Tripping Vittles

The Schitts Creeking of Americas Highways

Posted on November 21, 2022

The Schitts Creeking of America’s Highways. I am sure there are small charming places all over the world that are getting facelifts and resurgences thanks to the charming show Schitts Creek(watch it if you have not seen it yet) but as the great American road trip and wandering grow, so does the motel resurgence.

In my last post, I spoke about the nightmare Airbnb has turned into. I am here to describe one of the more charming things we discovered last summer. That is the cool thing happening in the motel world. The comeback of sorts of the roadside motel is in part due to Schitts Creek and probably also Covid19.

Factors in the motel’s resurgence

Travel did not stop during Covid, but it did change, and some of those changes are directly in line with what was happening at the time. Americans were not flying. We were driving. Many of us stayed close to home for the most part. The big corporate hotel chains had to scale back on staff, and some even closed their doors for extended periods. I traveled to New Orleans and stayed in a 17-story hotel that, in pre-covid times, I would have never entered, but in New Orleans, at that time, it was one of the only games in town. I spent one long 24-hour period not seeing another human being. That’s a very weird feeling when you are in a place where normally thousands would be staying.

At the same time, big hotels turned into ghost towns. Small independent motels found the PPP money useful in renovating enough to keep folks interested in their small motels. With the help of Schitts Creek, making them cool and trendy, we started staying in them again, and others started opening them again.

When a Karen Visits

We found in our travels last year that the owners of the motels went out of their way to explain what a small roadside motel was. Smaller rooms, rustic wood paneling, small bathrooms, and sometimes tin shower stalls. No kitchens or refrigerators. Unless you get a kitchenette. These are general but not set rules for motels, but they are the things a Karen complains about… a lot, as we learned from talking with some of the awesome folks that run or own the motels we stayed at.

Both my mom and I found it odd that the folks we spoke to on the phone went so far out of their way to explain what a motel was and how it differed from a hotel. Once we dived into online reviews, it became evident that some folks don’t get the charm of a road trip or a roadside motel. That’s too bad because they are missing out on some awesome places to stay and a cool way to meet new people and learn about the fun places to eat and drink locally that frequently you don’t get from the big hotels or in big cities.

What constitutes a Motel

This is my definition, I’m sure someone has a respectable official definition, but this is mine. A drive-up establishment where You park your car in front of your room. There is an office with an attendant or a bell you ring for service. In a pre-covid world, you would have been able to stop on the spur of the moment. Many motels you now reserve as they don’t have full-time desk help or the front desk leaves early evening. There are often Vacancy or No Vacancy signs located by the road. They are usually single stories tall, with a few being two stories if there is a view. There may be a vending machine and or ice machine outside. Feel free to add what constitutes a motel for you in the comments. But I think have provided a visual; if not, I will remind you to look at Schitts Creek.

The Great Lakes

I got my love of road-tripping from my parents, and we have stayed in many a motel while we traveled the highways of these here united states. There is something very yin and yang about the Great Lakes and Motels. They go together like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers.

When I was a kid, an escape to the Northshore of Lake Superior and a night in a motel were so fun and exciting. It is where my love of both the road trip and the roadside motel stems from

In my opinion, it is the best way to travel the great lake states, and the motels were some of our favorite stops on our road trip around Lake Huron

The Favorite

I will tell you, I wish it was anywhere but where it was. But it won the favor because the woman running it was an outstanding hospitable human being and made everything better. The sunrise was breathtaking, and it had a haunted put put course next to it that we were told about! Sadly I did not see a single ghost.

The winning motel is Bayview Motel in St. Ignace, MI. It is small, it has tin showers. It has a microwave and a TV, they have heat that works, and they have a view of the lake, which is amazing! BBQ grills if you don’t want to eat tourist food. A firepit where they have nightly fires burning. A beach area that you can swim from if you want to. And again, a stunning sunrise. The downfall is it is in this particular tourist town. But it is everything you want a motel to be and then some.

That Sunrise!

