Featured Miscellaneous Musings tl;dr

And just where in the heck have you been?


Hello friends!

Things have changed a lot in the Jason’s Cooking kitchen and I’ve been absent for a while. I’m sorry that I was away for so long without calling or writing but life got the better of me and I had to take a bit of a break from the site. The good news is that I’m back and ready to start cooking again!

While I put together the new editorial calendar, I wanted to let you know what’s been going on for the past couple of months:

1. Michael and I got legally married!
2. I was laid off from CNN.
3. I got a new job that I’m really enjoying.
4. I became obsessed with Disney Infinity.
5. Michael, our friend Will, and I started an awesome new Walt Disney World Podcast called The Florida Project.

I’ll write some posts about all of that stuff later but for now, rest easy knowing that the family and freezer friendly recipes that you love are coming back.

Thanks for all of the encouraging emails and comments!


Featured tl;dr

A New Car!

anewcarUnfortunately the Disney Magic had to come to an end and, six days after my wreck, the insurance company finally decided to send someone out to look at my car.  Once they actually started doing something, the claim was pretty much settled in 4 hours.  Unfortunately the Element was totaled so I went to the body shop to say my goodbyes, get my light saber (it’s been in every car that I’ve owned since I was 16), and pull the radio out of the dash.

I had been half-heartedly looking at a new Civic or Fit, but my heart was in the Element so I searched for literally hundreds of miles and found a 2011 Element at Honda Morristown just outside of Knoxville, TN.  Actually I found one in Orlando with 18,000 miles for 18,000 dollars that I was going to enlist my father-in-law to do the heavy lifting on until I read the Carfax on it.  If it seems too good to be true…

hondamorristownMy plan was to buy the Element from TN over the phone, have a car shipper pick it up and deliver it, and hope that everything checked out with the car once I got it home.  I contacted the internet sales guy, Jimmy Clark, and he was super helpful and friendly and we made the deal extremely quickly.  I’ve bought a few cars in my lifetime and have never felt like I’ve been treated as fairly and honestly as with the folks at Honda Morristown.

I was going to get a shipper to deliver the car to me (what with the 225 mile distance between The Creek and Morristown), which I was nervous about because the car shipping industry seems a bit skeezy.  Long story short, there were a couple hiccups with the paperwork and Jimmy called me to apologize and to tell me that, because of the hiccups, he would personally deliver the car to me free of charge – 225 miles away.  I was absolutely floored.  I called off the shipper* that I contacted, who hung up on me – twice, and got the car a couple of days later.

For those of you who think customer service is dead, give Jimmy a call.  I’m a Honda guy and I intend for all my future cars to be Hondas.  Honda Morristown is 4 hours away, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing business with them again.

And that, my friends, is the Saga of the Element.

*The “shippers” that give you quotes (and you’ll get a lot of them if you put your info into an online form) are actually brokers who post your information and what they are willing to pay on a bulletin board system.

People with trucks then go on that bulletin board and pick and choose which jobs they want to do.  That means that if the person who gives you a quote doesn’t pick the correct price out of the hat, your job could be sitting on the boards for a long time.  There are no guaranteed pick up or delivery dates.

Featured tl;dr

We’re Going to Disney World!


After a week of layoffs at my company and my insurance company not even bothering to look at my wrecked car for 4 days (I was told 2 business days max), Michael and I said “eff it” and went to Disney World.  It was either that, or me sitting at home worried about my car, my company, and whatever other nonsense came my way.

panWe found a great hotel, Hilton Bonnet Creek, that was pretty much on Disney property, booked a room and left after work on Friday.  We checked in to the hotel at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday (something I haven’t done in years), and were at the Magic Kingdom by 10:00 a.m.  God bless Walt Disney World, a (relatively) short drive, and annual passes!

meetupI didn’t realize it when we decided to go, but some of our best friends were also at Disney World that weekend so we were able to meet up with them in the afternoon (they’re on Myer’s time so they got a late start).  Combine the McB’s (Michael and Me) zest for Disney, with the Myer’s new son, child swap, Fastpass+, and Ohana, and we did everything we wanted to do that day.  In fact, it was the perfect Disney Day – despite the fact that I had to go to the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.

On Sunday, we went to EPCOT Food and Wine Festival (after Spaceship Earth, the Seed Ride, and Test Track of course) and had a delightful day.  I took a couple of pictures of F&W but I think we’re going to do a whole thing next year for the blog.  If you haven’t been, you should go.

escargotAvoid weekends and you’ll be just fine.  Try the bacon wrapped scallops, the pork sliders (Hawaii), the escargot (France), the potato and leek waffles, and the School Bread (Norway) and you won’t be disappointed.  I’m really excited about doing it for reals next year so there will be much more to report.

