Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bucket Lists, Paper Cuts and Jell-O

In my last blog post I mentioned that visiting Ireland was on my Bucket List. And in doing so, I was prompted to go back and take a look at the whole list. To be honest, I was quite encouraged with my progress, particularly since I’ve always tried to cast every care to the wind and live my life to the fullest: to not only push the edge of the envelope but to lick the flap in such a way that it might induce paper cuts on my tongue.

So I thought I’d share my list with you in hopes that it will encourage you to reach for the stars as well. And because I love to cook, many of them are food related. But I also love to sing, play instruments, and act the fool, so some of those are on here as well.


Warren’s Bucket List as of March 31st  (With a few caveats and explanations.)

1. Push the edge of the envelope then lick it to induce paper cuts. – Check

2. Learn to not lick the salt off a margarita glass after doing so. -- Check

3. Publicly express my appreciation to then-CIA Director George Tenet for his outstanding leadership at one of the top culinary schools in the world. – Check*

   *Which raised the eyebrows of the other thirty or forty people present but brought a smile to Mr. Tenet who then promised to share with me his grandmother’s recipe for pastitsio after the meeting.

4. Hike and cook along the Appalacian Trail. – Check

5. Learn to spell Appalachian. -- Check

6. Become the best banjo player in the state of Florida. – Check*

   *I came close. Placed second. Not bad for a born and bred New Yorker who wouldn’t know grits from a grunt.

7. Sing background vocals on a Peter, Paul & Mary album. – Check*

   *Paul Stookey lived in the neighborhood and he needed some kids to sing background vocals on the album Peter, Paul and Mommy. I was one of the ones who couldn’t outrun Mr. Stookey so they dragged me and a bunch of other slow runners to the studio. (Yes, that’s me in the lower left hand corner of the pic on the back of the album.)

8. Make my own wine. – Check

9. Yuck. Okay, make my own wine vinegar. – Check

10. Personally thank Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu for his great work in designing all those dresses for little ballerinas. – Check*

     *Amid all the accolades he received at that small luncheon, I think mine was the most meaningful to him. At least it seemed so by the roar of his laughter.

11. Make my own mess. – Check

12. Learn to clean it up. – Check

13. Surround myself with a gorgeous wife, great family, and very patient friends. – Check.

14. Write a novel. – Check

15. Write a cookbook. – Check

16. Right a wrong. – Check

Items still yet to be done:

1. Visit Ireland.

2. Eat Jell-O with chopsticks.

3. Write a sequel to Julie and Julia about two women who run a kosher catering company in Manhattan’s diamond district. Call it: Jewry, Jewelry, Julia and Julie.

4. Teach an old dog new tricks.

5. Learn to speak a foreign language. I'm thinking Spanish. Or maybe even Haiku.

6. Walk into a Starbucks and tell them their coffee really does taste like battery acid.

7. Live to be 110 just so I can tell folk that daydreaming, single malt scotch, blog writing, roller coasters, and a strong (but woefully inconsistent) love for God are the keys to a long and happy life.


What's on your Bucket List?


  1. Loved this..and I do believe you've inspired me to create a bucket list post of my own! So, thank you!

  2. @Jourdan. Thanks! And I hope you'll feel comfortable enough posting a couple of them here. Who knows how much inspiration two of us can bring to the world, lol!

  3. Please do #6! I love your list, I am creating one of my own now too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. " I was one of the ones who couldn’t outrun Mr. Stookey so they dragged me and a bunch of other slow runners to the studio. (Yes, that’s me in the lower left hand corner of the pic on the back of the album.)"

    How cool is that?! Sorry we only have "Paul and . . ." so I can't look for your picture. :(

  5. @Love from Scratch. #6? Absolute! But let's put together a mob (strength in numbers you know). We can march thru town at midnight with sporks as weapons and cup lids for shields. We can wrap stir sticks in linen and set them ablaze to light our way. Heck, we'll have someone film it to show on late night cable: "Attack of the Pissed-Off Coffee Drinkers"...

    Oh...And I'm waiting on that Bucket List, too...

    Take care!