I will catch heat for what I am about to say, but Mackinaw Island is overrated. As much as I enjoyed this motel, I do not understand the fascination with the overpriced ferry ride to an island with overpriced fudge and taffy. As always, I will explore this topic of popular tourist destinations I hate in a future post. Until then, let me know what you love about Mackinaw Island. Maybe you will convince me to return to the Bayview Motel again.

Schitts Creeking of our Highways and what I think it means.

Despite my favorite motel experience last summer being in a town I don’t like, I have to say the schitts creeking of our highways is an exciting development. In all my travels over the last year, I have stayed at several reasonably priced motels with varying degrees of success.

I am excited to see more affordable options. I love that a new group of managers and people who have hospitality in their bones are deciding to do renovations and upgrades to a uniquely American way of travel. The road trip is alive and well, and with many of us suffering from wanderlust, let’s hope that we see even more of this something old is new again mentality.

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

Posted on July 8, 2022

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

So far the #1 question asked is about Leia and what it is like to go Road Trippin with a dog. I will tell you that my Leia is a good dog but not trained super well. If I am honest it is me, I am the one not trained very well.

Leia is smart, but I am not dedicated enough to have her be an off-leash, listen to all my words, find Timmy in the well, and notify kind of dog. I will leave that to Lassie and her trainer.

Knowing I’m a terrible dog mom, I will encourage you to travel with your pets even if they are not Westminster dog show dogs. This post is about safety and making sure your dog is safe when you travel.

Getting to Know Leia

What my readers should know about Leia: She is shy of 9 pounds. She has a huge personality. Leia is crate trained but she has never been put in the crate as punishment. I have put her in the crate to sometimes give me a break because she is a ball of energy. She does not eat people’s food regularly, so it is a treat if she gets it.
When I adopted Leia she had been in a home where she was abused and neglected. I adopted her from a wonderful rescue organization called Stop the Suffering.

I have nothing nice to say about breeders of dogs in southern Ohio or anywhere in Ohio, as I have now owned two dogs that have had significant issues. Both of which came from sketchy breeders and or puppy mills.
Leia has some significant issues with going to the bathroom. From the information gained after her rescue, it appears she was abused around bathroom time and/or has a physical issue from being the runt at the bottom of the pile.

I share all of that with you to say she is a great traveler despite her issues. What I am going to share below are some very specific actions we take when traveling.

Some of these safety measures are easier with a small dog.

So far Leia has covered a lot of ground and after our last trip, she has even been out of the country. After several trips with her, I think I have it down pretty well.

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

From the car ride to the hotel stay to the hiking and camping. The first thing I think of is Leia’s safety much like with kids there are some things we all should do. The following is a list with links to products I use and love for Leia’s safety.

  • Leashes. I always have two along. Neither are retractable or longer than 6 feet. I have a handheld leash for walking and bathroom breaks and I have a hands-free leash for hiking and climbing. The 6ft leash rule is just a good measure but it is often a requirement at parks and trails.
  • When traveling in a car it is a really good idea to have your dog secure. Because of Leia’s size, I use a dog booster seat with a safety belt on her harness. For bigger dogs, you can get seatbelt attachments.
  • I believe your dog should always have a place to call their own even when Road Trippin. Crates for me and my dogs have always been that place. I do not use the crate as a punishment but rather as a den tricked out with familiar scents and favorite blankets to rest in after a day of adventure. It is also ideal to keep them in when staying in a hotel. They do not make a sound and they rest while you are out for dinner or some non-dog time. The problem, crates are big and bulky. Solution Leia has her own portable crate. The crate was an amazing gift after Leia arrived from her rescue. I would not give this up for anything. A foldable, portable crate is the absolute best for travel.
  • The last thing is a doggie passport. This is good even if they are not leaving the country. It is a place you can keep all your info on your dog in case your dog goes missing. In Leia’s passport, I have her Vaccination record, her info on her miro chip, her dog license, and two photos. I have an extra tag with my information on it in case we lose the one on her collar. I keep all of this in a passport carrier in the glove compartment so it is easily accessible.

