History of Me

VeggHead BeerCyclist 2.28

History of Me

My name is Jeffrey. I turn 30 next month (March starts tomorrow). Life has been a turbulent roller coaster of a ride for me thus far. I wish I would’ve gotten a FatBike much earlier. I’m not going into my life story. I would like to go over my cooking, cycling and beer history. 

I just went for a 35 km ride out of town, around town and then back in where I stopped at the liquor store for a few beers. I bought seven beers and a bottled water because my water froze again. I need to start holding a bottle in my pack when I bring my pack with me in the winter. There is a rumor that a little whisky in your water keeps it from freezing. I disagree. I’m all for it as it does add life to your water before it dies a frozen temporary death and I love (good) whisky. Canadian Club is forever the cheapest best whiskey out there. Today’s ride was super sunny, not too windy and not too bad traffic-wise. 

Here is my ride:
Another thing I’ve been working on is becoming more familiar with the metric system. Celsius makes much more sense and so does the measurements. I love the USA, but we’re kind of dumb and just want to be different. Zero degrees Celsius is freezing. Simple. 35 kilometers is 35,000 meters. Simple. One mile is 5280 feet and 63,360 inches according to Google. Now, tell me how many feet and inches are in 1.5 miles without Google. Good luck. Did someone mention ketchup. Probably. 

A few months ago, I switched my Garmin to metric.  
The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw
Spring is approaching and that is a great album from the band Pelican. They are instrumental (until their new album?) post-rock post-metal. Good music!

I learned how to sauté from Pizza Hut. That was my first job and I worked for them for a total of 14 years. I did leave for school, but returned. In 2007 ish, the regular falling apart Pizza Hut built a new building and converted into an Italian Bistro Pizza Hut. It was really cool and actually gourmet until they started cutting costs and ingredients. I did not maintain that understanding of sautéing much. I do not remember much of the style. The ingredients were great! That is where I was first introduced to a chef hat and chef coat. White is an awful idea unless you get like five. The Pizza Hut Italian Bistro also had gourmet pizzas and sandwiches. They quickly began believing in the opposite of what I believe in, QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. 

I started at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in January of 2009. A friend hooked  me up with a cooking gig at a hole-in-the-wall Italian pizza place called DiMaggio’s. There are actually quite a few in Southern Illinois and one or two in Indiana. I believe all are connected and actually within the same family. My boss, Sebastian, was born in Sicily and lived in France before crossing the pond. He is an awesome guy and knows how to chef it up! They actually made a transformation into a more legitimate sit-down restaurant in 2011. Before that, Sebastian kept it simple. From scratch pizza, pizza by the slice, pasta, sandwiches, salads, etc. we did grind our own cheese, but didn’t make much other than pizza from scratch. 

DiMaggio’s moved into an old Godfather’s building in early 2011. I was working as a seafood clerk and helping moving and prepare the building for three months before DiMaggio’s was ready to open. I learned a lot during my time as a seafood clerk. DiMaggio’s offered me a pizza kitchen management position with very good pay. I accepted and quit the grocery store job and dropped out of school. The way the entire kitchen was set up was the pizza kitchen was in front close to the dining room and the line kitchen behind it more in the BOH and hidden. I soon took over the entire kitchen and worked 60 hours a week, making schedules and prep lists, food orders, and dish creations. This is where I first learned to cook. It was my most favorite job. 

I then grew cocky and homesick after most of my friends graduated and moved on. I took a job back home in charge of a kitchen of a restaurant that I’ve always enjoyed. It was also Italian and taught me more of a northern Italian style. Unfortunately, it became a horrible job and I had to quit. From there I went back to Pizza Hut. Recreational cooking has not stopped. 

As for my love for Cycling, I’ll need to mention college and Carbondale. Carbondale, IL is a great cycling town. I bought a cheap “mountain” Schwinn bike mostly to participate in Tour de Carbondale. 

The Tour de Carbondale was just a drunkiness bike ride with 4-6 stops with a different theme of booze each stop. And my house was the first stop! Margaritas at 11:00 am are the way to start off a drink fest. 
We had a beer stop, a jungle juice stop, a wine stop and then the completion stop. Apologies for the quality of pictures.

I then continued to ride my Schwinn as much as possible. I rode it to commute and for fun. In late 2013 I bought a 2014 Trek CrossRip. I became a part of the Strava community in mid 2013. I joined a cycling club in 2014. I have not yet competed in racing or organized rides/races. I love riding with others and I like to go fast and far when I can. 
I’ve always been trying to document my experimenting with Beers. And then came Untappd. I became a member in 2012. I’ve always extremely enjoyed photography. I like beer. I’ve had three since I’ve started writing this. They are on Untappd. 
My MacBook Pro stopped charging late last year after I quit my job. I’ve been writing these blogs on my iPhone. 

I found this picture a few months ago. It was in 2005. Just a little #ProveIt. Strava.