  6. @Jill. Thanks! It *was* pretty cool. And hey, I'm sorry you only have "Paul And..." (Great album by the way) But if you want a copy of "Peter, Paul and Mommy" I'll give you my mom's address. I think she bought 30 or 40 cases of records to give away to family and friends... :-)

  7. Well the Starbucks one should be easy enough. I've done it and I wasn't half as nice as you plan to be :) Also, if you make jello shots with vodka.....chopsticks are easy after the 5th one.

  8. Here are just a couple of my bucket list items that I'll share:

    *Continuously help friends and communities wherever possible - especially friends selling cookbooks! Cooking saganaki (flaming cheese) at fundraising events for the church ain't bad either!

    *My wife, Marion, surprised me with tickets to Cirque du Soleil, which I've been chasing for years - we saw La Nouba on Feb 5th.

    Still on the list:
    *Tour Dublin and the Irish countryside.

    *Tour Manchu Pichu

    submitted by John-Paul Conners

  9. Those are useful tips, really informative. Thanks for sharing. Great post!

  10. Jell-O with chopsticks - that is awesome! Could you take a picture please? And post it?! :)

    I love your bucket list ... I need to make one.

  11. Love the S***bucks one. You are of inspiration...In my (just making it now) bucket list there's the "Capture of the Wild Yeast Project", of course, to be done...

  12. Well, Katerina, I think pics of my eating Jell-O with chopsticks would certainly make for some interesting blog conversation. LOL.

  13. @BigAppleNosh. Thanks, Serena, I hope you'll add a few of your own. Sorry I didn't win the cookbook, but hey, I came out all right with the Chile Verde recipe! :-)

  14. @Absurd Baker. I'm glad this post inspired. Let's raise a glass to bucket lists! And may each of us be younger than we are.... Cheers!

  15. Is jello on the menu at the FPA Spring Fling? And, are you bringing chop sticks?

  16. Great list! Made me giggle. I love humorous writing! Look forward to more posts!

  17. @hmariek. Thanks, Heather. Glad the post brought a smile. I try to post weekly so feel free to drop in often!

  18. Great list! We followed you back and are looking forward to new posts!

  19. @Jackie. Thanks for dropping by! I try to post weekly so please don't be a stranger. :-)

  20. Hi, how about Russian or Hindi, or Arabic? Something really off the wall.. that no one that you know speaks, then you'll only get to talk it to yourself, and only in your head and only you will know you made a I'd like to write a book, I'd call it 'Yes, she really was that bonkers' All the best, KG.

  21. @Kooky Girl. I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that I'm actually considering your suggestions, or the fact that your reasons for doing so make so much sense, lmao!

  22. so nice
    thank you for your doing...

  23. Warren, thank you for being the inspiration for my new bucket list.

  24. Very funny and inspiring. Well done.

  25. @Jourdan. Way to go! Heading over there now...

  26. @Cristin. Thanks for dropping in. Glad it brought a smile. I try to post weekly so feel free to drop in and pull up a chair when you can!

  27. Great list Warren. I think I’ll have to make my own bucket list one day…
    What are you cooking today?

  28. @Lilly. Thanks! When you get your list done be sure to post it on Fuzz Free Food, :-)

    I'm not doing *any* cooking today. I just finished an week-long book/cooking tour and I'm all cooked out, lol. Today I'm going to let someone else do the cooking as I make my way back home.

  29. Warren, thank you for visiting my blog...because of this, I found your wonderful site, now you got me thinking about making a bucket list? I love your list...

  30. haha love your list! jello with chopsticks, hmmm...maybe i'll add that to mine too :)

  31. @cusinera. Thanks for stopping by. Glad it might have inspired you to come up with your own list. Of course there's one caveat - you have to post it on your blog. :-)

    BTW, Fruity Kewpies and Naked Kewpies? My goodness, aren't they illegal in Australia? I know they are in some parts of Arkansas. (At least the naked ones are, lol.)

  32. @a.maren. Chopsticks with Jell-O? Here's what I think. We need to do it and do it quick. I have a gut feeling that it will soon be all the rage. You get the sticks. I'll get the Jell-O. Then we'll meet at Johnny Chen's and go for it. Oh, and bring a photographer, we'll need a pic for our blogs. :-)

  33. I bet you could cheat on the Jell-O by molding it with a chopstick.

  34. @Lisa R. LOL. Great idea! Now...could you teach me to speak Haiku? :-)