BrooksLooks @ The Great Quinnipiack Club Soup Controversy of 2006

front_of_clubhouseAREA HEADLINES:

“SOUP CONTROVERSY BOILS OVER!”

“CLUB HULLABALOO OVER SOUP ON THE FRONT BURNER”

“STIRRING THE POT IN CLUB SOUP DEBACLE”

“SOUP BATTLE: A REAL BEEF!”              “STOCK POT TEMPERS FLARE”

“AD HOC SOUP COMMISSION APPPOINTED”

“Q CLUB ‘SOUP-GATE’ REVEALS CANNED PRODUCTS

WERE USED EXTENSIVELY…AND PREFERRED BY ITS MEMBERS!”

NEW HAVEN, CT — In an act of desperation, eleven Quinnipiack Club members from the club’s self-described O.F.& H.B.’S (old farts and has beens) presented a strongly worded request to the Board of Governors today. It seems the long-simmering issue regarding recent changes in the club soup recipe has bubbled to the surface at the venerable private club.

As a result, an ad hoc ‘Soup, Broth & Consommé’ Committee is now being formed to address the rather dicey club issue. A Soup Task Force commissioner has yet to be named. It was unknown at press time whether the club’s new soup is actually being dumped into the New Haven Harbor (a la the Boston Tea Party) however Club Q Soup loyalists are really stirring the pot and ladling out cries of fowl.

The heat is also rising in the club’s ancient kitchen as the new chef was unaware there were any old “recipes” as the soup rebels claim. It seems that the club’s vital soup secrets (and a rusty can opener) disappeared about the same time as the former chef.

It is rumored that the new chef (with twenty-five years of cooking experience) actually arrived with some of his own soup recipes. Chef Jack Hodes when asked if he knew how to make soup, replied, “Yes.” And, “My soups have always been made from scratch. I know they are being well-received by the other club members because they actually have taste now.” The chef reports that the usage of salt, pepper and crackers has shown similar gains concurrent with the new homemade soups.

Compounding matters, one of the new chef’s first acts was to bring all of the old canned soup, soup base, stock and canned vegetables that were in the club’s kitchen when he arrived over to the nearby New Haven Soup Kitchen. While not homemade, management was certain that less fortunate members of our local community would really enjoy the soup, canned or otherwise.

Uncannily, we’ve all been shocked to discover that the Soup Traditionalists actually preferred the canned soup over the new made-from-scratch soup! Temperatures are boiling over as vehemence and vitriol pour out! Meanwhile, soup sales at New Haven’s Broadway Soup Kitchen have soared ever since the delivery of the Q Club canned food products. This however seems to be related to unfortunate economic reasons rather than dissenting Q Club members actually dining over there now.

The entire unsavory issue may be brought to a referendum in order that common ground is forged among the group’s steamed-up members. The emeritus leader of the “Soup Party” claims that “with the hiring of the new chef, our revered club soups have disappeared from the menu!” Reports from other members label this as simply “hogwash.”

It seems a majority of members actually prefers the bold, new direction of having some taste in their soup! “I find the club-made stocks to make all of the difference, bravo to the chef!,” exclaimed one gushing chowder-head. The general manager has been bowled over by the controversy and has vowed to address the concerns of all ‘soup loyalists’ with compassion and sensitivity. The situation remains fluid.

The Great Q Club Soup Controversy Simmers On!

© COPYRIGHT 2014 Brooks Bradbury ǀ BROOKS LOOKS

BrooksLooks @ Innkeepers

INNKEEPERS LIKE SLEEPERS
Brooks Bradbury
15 November 2013

IT’S NO SECRET
INNKEEPERS LIKE SLEEPERS
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO RENT ROOMS
AND THOSE WHO DRINK WINE
AND THOSE WHO NEED TIME
FOR ROMANCE
LIKE BRIDES & GROOMS
AND THOSE OVERDUE FOR SOME VACATION
AND A LITTLE PRIVACY
ONE ASSUMES
THE DESPERATE FOR RELAXATION
AND RELIEF FROM CITY FUMES
THIS ABOUT COVERS
OUR WHOLE NATION

INNKEEPERS ITS TRUE
CAN REALLY VARY
BUT ALL GENUINELY OFFER
SANCTUARY

INNKEEPERS LOVE TO WELCOME EACH GUEST
THEY REALLY LOVE A FULL HOUSE
AND DREAM OF THE DAY
WHEN THEY CAN REST
IT’S THE GUESTS WHO COME BACK
FOR WHOM THEY ARE BLEST
INNKEEPERS OFFER ESCAPE
FROM LIFE’S TESTS

