CBS, Here We Come!

eggo tyson nuggets

Several years ago the girls and I ate dinner at Beasley’s Chicken and Honey downtown.  Mmmm.    They fry up this incredible hen and plop it on a homemade waffle, a little honey drizzled randomly over the bird.  A couple of weeks later, as I struggled with supper options, it hit me:  I could replicate Ashley Christensen’s (Beasley owner) entrée.  I already had the ingredients in the freezer.

I pulled out four Eggo’s and opened a bag of Tyson nuggets, a little Mrs. Buttersworth, and swala!, dinner was served.

I believe that may be how we were discovered.  She heard about my cooking prowess.

Last Thursday, I got a call around 5 PM.  The conversation went something like this:

“This is Jessica from the Rachael Ray Show.  Is this Danny Tanner from The Real Full House blog, the one who wrote the book Laughter, Tears and Braids?”

I assumed Uncle Jesse was punking me, but I chose to play along.

“This is Danny.”  Rachael must need some help in the kitchen, I thought to myself.  Probably working on chicken and waffles.

“I’d like to talk with you about your family.  If you’re interested, we would like to consider flying you and your girls up to be on the show.”

Well, I’ll have to see if I can fit you in between Ellen and dinner at the White house.  I’m receiving a Metal of Honor for my literary genius.

“We are finding that our male viewership is increasing.  We are working on segments that appeal to that audience.”

“So, this isn’t Jesse?”

“Jesse who?”

I didn’t get too excited.  I still wasn’t convinced this wasn’t some sort of elaborate hoax, and we’d had some odd offers before that didn’t pan out.  Three groups have talked to us about reality TV shows.  When I express that I’m not about to have open season in my living room with no editorial control, the conversations tend to wane.  A documentary on pushing through tough times I’d be interested in; the Raleigh version of Honey Boo Boo, not so much.

We’re supposed to fly out today.  I’m not exactly sure what will happen – I think they’re doing some videos of our family on Wednesday and the actual show will be taped on Thursday.  It could be a 15 second snippet with us pointed to in the audience, sort of like Funniest Home Videos, or perhaps we’ll get to sit at the kitchen table and sip on a cup-o-joe with the star.  Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to teach her how to make chicken and waffles.  Talk about a ratings bump!


Chicken and Waffles a la Danny

eggotyson nuggets

There is a really interesting restaurant in downtown Raleigh called Beasley’s Chicken + Honey.  Ashley Christensen has become a famous local chef and entrepreneur who has worked to bring good food and spirits to our city.  She owns Beasley’s.

This hip joint has tables with stools and serves fried chicken on a waffle – with honey.

I ate there a while back, and it was good.  Reminded me a bit of my grandma’s southern (South Carolina) cooking.

After the girls went one night with Uncle Jesse and came back with rave revues, I figured Ashley might be on to something.  I’m always looking for new meals!

So – I bought a box of Eggo’s and some Tyson chicken nuggets.  I plugged in the toaster and turned the microwave on high.

I was so looking forward to THE early evening question…

“Dad, what’s for dinner?”

“You’re gonna like this one!  Remember when you went downtown with Uncle Jesse to that cool restaurant?”

“The one with chicken and waffles?”

“Oh yeah,” I said with slight bit of swag.

I am THE man!  I couldn’t believe I was so clever.  I remembered something they liked and had put this meal together ON MY OWN!

As I brought the plates to the table, I could see their faces fall.

“Get the ketchup,” Michelle dourly requested.

DJ was more blatant in her criticism.

“This is disgusting.  Can I eat the waffle now and come back in thirty minutes for the nuggets?  It’s like two different meals.  YUCK!”

I don’t understand.  They do this on Good Morning America every week!  They have a model come out in a very expensive dress that looks nice, and they find a similar outfit that came from Walmart.  No one can every tell the difference.

I mean it was the exact same combination that Ashley had served up the week before – which they loooved!

What is wrong with these people who live with me???

Poofles for Breakfast

It is really difficult to get under DJ’s skin. I mean her sisters and I get on her nerves on a frequent basis, but nothing really fazes her. She just sort of rolls her eyes and rolls with the punches; a lot like her mother.

I so long to really irritate her. Not always, but on occasion. It gives me such pleasure.

The other day though, I thought I had.

For years we’ve exchanged fake plastic poop with my brother’s family. I’m not sure who originally purchased it, probably that difficult niece of mine – the one who froze all of my boxers at the beach last summer.