The last thing I want to mention is how I visit stores and some restaurants while still traveling with Leia. I carry her in a backpack! Yes, I have a special backpack called a K9Sack. She loves riding in it. Leia can be up and see what is going on. She tends to be very calm while on my back and most shopkeepers have no issue with you bringing her into their shop. Some even have treats! They make these carriers for dogs all the way to I believe 50 pounds. I love the sports sack and so does Leia.

These are the basics of safety and traveling with a dog. If you do something different I would love to hear about it leave a comment. Safe and Happy Travels!

The Great Lakes: Lake Huron Road Trip

Posted on June 20, 2022

The Lake Huron Road Trip has convinced me that Lake Huron may be my favorite great lake right now. In my entire life, I have always lived in a state that borders a Great Lake and yet I have forgotten how amazing these bodies of water are and how lucky we are to have them in our back yards.

On very short notice with only a little less than a 3-week planning window. I decided that a trip around Lake Huron with my mom and my dog would be a great way to start my very first summer of being a lunch lady and having the summer free.

It was one of the best spontaneous somewhat crazy ideas I have decided to make. If you have a parent you love and are close to who is getting older I cannot tell you what a great way it is to connect and be closer as adults than to do a road trip together. This Lake Huron Road Trip was our chance to connect.

The logistics were more than I let myself see so there are some great lessons I learned.

  1. Driving makes you tired and you get even more tired if you stop and get in and out of the car. Which you should absolutely do on a road trip. If you don’t just fly.
  2. Realistically 150 miles a day is max. You miss way too much if you do more than that. I have a lot more to say about this so follow along.
  3. The idea of just stopping when you are tired is nice but because of factors like having a dog, the seasonal businesses, and businesses closed after covid(this will be a whole post). This is nearly impossible.
  4. Google is not the end-all, be-all for info. I have suggestions to use and incorporate resources you would think were gone but are not. This too will be its own post.
  5. We rely too much on the internet and when you want to escape that means no internet. So enjoy the experience and write about it when you get home. Snap a million photos. your camera phone still works.
  6. Invest in some things that make life easy or help the trip. The below links show my top 5 best purchases for the trip and why I found them useful. I also will admit there were one or two we bought on the road. I hope this saves you that trouble.

An awesome cooler. There are good coolers and there are great coolers. Buy a great one. Why? Because it is amazing not to have to find ice every 12 hours when you are out where you go a day or several hours not seeing another human being. There are several brands you all know Yeti, this is the RTIC there is also Coho and I am sure others. This was worth every penny.

If you are young this will mean nothing but if you have reached the age of needing reading glasses they are a must. Especially when you see number three on the list. I don’t want you to spend a bunch of money on reading glasses though because on a road trip you will invariably break a pair lose a pair or drop a pair in the lake. So a five-pack that comes in its own box is perfect!

Maps. They don’t make them like they used to. It was hard to find a comprehensive off-the-beaten-path map of the areas we went to. We came across these maps from National Geographic and they ended up being very helpful. They make them for many parts of the united states and this is the Canadia Pack we got. I would also suggest a good atlas and taking time to stop at information centers.

You will probably say Whaaaaattttt?? but hear me out. I have started carrying in my car a portable cutlery set. It became invaluable when stopping at roadside food trucks, and getting to-go food from stands, markets, and gas stations. I cannot stand the little plastic utensils for reasons ranging from the environment to they are little and cheap. This makes dining on the road a joy.

This last one turned out to save us many a night. I suggest carrying one for each person or bed in the group. This is a sleeping bag that can open to cover a bed. If you are tent camping you are already prepared but we stayed in cabins and it got very cold a few nights when the quilt provided was not enough. Pull out the stuff sack zip this open and lay across the top of the bed and bingo you are warm in a few minutes. It also makes a great sleeping bag if you are tent camping though this is not designed for backpacking.