INNKEEPERS THOUGH
ARE A LITTLE OFF KILTER
PERHAPS ALWAYS BEING TOO NICE
MEANS THEY LACK SOME PERSONAL FILTER
OR THEIR UPBRINGING TAUGHT THEM
TO ALWAYS BE GIVING
OR THAT REAL JOY
COMES FROM HELPING OTHERS
WITH THEIR LIVING

THE WORLD’S INDEED A MUCH BETTER PLACE
BECAUSE INNKEEPERS WELCOME
THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE
THEN SEND PEOPLE BACK HUMAN AGAIN
TO THE PLACE THEY BELONG
AND BACK WITH THEIR FRIENDS

INNKEEPERS PERHAPS CONTRIBUTE
TO A LITTLE LESS TENSION
A LITTLE MORE LOVE
LESS APPREHENSION
MORE UNDERSTANDING
AND A REDUCTION IN STRESS
WITHOUT INNKEEPERS
THIS WOULD BE
A MUCH BIGGER MESS

HERE’S TO THE INNKEEPERS
A RATHER UNSUNG FOLK
MAY THEY SLIP INTO THEIR HOT TUBS
TONIGHT
FOR A WELL-DESERVED SOAK

IT’S NO SECRET
INNKEEPERS LIKE SLEEPERS
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO RENT ROOMS
AND THOSE WHO DRINK WINE
AND THOSE WHO NEED TIME
FOR ROMANCE
LIKE BRIDES & GROOMS
AND THOSE IN NEED OF REAL VACATION
A LITTLE PRIVACY ONE ASSUMES
THOSE DESPERATE FOR RELAXATION
RELIEF FROM STRESS AND CITY FUMES
THIS JUST ABOUT COVERS OUR WHOLE NATION

INNKEEPERS IT’S TRUE
CAN REALLY VARY
BUT EACH OFFERS
A WELCOME TO SANCTUARY

© BROOKS BRADBURY / INNSPIRED HOSPITALITY

BrooksLooks @ Innkeeper Nation

INNKEEPER NATION
Brooks Bradbury

WE BUILD OUR BUSINESS SERVING GUESTS FIRST
WE ATTEND TO COMFORT HUNGER AND THIRST
THE GO-TO PEOPLE FOR RELAXATION GETAWAYS AND CELEBRATIONS
SOMETIMES SPEECHLESS AT WHAT WE BEHOLD
AT WHAT WE SEE AND WHAT WE’RE TOLD
AT TIMES CLUELESS, AT TIMES AMAZINGLY WISE
AT TIMES SO QUIET WE HEAR THE OVERHEAD RISE

WE CHECK LEGIONS IN, CHECK LEGIONS OUT
WE’RE PLEASANT EVERY DAY, NO DOUBT
WE SERVE CANAPÉS AND WINE AND CHEESE
WORK ENDLESS DAYS AND AIM TO PLEASE
TRIP ADVISOR CAN MAKE OUR DAY OR TURN IT ROUND THE OTHER WAY
GOOD REVIEWS MAKE US SEEM BRILLIANT, THE BAD GIVE US HELL TO PAY

IT SURE BEATS LIFE IN A CUBBY OR THE TEDIOUS NINE TO FIVE DRAG
WITH MORE WEEKENDS OFF WE’D BE EVEN MORE CHUBBY
PROBABLY HALF IN THE BAG
ALL OF OUR GUESTS BRING JOY TO THE HEART, SURE:
MOST ALL AT ARRIVAL AND A FEW AT DEPARTURE
WE’VE GOT HOLES IN OUR ‘TAPE CHARTS’ WE’RE DESPERATE TO FILL
THIS AIN’T FOR THE FAINT-HEARTS NOR THE OVER-THE-HILL

WE’VE GOT PLENTY OF SECRETS WE COULD GET OFF OF OUR CHESTS
ALWAYS GRACIOUS UNDER STRESS, APPRECIATIVE OF RETURNING GUESTS
WE CARRY BAGS, SHOW THE WAY, POUR THE COFFEE, CLEAN THE LOO
OFFER ADVICE–RECEIVE OUR SHARE TOO

WE SEE OUR GUESTS NAKED WITHOUT INHIBITIONS
AT TIMES LOCKED OUT IN AWKWARD POSITIONS
IN-TUNE WITH OUR GREASE-TRAPS, WE BRAVE THE OCCASIONAL MOUSE
WE KNOW THE DOUBLE EDGE SWORD OF A COMPLETELY FULL-HOUSE
WE CLEAN UP MESSES AND SPILLS, WE PAY HEAVENLY BILLS
WE FLASH MILES OF SMILES, VACUUM HAIRS OFF TILES
WE SILENCE BEDSPRINGS, FORTIFY WALLS AGAINST SNORES
RETURN LOST AND FOUND THINGS, SETTLE CHECK-OUT TIME WARS