You might find the poo in your suitcase when you return from the family beach trip. Or, it might be wrapped in a Bailey’s box for Christmas. Imagine the disappointment my sister-in-law felt when she anticipated a Pandora bracelet from me and instead discovered plastic poop underneath the white and gold striped tissue paper!

Our only issue seems to be that we misplace our family poo from time to time. No one on my branch of the family really knew where it was this year so when DJ found some at a new store called Five and Below (cheap-cheap), she tossed it in her bag and brought the prize home.

“This will be perfect for Cam (my nephew).” DJ and I agreed that he could use a good dose of doo!

We gently set it on the desk in the kitchen so nothing would happen to it before the holidays. I’m sure guests in our house during the month of December were a bit alarmed.

“Is Danny having health issues?” I could hear my Sunday School class members discussing on the way home from our Christmas party. “I noticed he messed on his kitchen desk. Raising these girls has really been tough on him.”

On the Monday before Christmas, the girls enjoyed sleeping in on their first real day of vacation. I, being the caring father that I am, surprised them with waffles when they awoke at 11. Michelle and Stephanie were downstairs first. DJ seemed to be struggling to get out of bed.

As I finished her golden Bisquick creation, I eyeballed Cam’s gift.

Hmmmm. Might as well use it twice, I thought to myself.

I set the waffle on her plate and headed to the desk. I gently placed the poop in the middle of her meal anticipating her disgust, perhaps even a screech!

photo (2)

“DJ, your breakfast is getting cold. Better hurry.” I was giddy with anticipation.

She sauntered down the stairs after her shower and headed toward the bar. She gently lifted the poop off the plate, and began to pour her syrup. Hardly a blink.

If I found poop on my breakfast, I think I’d at least turn up my nose.

Not my child. It’s as if I served feces as a side on a regular basis.

I so want to annoy her. Any suggestions?

Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you have read the book and are willing to write a short review, it would be helpful: Click here. And thanks

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Turkey Innards

I had a slight panic attack today.  My parents are 77, and I’m not sure what we’re going to do when they stop cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  Yo – mom and dad, we’re gonna need a decade’s notice, I’m just saying.

I ain’t eating that important feast at an old folks home I’m telling you that.  Turkey should be sliced, not pureed.  And I’m extremely uncomfortable with my stuffing being served out of an ice cream scoop.

I’m not too worried about my side of the family.  That sister-in-law is fair in the kitchen and there are some nieces honing their skills.  My brother can deep fry a turkey – although it’s a fire hazard if the singeing of his eyebrows from illegal fireworks last Fourth of July is any indication.  I’ll just stay inside.

But the other side of the family is really going to struggle.  That sister-in-law is really good at injecting monkeys with infectious diseases but give her a pot and she’s dumbfounded.  And then there’s Uncle Jesse – you can’t buy Thanksgiving dinner from the Steak and Shake.

Oh, I got an idea!  I hear Martha Stewart is on!  Maybe I should sign up and woo her.  I got a lot to offer – work for a nonprofit, three teen daughters, skinny but with slight love handles – how could she pass on that?  I know, she’s a little older than me, but she would certainly bring something to the table, literally.  And Stephanie has a rip in one of her sheets, I bet she could get us a deal to replace that at the K-Mart.

Boy would that be a change.  The one time Lisa and I were responsible for Thanksgiving dinner, she told me to get the stuff from between the turkey’s legs.  I reached my hand in – “Oh my Lord Lisa!  This bird has an erection!”


“I swear.  I felt it.  Go ahead, touch it!”

“I am NOT touching that fowl’s foul.  Get it out!  We aren’t serving a turkey’s penis for Thanksgiving!”

“Some people must like it or they wouldn’t leave it in there.”

“I bet the factory workers just refuse to remove them.”

Later my mom told me it was the bird’s neck.  He sure must have been flexible.

I know!  I’ll just give the girls cooking lessons for their Christmas present this year.  They’ll love it!

In the meantime, I’m gonna get my dad to have my niece remove the turkey innards on Thursday – the old one who rudely froze all my underwear at the beach this summer.  I can’t wait!

Here Little Chickie Chick…

Posted by Danny

What in the heck is inside of this chicken?  I bought it at Harris Teeter the other day.  It was on sale for $5.  I wasn’t sure what I was gonna do with it, but it seemed like a lot of meat for a little money – so I nabbed it.

I knew I had a chicken, but I didn’t know it came with a prize in the middle.  Sort of like a cereal box but wet and squishy.  I personally prefer a Hot Wheel.

