Tag Archives: Family

Man Skills: Start a Fire with Your Car Battery

24 Feb

The latest issue of Men’s Journal Magazine (the one with a sick green Triumph Scrambler motorcycle on the cover) has a segment called “Survival Skills with Bear Grylls” in which they ask him a series of questions about adventuring, survival, manliness and his active life.  One of the questions they asked?  What is one skill that every man should have? Bear’s answer?  The ability to start a fire with your car battery. “I’ve had to do this a lot while camping with my family when I didn’t have matches or a lighter.”


Step 1: run your fingers through the grass.  The dead stuff will come off in your hands.

Step 2: Create a little bird’s nest with this dry grass.  Then run your jumper cables to it and ignite it.

Step 3: Add the ignited grass to a big pile of kindling, and you’ll have your fire.


Hey Dads: Holiday Gift Idea #82

25 Nov

In the December 2009 issue of Esquire Magazine, legitimate gift ideas are sprinkled throughout.  Some are typical: Bose speaker systems, iPod touch, Esquire subscriptions, etc…but there was one that caught my eye.  The plain, big, round ball.  The reasoning is quite compelling. “It’s the perfect gift. The reason is, you can’t really play ball alone – you have to make friends to play with them. Playing is where all the kids learn what they need to succeed as grown-ups: how to cooperate and share, what’s fair and what isn’t. Video games don’t do that.  Not even educational ones.  And you know what? Neither does homework.  More balls, fewer books: Now you’ve got a New Year’s resolution, too.  Plus, ball-playing happens outside in the fresh air, so they are running around getting exercising while they are having the time of their lives.  I mean that.  What wouldn’t you give to be 10 years old, running across a field, laughing with your friends, kicking a ball?” Well-said.  In fact, I don’t have kids and I would consider buying one for myself or a friend as an excuse to see old buddies more often.

Champion Sports 10-inch playground ball, $7; dickssportinggoods.com

Turkey Day Tricks: Gourmet Leftovers (Volume 1)

21 Nov

It is here.  The season of festivities, family and an average of a 10 lb weight gain is finally here.  Many men have learned how to master the beautiful bird but not many people put much focus on the leftovers.  Sure, everyone eats them, if there are any left to eat, but how do you make them gourmet? The November 2009 issue of Men’s Journal, the one with Tim McGraw on the cover, tells us how to do it.  They feature 3 specific recipes.  In the spirit of saving time and space, as well as keeping you in suspense, I will feature them one at a time.  So for those of you for which Black Friday is less about the shopping and more about the aftermath of success, first up is Turkey Gumbo…

Turkey Gumbo (Serves 8-10)

This recipe is so good, that you may want to consider cooking an extra turkey next Thursday  for this day-after special. John Besh, author of the new cookbook  My New Orleans suggests a smoked  turkey carcass, but any will do, and lard instead of vegetable oil.


  • 1 turkey carcass, with all of the meat removed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or duck fat or lard)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small can dices tomatoes
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, diced
  • 1/2 lb smoked pork sausage, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp creole or cajun seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups okra, diced
  • meat from turkey, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • Tabasco
  • 1 qt rice

HOW TO: “for the roux, heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat, add flour, and allow it to slowly brown; stir constantly for half an hour.  Once brown, lower the heat to medium and cook slowly until it looks like dark chocolate.  Add onions and stir well. After 5 minutes, add celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, sausage and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes before adding carcass and covering with water.  Allow to boil before lowering the heat to a simmer, then add Worchestershire, creole seasoning, bay leaves, and okra.  Simmer for 1.5 hours, occasionally skimming the fat off the top. Remove carcass, add meat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, green onions and Tabasco to taste.  Serve over rice.”