We had a truly wonderful adventure on our Lake Huron Road Trip and I cannot wait to get into the details of the trip with you. I intend to share it from beginning to end and highlight some really special spots. Michigan, Lake Huron, and Canada were incredibly beautiful and fun road trip! I hope this encourages you to plan your own adventure.

#lakehuron #roadtrip #puremichigan #canada #trippingvittlesadventure

I am Sorry!

Posted on June 16, 2022

I am Sorry! I have been trying to change the resources and about pages on my website, not a fun task. In doing so I found a form that had been taking comments and saving them! Sadly, I was not getting notified. I am so very sorry for all the responses I missed.

I’m going to work through the more recent responses. Next will be getting all the places you leave comments together in one space. Getting a method set up so that I get notified and don’t miss any more comments and questions is paramount.

If you ever want to get a quick response Facebook Messenger is the best followed closely by Instagram Messenger.

Again my apologies to those I missed messages from.

What’s Going on with Tripping Vittles

Posted on May 8, 2022

I want to quickly address What’s Going on with Tripping Vittles and where we are in both the spice business and the business of adventure.

You will start to see some changes with the Vittles. I will still and probably always have my spice blends but I am not going to be doing every market out there like I did last year.

Where will you find Tripping Vittles Spice Blends?

I will continue with Westerville Saturday Farmers Market as I think it is the best Market in all of Columbus land. You will also find me at a few of the Gahanna Farmers Markets. I will announce the dates for these soon. Beyond that, I will only be doing specialty one-off events throughout the year. The way the world is right now and the supply side issues for a very small business like mine has made it smarter for me to do things this way going forward.

These issues are why I still don’t have a full store on my website. Doing a full big sales platform and not being able to fill it for me was not a smart move. It was a time suck of immense proportions and stress that was weighing me down.

You can look for me to be selling on both Facebook and Instagram and if I can reach enough followers I will also open sales on TikTok. So give me a follow on these platforms and any others you frequent I am on almost all of them. That’s what’s going on with Tripping Vittles spice blends.

So if not a spice company what are you?

This all said Tripping Vittles is my baby and I intend to keep pushing for what I have always dreamed it to be and that is a place where I discover the world outside of my little bubble. I want to travel and tell people about it. I also want that travel to be accessible and realistic for everyone.

You may have noticed some changes in my logo and wording. If not yet you will as I move through all my media sites. I have made no effort to hide the fact my hero in all things food travel and drink-related was Anthony Bourdain. I admire greatly the ability he had to cross boundaries of social and political justice to tell the story of food and travel.

How my hero affects me every day

One of my absolute favorite episodes of No Reservations was when he was in Leon France. He sat with children at their school and ate with them and talked about food. When I first watched the episode I thought how rewarding to feed kids and make a bridge to both growing up loving food and learning about food.

Through a set of circumstances, I have become a lunch lady. Those circumstances have brought me infinitely closer to realizing my dream of making Tripping Vittles a whole experience, not just a place where I wax poetic when I have a few moments to share about some food or a recipe. I am the person making those differences and I am doing it all while being who I am. It is an incredible feeling!

What I never was and what I want to be

I have never wanted to be the place where I just write about a dish of food and then share a recipe. I have tried that. There are some really amazing people doing things like that. Check out Pinch of Yum her stuff is super cool. But that’s not me. I will happily share how to make something with my spices though. but who I am at my core is not Martha Stewart. I have spoken of it before but never had the time to be more like Anthony Bourdain but I do now.

Till the day I die, I want to adventure. I want to make a difference in the world and I want to do it with people I love and care about. I am becoming more of who I truly want to be every second that goes by. Becoming a lunch lady has been an amazing inspiration and also a giver of free time. I am still wrapping my head around the fact I get summers off!!

Life is an adventure! Eat, Drink and Travel

I have started to do videos and I really love learning the medium. Check out and subscribe to my youtube channel. I will still share my knowledge of 35+ years in foodservice it just will be wrapped up in a different package. My kitchen hack videos are a fun example of that.

So you are all caught up on What’s Going on with Tripping Vittles. Now keep your eyes peeled for the next Adventure and until then Eat, Drink and Travel!

#trippingvittles #adventure #livelifetothefullest

Tripping Vittles: The Best Adult Halloween Candy

Posted on October 24, 2021

I grew up in Minnesota and in the 70’s it was a survival of the fittest situation for most Halloweens. I am sure it is where my sense of adventure and my love of all things creepy and chocolaty came. Tripping Vittles: The Best Adult Halloween Candy 2021 edition.

There was more than one Halloween I was grateful for the layers of clothes my costume afforded. Because snow and or sleet was not unusual for October 31st. I am convinced Halloween and all the time playing outside my technique for hot chocolate was professional level. The first cup of the season often flowed on Halloween night.

While you get ready for Halloween be sure you get what you need for a nice cup of Hot Chocolate. Follow my Recipe here How to Make the World’s Best Hot Chocolate goblins and ghouls go better with cocoa. Since this is for adults add a little something special to your cocoa. Vanilla Vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, Kalhua. You get the idea right?

Once you get the Hot Chocolate made don’t forget the candy. When actually tricker treating I am a Hersheys Mini kind of gal. All but those nasty Mr. Goodbars. I have always thought it strange to have a movie about a murderous, sex, and drug-crazed teacher named after a candy bar. The candy bar came first in 1925, the movie was not till the ’70s about the time I started tricker treating. But if you have ever tasted one of these candy bars you will know they are still using peanuts from 1925.

I’m not shy when I say all candy is good it’s just that chocolate is better. Below you will find my top 5 favorite Halloween candies for 2021. These may be too good to hand out to the kids( your call) but if you want to share invite your adult friends over and get your adult Halloween on!

Happy Halloween Tripping Vittles Top 5 Candies for Halloween 2021

These are in no particular order but they are my favorites for Halloween

I can not understate how amazing Tony’s chocolate bars are, buy the 8 pack you will not be sorry. Click the photo to purchase

There is no way to explain how awesome it was to get to visit the Albanese Store outside of Chicago this summer while on a road trip. It was my first encounter with the Ultimate 8 flavors 40oz bag of Gummi Bears. mango, pear, currant, raspberry, blood orange, fuji apple, and cranberry. Get yourself some of these!

If you shop at Costco you may be familiar but there are so many without access to Costco or maybe you want them delivered to your door, either way, click the photo for some of the best caramels covered in chocolate you buy.

Have you have had them? Then you know! If you have not click the photo and order them. They are the best Lollipops!

We all love Kit Kats and if you don’t you are dead to me! Joking, kind of… Anyway, you can not be a Kit Kat Afficianado if you have not dived into the deep end of the Japanese Kit Kat candy experience. Click the photo for a sampling of several flavors. You can also order large versions of the bars on amazon or find some flavors at a local international grocer if you have one near. The pudding-flavored one is the bomb!!

Working Through a Pandemic

Posted on July 24, 2020

It has been since February since I have written anything other than Facebook Posts. Covid19 blew into town shortly after I wrote my last post like a hurricane that would just not stop. What has it been like working through a pandemic you may ask. Not easy is the overall answer.

2020 Has turned into a year that no amount of imagining could have predicted. You will call me crazy I am sure but I am happy. I feel a bit guilty for being happy and maybe some of that happiness comes from luck.

I am so Lucky

You know I work at one of the greatest little pizza shops in the whole world. Yeah, I know I’m biased but I also write the blog soooo. Antonios has been able to weather the storm of Covid19 fairly well. Don’t get me wrong we have our struggles and on some days I think we all would like to throw in the towel or in my case the mask! But we also love what we do and it shows in our food and the support we have received from our customers.

If you would have ever asked me if I would know what it was like to work in a restaurant through a pandemic I would have said hell no. But here we are. So I am going to run it down for you. At first, it was scary and panic-inducing.

Scary because one I have asthma, two the unknown that can kill you is always a little scary. Add in the fact restaurants are closing and the industry I love is, was, and will be decimated.