I remember the first time Lisa cooked a turkey – it was Thanksgiving and we decided we’d host that year.  Someone warned Lisa to look between the turkey’s legs before putting it in the oven.  She gasped when she opened him.  I came running.

“What’s wrong baby?”

“There’s a bunch of gross stuff inside the turkey.”


I had to see for myself.  I spread his legs and thought he was excited to see me.  My mom later told me it was his neck bone. 

How disturbing – you kill the poor fella and then stuff his neck between his legs.  That’s just not right.

But that wasn’t a neck in this chicken.  It was a ball of bloody muck.  I started to leave it in there but was afraid it would get mixed up with the rest of the bird, and I’d end up with a mouth full of chicken innards.  When I put my hand in to get it, I was shocked at the chill.  My digits nearly froze off.  If I ever bruise something, forget the ice pack.  I’m just gonna stick my wound inside of a $5 chicken.  It’s economical, and I’m certain it would stop the swelling.

I didn’t know how to cook this dude so I asked some women at the office.  I told them I wanted a chicken like they sold at the grocery store deli. 

“What do you call those whole little chickens they sell over by the good cheese?” I asked.


“Yeah.  That’s it.  Can I make one of those?”

“Do you have a rotisserie?” one woman inquired.

“I don’t think so.”

“Then no.”  Apparently she had work to do and didn’t want to be bothered with my poultry problems.

Who knew you had to have a special appliance to roast a chicken like that?  Harris Teeter is so lucky.

Thankfully a nice lady who works in accounts receivable quietly called me to her cubical.  She told me a secret way to get nearly the same taste, and all you had to have was an oven and a pan!

I’ll have to admit that it turned out pretty good, but that’s my last time cooking one of those things.  I don’t like sticking my hand in there.  If I wanted to be a urologist, I’d have gone to med school.

I’m sticking with the boneless breast of chicken – nothing in there but good ole white meat.

Roast or My Boots?

Best thing on the menu, provided by the guests

Posted by Danny

I simply can’t cook.

I woke up this morning knowing that the family was coming over for dinner – 13 and a baby. I was planning on cooking up some Mexican fare but my sister-in-law called and said they were bringing a tomato pie. She then informed me that tomato pie went with ANYTHING. Have you ever seen tomato pie on a menu at Dos Taquitos? I don’t think so…

I knew I could cook a pot roast but I sort of felt like mine was too crock pot and cream of mushroom soupy. My mother-in-law is such a good cook, I sort of thought I should put in a little more effort – less onion soup from a box and more clove of real garlic. By the way, took me twenty minutes and two children to find a clove of garlic in the fresh food section at the Kroger. It was hidden behind the avocado – another thing I’ve never purchased.

I found a recipe on-line – someone’s grandma’s oven baked pot roast. It looked simple.

I got home at 1:30 in a panic. Grandma called for her chuck roast to cook for four to five hours – she must have been retired. Who has time to cook a five-hour meal? That should have been my first clue.

The second should have been a dish that required alcohol. Frozen burritos do require alcohol, but in a glass while you’re eating them. This chuck roast called for searing (had to Google that) followed by a bath in red wine. It killed me to waste a good pino noir like that.

It first called for me to rub salt and pepper all over Chuck.  I found it difficult to believe that I was giving a dead cow a rub down.  I closed my eyes and pictured Meg Ryan.  Didn’t work.  I’m sure her skin would have been softer and warmer.

After searing, chopping, poking, daydreaming, basking and simmering, I finally tossed my new friend into the oven in a big silver pot with an enormous silver lid.  This large kitchen item has not been used since my wife died. And I’m not sure it has ever been used, although it has taken up an entire cabinet since 1995. 

It was 2:15 when I tossed him in the oven – we’d be pushing it, but Stephanie had several new constipation jokes that could entertain the guests for a good 20 minutes.

I set the timer for 5 pm just to check in on Chuck. I pulled him out of the oven and hour before the guest arrived and opened the lid. As I jabbed him with my knife, I realized he was the consistency of myboots. When I took a bite, thoughts of my summer lawn shoes filled my head.

Crap! I’ve ruined yet another meal. I called my mom, as if this woman could tenderize pounds of meat from 90 miles away.  “Is there anything that can be done for a piece of meat that taste like a bike tire?”

She didn’t flinch, “Honey, they have these great chickens in the deli at the Harris Teeter. Why don’t you go buy a couple of those?”

