He was one of those people who made food fun for me. I watched him and my brother work the kitchen together on vacations and I always wanted to be in there with them. When I had my chances to put out a dinner with him for the family I took it as quite a big deal. I remember him coming to Big Pa's apartment in Woodside on Tuesdays to spend time with my grandfather, his father, and those dinners were legendary. UJ, my brothers Matt and Drew would put together fantastic meals for Big Pa and it was just a treat to be at a Boys Club meeting.
Well every now and then I get to have some of the boys over at my place and this week it was Matt and Mark. Matt brought clam cake mix and I had the clams, so as a salute to Uncle Johnny, the Big Kahuna in the sky, we made some clam cakes.
They're fairly easy after you have shucked the clams and chopped them. The flour mixture gets mixed with the chopped clams and clam juice and there's your batter. Next, you need hot oil and your trip to Rhode Island is booked.
Matt mixed up the goodness and my fryer was set to take us on our trip. The cakes get dropped in to the oil and instantly the smell is familiar. When they had puffed up and we hit them with a touch of salt, they were ready. Boy were they great.
Nothing can bring back an old buddy or a day when you were younger. We haven't invented a time machine, but food is the closest thing we got. Here's to you big guy! We had clam cakes and all that was missing was you.