We are lucky We are still working through a pandemic

That’s when the panic sets in. How will I make a living? I left the professional world of pants suits and meetings behind long ago. I vowed to do only the things I loved because life was too short to do anything but.

It is hard to sleep at night.

Fast forward and here we are into July and so far we are still serving pizzas to the greatest customers in the world. I could go into all the challenges it entails and how it can still cause panic and fear. but it is easier to say we are doing it, it is going to be alright.

It is still hard to sleep at night.

A Message for Restaurant Customers

I am moved to write the remaining part of this post to the public at large from all my friends in this business. So you understand what it is like to be working through a pandemic. This is from California where I have friends who have not worked in months except to feed other essential workers. To Minnesota where my cousin works for a James Beard-winning restaurant that turned into a take out pizza shop.

Be kind to those who are serving you. they are doing their very best. Please follow the rules and directions they give you. Collectivity we are having to make changes on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis, and sometimes they don’t make sense to you or us but they are what we must do. The industry I love has made an absolutely tremendous effort to pivot our business models to keep as many businesses as we can afloat. To keep as many people working as we can.

There is something very intense about this business. it is built on dreams and it is family recipes and it is hot sweaty work. Most of us do it because we love it to the core of our being. We are watching our friends and other dreamers lose what they tried so hard to build. The effects of this will be with those of us who breathe this industry for a very long time.

There will one day be books written about working through a pandemic in 2020. Someone will tell the story of what it was like working through a Pandemic. I am sad one of those books will not be written by Anthony Bourdain because he spoke for our industry. If you are even the least bit curious about what drives those of us that have served you food all through this Pandemic give these two books a read. Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw

Now please be kind to us, listen to what we say. This is our profession and we love it and we are doing our very best!

What Would Anthony Bourdain Do?

Posted on February 12, 2020

I find myself asking that a lot, What Would Anthony Bourdain do? Why you ask, well he for one is a very big part of why I continue down this path you can read about that here. He was and continues to be a writer who I admire greatly. His insight on food and how it connects us was unprecedented.

Learning, always Learning

I have said many things over the years about what I wanted Tripping Vittles to be. It is something I am learning to stop because sometimes I do write reviews when I said I never would. I have gotten political and will continue to do so when I said I would stay neutral. That brings me to today and the bit of writing that should have been Leis’s Adventure #4 Food of El Salvador.

What Would Anthony Bourdain Do (WWABD) How would he tell people about the amazing adventure to a Salvadorian Restaurant without telling people about El Salvadore? and how do I talk about El Salvadore without talking about The United States’ unbelievably cruel policy of deportation? The short answer is I can’t. Nor would he.

An enjoyable meal

While I sat at the bar of Ranchero Kitchen, watching the hustle and bustle of a very busy restaurant. The bar seat was the only one available. I watched the faces of people and the eyes of the women who were working there, yes mostly women were doing all the jobs. It could be a coincidence or it could be because El Salvadore is a very dangerous place to be a woman and many seek the Safety of The supposed open arms of America and the welcoming arms of the Statue of Liberty, You know the one she is big and sits in Hudson Bay with a plaque with a poem written by Emma Lazarus a woman of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish descent. or in other words an immigrant.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


WWABD? Would he say those words have always meant something to me, to these nations and to the people all over the world who come here looking for safety and an American dream that is so huge the light of it shines to the darkest corners of the earth? I don’t know if that’s what he would say but I know it’s what I would say.

Leaving your comfort zone

I would like to tell everyone to step out of your comfort zone. Go to a Ranchero Kitchen. You may not understand a word anyone is saying for they are speaking their native tongue. It is a step outside of your comfort zone. WWABD? he would tell you comfort zones are meant to be gotten out of even if the travel is across town.