Disney's OVER.  Harumph
Disney’s OVER. Harumph

We finished at the World Showcase at about 1:30 and said, “eff it.  Let’s go home.”  It was a perfect end to a crappy week.

Featured tl;dr

The End of the Element

2014-10-07 07.11.22

Hello friends!  It’s been a while since we’ve posted tasty treats and the picture above is one of the reasons why.  October has been a rather stressful month so far and unfortunately the site has been a bit stagnant.  I don’t normally do non-food posts but I thought I’d let you know what’s been going on in the Creek for the last couple of weeks.

Two Tuesdays ago, I was in a pretty bad wreck on 75/85 during rush hour.  I couldn’t sleep so I got up and headed to work early (first mistake).  Just before I got off of the interstate, I saw a tractor-trailer hit a car.  The car went from the far left lane to the far right lane and a hubcap came straight towards me.

Knowing there was nothing I could do to avoid the hubcap, I braced and was going to do everything I could to run over it and stay in my lane.  At the same time, the guy in the lane next to me swerved to avoid t-boning (and probably seriously injuring) the lady in the first car, hitting me and knocking me from the far right lane to the wall on the far left lane (luckily I didn’t hit the wall).  The side air bag deployed and somehow there were no further collisions.

7585For those of you who aren’t familiar with Atlanta, 75/85 is called the connector and it’s where 2 major interstates come together for 16 lanes of traffic fun.  275,000 cars pass through this area each day.  Chuck from Stuff You Should Know describes Atlanta traffic as, “everyone drive as fast as you possibly can until someone wrecks” so it is absolutely amazing that no one was seriously injured.  I do apologize to anyone who was late to work on Tuesday October 7th.

I land on the left side of the road and get out of my car because I don’t know if it’s going to explode (it wasn’t going to) and call Michael to calm me down.  While I’m on the phone with him, I realize that the sun hasn’t come up and I’m alone on the side of the road wearing black so I go back to my car to call the police.

Within minutes, a HERO unit comes up to stop traffic to move me to the right side of the road and 911 calls to check on me a couple of times.  The police arrive super quickly and call tow trucks.  Statements are taken and, because neither of us hit the car that the tractor-trailer hit, the cop had to handle it as 2 separate wrecks.  Unfortunately that meant that the guy that hit me was at fault in our wreck.  Good on him that he hit me or that lady would have been in really bad shape.  He didn’t get a citation and the cop said he probably would have done the same thing.

I got a lift from the tow truck driver who was very helpful in telling me what to do next.  Having never been in a wreck, I had no idea what to do.  I called the insurance company and filed a claim on the way to Bavarian Collision on Howell Mill in Atlanta.  After I got off of the phone, I noticed that the driver had a tablet mount and a phone mount on his windshield.  The tablet screen was turned off but the phone screen was playing a sports game.  The tow truck driver that took me and my possibly totaled Element from the scene of my traumatic wreck was watching TV while driving…

We arrived at Bavarian Collision and I was standing outside on the phone.  Jabari, one of the owners, saw me, shook his head because I was standing outside, brought me inside and offered me a place to sit, a private room, a cup of coffee and anything else that I could have wanted.  To say that he treated me like family would be an understatement.  He seemed genuinely concerned for my well-being and talked me through what was happening and what happens next.  I wanted the Element fixed because I loved it and Honda doesn’t make them anymore, but after meeting Jabari, I also wanted it fixed so that he could do the work and get paid.  If you’re in need of body work in Atlanta, call Bavarian Collision and they’ll take care of you.

1,000 phone calls later, I was standing in the lobby of the body shop exhausted and bewildered and not knowing what to do next.  Mike, the other owner of Bavarian Collision, asked me if they could give me a ride to [The Name of The Place I Work].  I was confused as to how they knew that I worked for [The Name of The Place I Work] and then noticed that I put my badge on when getting the important things out of my car.  Going to a familiar place with people I know was the best idea that I had ever heard at the time so I said, “that would be great” and off we went.  Again – amazing.  Mike dropped me off and I called Michael to come get me and finally I was on my way home.

There’s a lot of terrible news in the world and terrible people doing terrible things to one another.  It’s easy to lose faith in mankind, but in times like these, you’re reminded that most people are genuinely good people and care about one another.

Tomorrow: Eff it.  We’re going to Disney World!