WE POINT TOILET PAPER FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON
IS THIS IN THE HANDBOOK? ARE WE OVER-REACHING?
WE STRATEGIZE ON RENTING BEDS–DIAMONDS AND STARS DANCE IN OUR HEADS
WE SPEND LONG HOURS AT LABOR AT OUR INN VOCATIONS
WE “LIVE WITH” OUR CUSTOMERS AND HAVE QUITE A FEW RESERVATIONS

PERPETUALLY IN NEED OF A LONGER VACATION
WE ARE THE FAITHFUL OF THE INNKEEPER NATION
WE’RE GIVEN ONE CHANCE TO MAKE FIRST IMPRESSIONS
WE LOOK ASKANCE AT INDISCRETIONS

BECOME AN INNKEEPER—AND YOU’LL LIVE LIFE EVEN DEEPER
AND FLY BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS
IT’S OUR GUESTS THAT WE TREASURE AS FRAGILE AND RARE
OF COURSE! MY PLEASURE! WHY YES, BE RIGHT THERE!
IT’S UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL–WE ATTEND TO SYBIL-LIKE ROLES
SOMETIMES WE COULD BITE OFF SOME HEADS JUST TO SPIT IN THE HOLES…

BUT WE SMILE THROUGH OUR ANGER RESISTING THE URGE
WHEN WE’RE OVER-THE-EDGE AND OUT ON THE VERGE
THIS IS OUR CALLING WE ARE DESTINED TO SERVE
WE’VE GOT THE MANNERS, THE BRASS AND THE NERVE
GUESTS RETURN JOY AND LOVE US IN TURN
THEY RESPOND TO OUR KINDNESS, THEIR LOYALTY WE EARN

SNOOZING AWAY, IN THOSE EARLY MORN HOURS
WHEN WE AWAKEN FROM DREAMS OF FRETTE AND FLOWERS
REMEMBER THERE’S ONLY ONE CHOICE WE NEED MAKE
IT’S NOT WHAT ROOM TO CLEAN FIRST NOR WHICH MUFFIN TO BAKE
NOT THE QUICHE OR FRITATTA NOR THE GLUTEN-FREE CAKE

NOR WHICH POTPOURRI YOU’VE DECIDED TO USE
OR IF YOU NEED PADDED HANGERS OR JUST PADDED ROOMS
FOR THE HEART OF THE MATTER, THE REAL CRUX OF THE THING
IS WHEN YOU WAKE UP TO AN ALARM BELL RING
A MOMENT OF TRUTH ARRIVES EACH DAY IN YOUR LIFE
A DECISION YOU MAKE THAT CUTS LIKE A KNIFE
YOUR ONLY CHOICE IS THIS ONE, TO GET BY:
ARE YOU GOING TO LIVE? OR ARE YOU GOING TO DIE?

IF YOU’VE DECIDED TO DIE, PLEASE — FALL DOWN QUICKLY
LET’S SPARE ALL THE OTHERS FROM THE NEGATIVE AND PRICKLY
BUT IF YOU’VE DECIDED TO LIVE: THEN BY ALL MEANS FLOURISH!
GROW JOY IN YOUR SOUL, LOVE AND BE NOURISHED

IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, IT’S THE GIFTS WE GIVE
THE TIME WE SHARE, THE WAY WE LIVE
THE GIVING BACK, THE BEING THERE
THE FRIENDS WE MAKE, THE WAY WE CARE
TIME GETS SHORTER, NUMBERED DAYS WHIZ BY
PLENTY OF WORRIES, TO PONDER WHY
IT’S AN INNKEEPER’S LIFE, A STRIVING TO SERVE
IN SPITE OF THE GRIND AND THE OCCASIONAL CURVE
WE ARE THE GIFTS WE GIVE TO THE SOULS WHO ARRIVE
EACH AND EVERY DAY IN AN INN, WE KNOW WE’RE ALIVE

© BROOKS BRADBURY | INNSPIRED HOSPITALITY 2013

BrooksLooks @ Beer

The Beer Poem
Brooks Bradbury
2 August 2011

I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE REASON
WHY WHEN YOU COME NEAR
ALL I WANT TO DO IS TO, DRINK BEER
ALL I NEED RIGHT NOW IS TO DRINK BEER

AND IF YOU COME BY HERE MORE OFTEN
I ‘LL NEED TO DRINK A LOT MORE BEER
I ‘M GONNA START RIGHT NOW
AM I THE HEADLIGHTS OR AM I THE DEER?
JUST DON’T TRY TO TOUCH ME MISTER
THERE JUST AIN’T THAT MUCH BEER

