated to Szechuan style cooking which is spicy hot. When I travel though, I like to frequent Chinese restaurants as they are located just about everywhere on the planet and, as such, I look upon them as a litmus test of the community I am visiting.

Although there are plenty of Chinese restaurants spread across the United States, perhaps the best are in New York and California. The food in New York City’s Chinatown and Greenwich Village is simply fabulous. In California, San Francisco’s Chinatown is excellent, as are the Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles, but I have a special place in my heart for the food in San Diego where I learned about hot Chinese oils.

Australia has some excellent Chinese restaurants, particularly around Sydney. Anytime you mix the large Australian prawns with Chinese cooking, you simply cannot miss. Interestingly, down under they do not use “doggy bags,” but rather “pussy boxes.” I am not sure why.

Brazil has some excellent restaurants for beef, seafood, and pasta, but when it comes to Chinese cooking, forget it. I couldn’t find anything palatable.

I have never had a bad Chinese meal in Canada, and I have visited quite a bit of the country. However, I have a particular fondness for the food in Toronto’s Chinatown. The variety is incredible, everything is fresh, and the cooking is excellent. I always make it a point to visit there when I am in the area.

In Japan, Chinese food is considered a delicacy much like how Americans look upon French cooking. As such, you cannot go wrong with Chinese food in Japan. It’s simply spectacular.

I have been to Hong Kong three times, and while there I hoped to experience some excellent Chinese cuisine. Unfortunately, I did not. I had some great English food there, such as a roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, but the Chinese food itself was tasteless. I was very disappointed.

The Chinese food in Norway was some of the worst I ever had. Who ever heard of Sweet and Sour Reindeer?

Saudi Arabia was just as bad with their Moo Goo Gai Lamb. Lebanese food is the delicacy over there and I highly recommend it over the Chinese fare, as well as the Japanese.

I didn’t get a chance to try Chinese food in South Korea as they have their own form of Asian cooking which is excellent. They make heavy use of garlic and curry in their dishes, which is fine with me, but unfortunately it seeps out of your pores later on, which is not exactly the sweetest of smells.

In Spain I tried Chinese food but once, and it was good from what I remember, but everything they cook in Spain is wonderful, particularly in San Sebastian where the great Spanish chefs come from.

I judged the Chinese food in London, England to be rather ho-hum. I found some excellent Indonesian food in Soho, but I struck out when it came to finding good Chinese food. As an aside, I had trouble finding a decent salad and breakfast there as well; I guess the British love their grease. If you really want to understand the culinary culture of the UK, visit a pub, not a Chinese restaurant.

Chinese food is normally tailored to local tastes. What we experience here in America is hardly what you will find in mainland China. In fact, to the average American, you would probably find authentic Chinese cooking not very appetizing at all. So, when you taste Chinese food in other lands, you are getting a sense of the locale you are visiting. For example, they may like their food sweet, hot, or just plain bland.

I have had a lot of fun taste testing Chinese food over the years. My biggest surprise though was Hong Kong where I couldn’t find any Chinese food of merit. Then again, I cannot find it here in my home town of Palm Harbor either.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  OUR FASCINATION WITH TRAINS – How we perceive our trains is how we perceive America.

LAST TIME:  CIGARS 101 – IT’S PERSONAL  – Sorry, but there is nothing like a good cigar.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

DOES AMERICA KNOW HOW TO COOK?

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 19, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Believe me, we’re not alone in not knowing.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have heard a lot of women make the observation the art of baking is dying, that most young people no longer know how to make a loaf of bread, cookies, cakes or pies. There is nothing from “scratch” anymore. I also suspect roasting a chicken or turkey is on the decline. Frankly, I cannot think of anything simpler, but it has become commonplace to purchase roast turkey dinners from grocery stores like Publix and Kroger, as opposed to cooking it yourself. Traditional comfort foods are also disappearing, such as salisbury steak, beef tips and noodles, pork tenderloin, pot roast, chipped beef on toast (SOAS), flank steak, turkey tetrazini, pot pies, or chicken a la king. Soups, stews and chile are also disappearing in favor of canned substitutes. Likewise, fruits and vegetables are seldom cooked fresh, such as brussel sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, snowpeas, etc. As for me, I love stir fried vegetables, particularly in the summer time. Alas, not many people make it anymore, regardless how quickly it can be prepared.

Older people are inclined to cook, but not young people. America is evidently not alone in this regards as I am hearing similar stories from Japan and the Philippines, and I suspect elsewhere around the globe.

There are several reasons for this, the most obvious of which is time limitations. After you have worked all day, you hardly feel up to cooking at night. Even if they have the time to cook, they are unlikely to do so claiming their mothers never taught them. Because parents didn’t assign chores to their offspring in the kitchen, they didn’t pass along the knowledge and traditions of cooking. To my way of thinking though, here is another example of how technology is influencing our behavior. Since most foods are now available in pre-prepared form, or they can be purchased “ready to go” at a fast-food restaurant, they have grown dependent on such things as microwaves, cooking pouches, frozen food, and white bags. The idea of a “home cooked” meal is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and with it goes basic nutrition.

This explains why “family style” restaurants and diners are slowly disappearing. Because our youth have grown up learning to eat on the run, they are more inclined to gravitate to Pop Tarts, hamburgers, french fries, and chicken tenders. The idea of sitting down to a complete meal is simply a foreign concept to them, hence such restaurants are closing their doors one-by-one.

So, is cooking doomed to extinction? Hopefully not. I would argue young people would love to cook, if someone took the time to teach them. The problem is, nobody is doing so. They do not need anything extravagant, just the basic mechanics. I have a friend who owns a family-style restaurant and I am encouraging him to put on some classes at night for young people. Such courses should include such things as how to layout a kitchen, what are all of the basic tools to use, along with how to clean and maintain them. It should also discuss how to shop, and discern what is good and bad (spoiled), how to cut and chop, and some basic meals to live on. The idea would be to encourage them to learn the joys of cooking. As simple as this sounds, it would be a Godsend to young people embarking into the work force. As I tell my friend, it would also be a good way to encourage patronage at the restaurants.

The reason why family style restaurants are declining is not because our tastes are changing, but because of our growing reliance on technology. If we become too addicted to technology, can “Soylent Green” be far away? As for me, I am certainly not an expert in the kitchen but I have always been willing to learn. For me, the biggest challenge was to prepare a full turkey dinner. True, it was a lot of work, but I discovered it was also a lot of fun.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE “RIGHT” AND “WRONG” OF DESIGN – Why we need methodologies to support our work effort.

LAST TIME:  WHEN ARE WE “ON OUR OWN”?  – I thought the magic number was 18?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: