I was cooking breakfast yesterday on the pier…as I try to do many Sunday mornings when I grabbed a spoon and dish and sampled/tested many items for consistency and quality control…that’s what some call it…I call it breakfast. I always taste when I’m in the restaurants…you can tell if the kitchen’s on pace by the soups and the sides…if they’re consistent and tasty, usually all the food will come out correct…unfortunately the item I test too often is the French fries…every time I walk thru the line…and they’re pretty darned consistent…but on Sundays on the pier, I try cheese grits, plain grits, hash brown casserole, I make a silver dollar pancake to make sure it’s the same taste as the pancakes Mom made for us every Saturday morning growing up, I try the burrito filling and I finish my sampling with sausage gravy.
Yesterday hit me harder than usual with feelings of nostalgia…it always reminds me of Jerry Yettaw and my first breakfast shift on the Anna Maria Pier when it was Fast Eddie’s Oyster Bar. I know I’ve told this story at least a hundred times…but what the heck, my dad’s repeating his stories…am I at the age when I can start repeating mine? Amanda’s in for a rough life! I remember calling Jerry and asking him how to make sausage gravy so I could “sell” an order that had been sent to the kitchen…boy was he embarrassed for me being raised in the south and not knowing how to make sausage gravy. That’s what Moms were for when I was growing up…she taught me baking…the best Red Velvet Cake, and lemon merengue pies…not gravy. OK, Jerry wasn’t really embarrassed for me…I don’t think that was one of the emotions Jerry possessed…he was as “Old School” as they come…he wasn’t embarrassed for me…he was disgusted! That was probably 1982 when I used to open the pier for weekend breakfasts for Fast Eddie’s…probably why I enjoy mySunday shifts at AMOB…If it gets any busier, I may need a Sous Chef beside me to carry the weight…fortunately Madden, Will, Danny, Keith and now Chuck are pulling a little extra weight on my shifts…and with a smile on their faces.
That brings us to February…Jerry’s birthday was the 24th…and he passed away 5 years ago this month…hard to believe…this is the 4th year we’ve honored Jerry’s memory on his birthday and tried to re-pay the kindness of all the people at Tidewell Hospice where he spent his last few days…on the 24th we’ve donated all the proceeds of his famous ribs from all of our stores to Tidewell…this year in keeping with our year-long birthday celebration, we’ve chosen Tidewell as our month long recipient of our Birthday Cocktail. On the 20th of this month, all proceeds of the Birthday Cake Cocktail will go to Tidewell…the rest of the month, $2 of each sale will benefit Tidewell…and since twenty in Roman Numerals is XX, we’ve partnered with Dos Equis (and the Most Interesting Man in the World) to also add proceeds for sell of Dos Equis to our charities/NFPs all year…All sales of both drinks on the 20th will be donated, and $1 for each Dos Equis will be donated.
Come BACK in on Friday the 24th and order Jerry’s famous Baby Back Ribs…all proceeds will go to Tidewell…have a Dos Equis and help even more.
Here’s a photo that says a lot about a great man…and a great friend and a great mentor.
I miss you Old Man.