Anthony Bourdain’s Words

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

I will guarantee you someone will be able to take your order in English. That Same person will proudly tell you about the food they have carried all the way here to America. Their restaurant is set up on a little stretch of street in a part of town that is far from El Salvador. It is also far from the streets of Westerville Ohio, not in milage but in perceived safety, this restaurant is more than likely out of the comfort zone for many of my readers. In order to fix what is going on, we have to acknowledge the most basic fears. Fear of certain parts of town, fear of people with different skin colors. We have to break the cycle of fear and see all people as equal. I think we can do that by eating together!


There is a deep sense of community. Families eating together. Young and old coming in their Sunday best after a morning at church. Young men having a glass of house-made Horchata or Pina Marañon, a delicious combination of pineapple, cashew, and apple. While watching a soccer game broadcast on cable from somewhere in South America.

Pina Marañon
Pina Marañon

We have a problem in America today and it is that we have a leader and his administration making people different than us the enemy. They want you to believe that the people that come here from different lands and how they get here are the problem. They are not.

What Would Anthony Bourdain Do?

He would tell you, Someone from El Salvador or anywhere else in Latin America is not the problem. Politics and greedy unethical leaders are the problems. America’s insatiable appetite for drugs is a problem, the prisons where we incarcerate far more people with brown skin color for profit are the problem.

This is not a new problem. We have had an immigration issue here since the day the Statue of Liberty made her appearance in the Bay. I think We are making it worse instead of better. In wanting to write this I have read an article upon article about El Salvador and their politics and gang issues and the United States and our deportations of people back to El Salvador, 138 of them who ended up dead.

Is there a solution? Love More hate less?

I do not have a solution to all of this hate, death, and circumstances both here and abroad. What I do know is when I stepped into Ranchero Kitchen for lunch yesterday I was greeted by smiling women who embraced me and guided me to a delightful meal from beginning to end. What would Anthony Bourdain Do? I think he would start by saying something to the effect…we have got to start by not being afraid of our differences and embracing them. We are far more alike than different or maybe that’s what I am saying!

Salvadorian Sample Platter
Salvadorian Sample Platter

I was able to go on a trip to El Salvador without needing a passport. I ate the food and I came to a better understanding of their culture through that food. WWABD? I am pretty sure he would tell you to go eat some Salvadorian Food!

How to Make Blackberry Simple Syrup

Posted on July 28, 2019

This is a how-to post! How to Make Blackberry Simple Syrup. I thought it a great time to re-share this recipe as Blackberrys arrived at the Westerville Farmers Market last Saturday. A very easy recipe to enhance all your summer drinks. Add it to Iced Teas for a different berry flavor.

How do you use Blackberry Simple Syrup?

Blackberry Simple Syrup Pairs well with Vodka, Bourbon, Gin, and Tequila. My favorite flavor combo with the blackberry syrup is lemonade, ginger beer, pineapple juice, sprite, and orange juice any of these flavors pair well with the syrup.

Try making a margarita and instead of adding Orange juice add the berry syrup to the tequila and lime juice. 1 part tequila, 2 parts lime juice, 1 part blackberry syrup. Shake in a cocktail shaker and serve in a chilled martini glass I highlighted these two items because if you do not have a bartending set at home you should get yourself one.

At-home cocktail making is fun and it will save you a ton of money in the long run. We used to call it pre-gaming I’m sure the youngsters have a cooler term for it than we did. But for me, a good pre-game is the best part of entertaining.

More than one kind of Simple Syrup

Follow this link for an easy-to-make Plain Simple Syrup. Simple Syrups are a way for bartenders to sweeten cocktails. Syrups are an easy concentrated way to add a bit of sweetness without the granules of a spoonful of sugar.

The following are what I used in the kitchen to make the Blackberry Simple Syrup. You can follow the links to purchase these helpful tools. All-Clad Sauce Pan, Measuring Cups, Fine Mesh Strainer, Mason Jar

Tag me in the drinks you create with this syrup at #trippingvittles

The Moist Maker

Posted on November 30, 2016

If you are familiar with the show Friends, you will probably know what a moist maker is. A fantastic sandwich made for Ross by his sister after Thanksgiving.  Most of us have made a turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving, but how many have made The Moist Maker?