LIQUOR, LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER
THERE AIN’T ENOUGH FOR ME IT’S CLEAR
BECAUSE OF YOU MY WORLD’S A BLUR
OUT OF SYNCH, ‘BURP’, AS IT WERE

WHEN YOU PASS BY MY FRONT GATE
I HEAD FOR THE SHELTER OF AN ALTERED STATE
WHY CAN’T YOU GET THE MESSAGE?
I DON’T LIVE HERE ANY LONGER
I’M OUT LOOKING FOR SOME BEER
OR EVEN SOMETHING STRONGER

LIQUOR, LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER
THERE AIN’T ENOUGH FOR ME IT’S CLEAR
BECAUSE OF YOU MY WORLD’S A BLUR
OUT OF SYNCH, ‘BURP’, AS IT WERE

GO GET A JOB AND LEAVE ME ALONE
I’LL NEVER THROW YOU EVEN ONE SMALL BONE
I’LL RUN FOR THE HILLS… THERE AIN’T NO REASON YOU SHOULD PHONE
WHY WHEN YOU COME NEAR
ALL I WANT TO DO IS TO, DRINK BEER
ALL I NEED RIGHT NOW IS TO DRINK BEER

IT’S A STRANGE CORRELATION
A CRYSTAL CLEAR INDICATION
BETWEEN YOU AND MY INTOXICATION
PERHAPS THERE’S A REASON
OR IT’S SIMPLY OUT OF FEAR
WHEN I SEE YOU, I THINK BEER
WHEN I SEE YOU, I DRINK BEER
JUST DON’T TRY TO TOUCH ME MISTER
THERE JUST AIN’T THAT MUCH BEER!

LIQUOR, LIQUOR, WINE AND BEER
THERE AIN’T ENOUGH FOR ME IT’S CLEAR
BECAUSE OF YOU MY WORLD’S A BLUR
OUT OF SYNCH, ‘BURP’, AS IT WERE

BrooksLooks @ Arizona’s Promising Wine Future

Out on the crush pad at 7 a.m. on a cool and glorious Arizona morning, winemaker Curt Dunham of Lawrence Dunham Vineyards brings out a hot pot of coffee before the day begins.  His thriving vineyards surround the winery against the backdrop of Chiricahua Mountains, with the peaks of Dos Cabezas and Mount Graham visible in the distance.

Along with affable assistant winemaker, Frank Price, the men are focused on organizing their well-sanitized equipment for a day of harvesting and de-stemming just as the process is about to begin.  A crew of six have been harvesting beautifully ripe grenache grapes by hand since well before dawn, and now the first giant one-ton tub of grapes is brought in on the forks of a tractor.

It was a cool night at this mile-high elevation and the first picked grapes are bursting with sweet juicy flavor.  Wielding a special pitch fork and a flat-bottomed shovel, each tub of thirteen in total is emptied into the mechanized de-stemmer as the clean-picked stems dump neatly out one side while the slightly mashed grapes (now referred to as “must”) make their way up a 4″ diameter clear tube rapidly filling a 300 gallon, slightly translucent industrial vat.  “25 Brix,” is the first report of sugar content, about what Curt expected of Mother Nature’s produce.

Nine full-fledged wineries now operate in Cochise County alone.  Five more are in the process of being planted as this very special terroir is being discovered.  Rich volcanic soil, and the moderating influences of elevation and nightly temperature swing contribute to Arizona new status as ‘wine country.’  It is a joy to witness  the surprised and pleasant reactions of our European and American visitors alike as they taste Arizona’s new craze crop–amazing wines!

Much of this corner of southern Arizona area is counter-intuitive, beginning with the quality of wine (and people!) one can already discover here.  Talented wine makers such as Curt Dunham and Peggy Fiandaca; Rod Keeling and Jan Schaefer; Sam Pillsbury; Bob Carlson and his family; Rob and Sarah Hammelman; Mark and Rhona Jorve and many more are perfecting their wines for all of America to discover.

For the adventurous tourist, one might also think of southern Arizona as the wrong place to visit in summertime.  After all, who hasn’t seen those extreme temperatures on the Tucson and Phoenix weather maps?

Think again! At over 5,000 feet in elevation, August and September are actually very enjoyable months of the year to visit.  Largely gentle monsoon rains create verdant vistas, flowers bloom and grasses come alive, and first-time visitors are stunned to see flowing creeks and filled ponds–in Arizona!  For both wine and visitors, the cool evening temperatures work their magic.

The giant vats are carefully loaded into Curt’s huge chilled storerooms–the winemaker’s craft well underway.  Curt’s enthusiasm is overflowing, and his impeccable attention to detail is obvious.  The future of Arizona wines is very bright indeed.