The Barn

I love to cook.

It’s another way to feed my creative side. (pun fully intended)

I have made a point of sharing my passion for cooking with my children, Gina and Ian. We are all obsessed with the Food Channel, and go into a blue funk if we miss an episode of America’s Test Kitchen.

When I create an especially tasty dish, perfected every step, and have the timing down to a science, I usually name it.  Once again my creative writing seeps into my everyday life.

The one breakfast dish I love to make is called “The Bird’s Nest”. The procedure is a closely guarded secret that, even my kids don’t know, although they have seen me make it so often I am sure they have the steps down.

“The Bird’s Nest” contains shredded hash browns, ham, bacon, green onions (not scallions, I am not that pompous) and two poached eggs. When it is complete, it resembles a bird’s nest.

One morning, I had just finished creating “The Bird’s Nest” and was just about to dig in when my son said, “Is that the Bird’s Nest?”

“Yes it is.” I responded.

“Why do you call it The Bird’s Nest”?”, my 6 year old man cub asked.

“Isn’t it obvious” I replied. “The shredded hash browns look like twigs from a nest and the two eggs are from a bird.”

“What about the ham and bacon, and green onions?” he said. “You don’t find those in a bird’s nest.”

He had me there. I was stuck for an answer, so I resorted to my extensive parent’s manual and said, “It doesn’t matter, eat your oatmeal.” Damn I hate it when my 6 year old is right.

Then he had the stones to continue, “If it was me, I would call it The Barn. The hash browns look like hay, the bacon and ham are from a pig that lives around a barn, and the eggs are found in a barn.”

Wow, he really thought this out. Then, my old experienced brain showed itself.

“What about the green onions?” I had him…superior intellect and knowledge prevails!

“Oh”, he said. “That is the grass you find around the barn.”

We’re making breakfast tomorrow morning together. I am going to show my son exactly how to make, “The Barn”.

– DP

Hidden Treasure

November 30th, 1992 – (excerpt from my first journal entry)

“Today is Monday, the last day of November. It was an okay day, nothing too exciting. My Sunnyside Garden Center commercial goes to air today. Not as good at “Pointer-Settas”, but up to par.”

A few days ago, I found my old journal while rooting through my “tickle” trunk. It brought back a flood of memories, some good, others great. From it, I realized something…creative writing was not something that came easy for me. It was an unknown talent that revealed itself to me in my late 20’s, when I first started in radio as a creative writer. I always had creative energy. I just never harnessed it. I was the funny, class-clown-goof that never took things seriously and always wanted to make people laugh with my actions, never my writing. Radio forced it out of me. I say forced it because it was difficult for me to focus the multitude of creative ideas I had into 30 or 60 seconds. I remember my first Creative Director reading my radio scripts, stop watch in one hand, my soon-to-be award winning radio script in the other, fresh off my IBM electric typewriter. The IBM hummed, I vibrated, and my Creative Director started reading, out loud. (it sounded so much better in my head).  She finished reading and showed me the stopwatch…39 seconds.

Long script short…I became a much better writer, and still write to ensure what is inside my head makes it out. I learned something from finding my old journal…the greatness inside, doesn’t want to hide.

– DP