A Cincinnati Celebration

It's been 10 days back in South West Ohio and I've just been cookin. There's no rest for the mercenary chefs. In 6 days I fly to Panama :) Til then, it's time to give some thanks. I've been cooking for family and friends. Cook, eat, run, sleep. I'm happy to be out of South Pole, but I also miss the polar winter night skies. I haven't talked to anyone I wintered with yet I do think about them and tell many stories. I probably talk about the South Pole at least 2 hours each day. Folks here say I'm living the dream and you know what... I am living my dream. FRESHIES!!!

I visited my Nannies and cooked up a maple glazed roasted duck, country fried red potatoes and onions, prosciutto wrapped seared asparagus spears ontop carmelized apple and she cooked pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese icing for dessert. It seems like I've been cookin in a new kitchen every day.

Memories unfolding. I've been away for a whole year and I am home just for two weeks, my little brain is soaking in everything it can for the sake of making history.

Ummm... that's me many moons ago.

My Poppa and Nannie have been taking care of one of my bonsais. This one I call Buddha Bonsai.

Next day I partied at Nora's 8th birthday. That's my lil' sis runnin with her ballons.

The kids jumped so hard they broke the thing.

Pizza time.

Haha Beaner is the last one to get a slice ;)

Cake time.

Emma and I played in the blacklight bowling room.

Next day (yesterday) I went to La Poste resturante in Clifton, Ohio. Here is their website where you can make online reservations. Their menu is global and evolutionary. The Chef there, Chef Dave Taylor, invited me to be the Monday night 'Antarctic Cowboy' guest chef. So, that's what I did. I helped him put together a traveling chef special dinner. I have the special din listed below.

Here's Chef Dave rebasin the Belgium beer lamb stew. We used the Three Phisolopher's brew.

And Jo... Jo.. Jo... Jo. Words don't describe. He found a few potatoes and a few sticks and next thing you know he's making Louise, the potato doll.

It started simple.

My task in the whole scene was to sauce and assemble elements on the Cody dish. It was a 4-course meal, here's the second course. Ahi tuna, asian pear, greens, pepper and Arizona cactus pear dressing.

Then he dressed her in a bikini made up of tomato.

The Cody dish course 1 - prosciutto wrapped asparagus and pear, duck confit, fried onion and duck sauce.

The Cody menu and crazy Louise in the back surfing some wave (napkin).

The next morning, after all the fun, it was time to sit down for story time.

After class Nora helped me make some sweet Buckeyes for the big turkey dinner on Thursday. Stay tuned for more.


The Future of Me and My Life Journey

On Sunday afternoon I left Kauai, flew to Honolu, then to Chicago and landed my year long journey at Cincinnati.

Here's dusk while cruising over the Pacific.

A city somewhere in the north west glimmering at night.

Sunrise at the Chicago airport.

The haze of Chicago. First time I've seen a haze in over a year.

Flying over the midwest. Lots of farms and patches of suburbs. Many trees down :( These heavily developed regions in the US will reap desertification and water depletion sooner or later.

Coming into Cincinnati. Red haze at 9 AM.

Cincinnati. Once known as Porkapolis; a name given to the city in 1835 that represented it's role in being the nations largest pork packing center at that time.

Once landed I met my mom at the baggage claim. We drove to our house, which is about 30 miles from the city, and when I walked into my bedroom it was like an instant timewarp. A whole year has passed by and what have I learned? How have a changed? Where'd the time go to? I'm still pondering those thoughts but I conclude that my year of duty in Antarctica was priceless. Would I go back again? Sure, but give me some time to enjoy paradise :) Already I've been asked to tell my story to at least 10 different people and have spent at least 20 hours talking about South Pole to people. My friend Pat says I need to record my answers on an Iphone and when someone asked me a question I just push a button to give them the answer. Or better yet, I should write a book.

I'm here for 10 more days and that's just enough time to get packing for my next adventure and see family. I have two younger sisters who have grown so much and inspire me to do what I do best, travel and cook. Hopefully they learn from me that what's most important is to live all dreams. If you do what you love in life, then all else (materials) will follow. Here's Emma studiously using her Iphone to talk to friends about homework of course...

And Lil' Beaner reading about penguins.

Okay, so now for the next build up. If you start at the beginning of my blog and drift through the posts you will see that I have been to Antarctica 3 times, Alaska 3 times, Belize, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand 4 times, Hawaii and Ohio in two years. Mostly cooking. I'm hoping to be a field camp chef next summer season on the Ice, but that means I have 10 months to kill.

My first stop is Lagartero, Panama. Lagartero means 'place of the alligators' in Spanish. There is great surfing, diving, whale watching, beach trekking and fishing opportunities. I will be the chef for at least 4 months at the Hibiscus Garden Hotel. Please check out there website by clicking here. I'm very excited to be cooking with fresh, local and sustainable ingredients once again. The benefits to the job include hammocks, sand, surf, horses, sunsets, warmth, sea turtles, whale sharks, fresh fruit, pizza oven, a great team and a billion things more. Room and meal prices are very reasonable. If you have free time over the next few months and want to meet me in person, come on down. Walk in my shoes for a week ;) The first thing I saw when I looked up the lodge online was this picture, found here at this website... at the moment, I was sold.

Aside to cooking I will be learning how to surf.

Some say that when I left South Pole the Story of the Antarctic Cowboy would come to an end, but I disagree because with every ending is a new beginning. For a moment I did think about taking a break from this blog and just live it all in the now and store the memories only in my mind, but I can't (unless technology disallows me to post anything). I like to tell my story. There's only 48 followers but hundreds read this on a daily basis. The text and pictures provide a journal of my life and provide somewhat edited stock data that I will one day use to write a book. I've been able to educate classrooms around the world with my information, yet the underlying attention behind this is to get people living in the Now. I'm a living, walking and talking dreamer that brings dreams to reality. Just go out and do those things that are good because Life is Good and I'm going to live it to the fullest or die trying.

I don't have time nor place right now to start compilling my thoughts into a book, but perhaps in a few years when I build a small cabin on the property I recently bought in remote Kodiak, Alaska and make it my retreat. That's a whole other story in itself. Wallden's Pond: The Sequel to begin soon with my penmenship. I'll call the book Cody's Mountain hehe. Well, that's then, this is now and Thankgiving is on it's way. I need to start thinking about what to cook for our family dinner. Goddessbless and Godspeed.


The Last Day in Paradise

I have about 24 hours left on the slopes of Hanalei Bay in Kauai, Hawaii, but in two weeks I will be on a remote surfin beach in Panama, this is only a temporary last day in paradise. For the next couple weeks I will be in the Midwest US... cookin up lots of turkey and cornbread. That's then, this is now :) Woke up to freshly fallen avocado.

Went to the beach.

Went swimmin.

Landed on another beach, somewhere, not really sure where.

Wandered down the empty beach.

Found peridot, one of the two gems found on Kauai.

Ate a 1/2 lb. steak of the best Ahi I've ever head. I dribbled some local rum in the fry pan, let it reduce for a few minutes til it resembled the viscosity of a glaze, add some soy then threw the Ahi in, seared it on high for several minutes on one side, add some more soy and white wine, flipper er over and seared the other side. Topped it with a red chili, onion and pineapple sauce.

Added some chilled local shrimp, Ahi sushi rolls and Huli Huli sauce to the menu.

Where is waldo?