She used to talk me through my cooking failures.  Now she just suggests alternate arrangements. 

As we sat at the table, my oldest daughter critiqued the corn. She then explained to the family how I’d run into the house at 5:30 with a new meat. That was unfortunate since I’d already accepted the compliment of my brother-in-law’s sister who told me the chicken was delicious. I simply said, “Thank you.” Sometimes I’m prone to lying through omission my grief counselor tells me.

So – I ruined another meal. The corn was too creamy. The meat was in the outdoor trash can. The potatoes were mushy. Thank the lord the guests brought a really good salad – and several bottles of wine.

And next time, I’m sticking with Mexican – tomato pie or not.

Sunday Post 37: Teamwork 101

Posted by Danny

When Stephanie was two, we were diligently working to get her to use the potty.  Lisa was tired of the hassle of diapers.  I knew my annual income would increase by $600 when I stopped having to buy Pampers four times a month.

We tried everything:  reason, a sticker chart, the comfort argument, peer pressure.  Nothing seemed to work.  

When October hit, Lisa made her annual trip to the store to purchase candy corn.  Lisa was big on annual traditions, big or small.  Candy corn was a fall staple.

This was Stephanie’s first experience with the delectable sweet and she was hooked immediately.  A new tool!  We’d bribe her with candy corn.

That night we headed to Nana’s house for dinner.  DJ was five and excited to help teach Stephanie about the wonders of the toilet.  She understood the stakes were high for Stephanie.  Potty = candy corn.

About an hour into the evening, the two ran out of the bathroom with exuberance!  “Stephanie peed in the potty!  She gets candy corn!” our oldest reported.

Stephanie was beaming with pride.  We all ran to the bathroom and looked in the miniature commode.  It was full of urine.  Lisa and I began to clap – the accolades flying.

Nana, being a bit more seasoned than we, took a second look.  “That looks like a lot of pee for a two-year old that’s never gone before.  DJ…”

Yes, the candy corn mafia boss and her associate pooled their resources.  DJ would provide the urine and Stephanie would share the loot.  Incredible teamwork!  And we almost bought it, hook, line and sinker.

Tonight I had a work function and was headed out of the house after taking a quick shower.  When I came out of my room, I was amazed.  My three daughters were again teamed up – rather than stress me out with making dinner for another night this week, they decided to take care of themselves.  DJ took charge – scrambling the eggs.  Michelle, without being asked, set the table and got the drinks ready.  Stephanie was in charge of waffles, syrup and butter.  They teamed up and took care of business – just like before.

I wonder if it is a coincidence that we just bought the annual candy corn at DJ’s request this past weekend.  You know, those little sugar pills bring out the best in people.

Lost in a World of Utensils

Posted by Danny

I forgot how to cook.  We were gone so much this summer that I just didn’t – we ate out.

So tonight, I decided I had to get back on the wagon.  School started a couple of weeks ago and we had several meals in the freezer.  Tomorrow, I may have to pull out the pots and pans.

I began hanging out in the kitchen about midnight – trying to rebuild some kharma with the place.  I wiped the stove top off with the sponge and ran my hands across the countertop.  I counted my knives, they all seem present.  I’m coming back baby!  Together we’ll make this happen!

I then opened a random, down low, utensil drawer and I was surprised at what I found.  There are things in there that are unidentifiable to me.

What is this?

It looks sort of like a spoon but there’s a big hole in the bottom.  Actually, I’m pretty sure my urologist used a similar instrument when he gave me my vasectomy – only his was made of cold stainless steel.

And this?

I thought it was a thermometer but there are no numbers.  It’s rough around the sides like a cat’s tongue.  Actually felt good when I used it to scratch my back.  Too big for a skewer.  I’m gonna move it to the bedroom.

This one is clearly for cutting – it has really sharp teeth.  It looks like it could peel the skin off a tiger – nearly cut my finger off when I grabbed it for closer observation.  It too may have been used in a same day surgery procedure or by Anthony Hopkins in the thriller Psycho.  I’m just going to put it back in the drawer, face down.

And this contraption?

If it had more parts I’d think it could be used to mold playdough.  A telescope?  It actually came from The Pampered Chef, says so on the side.  I can almost hear Lisa –

I just had a Longaberger Basket party last week and now the Pampered Chef.  I don’t cook!  Why would they invite me to this?  And I’m going to have to buy something that we will never use!

And clearly, she did.

And this little man is cute – up on three little legs.  But what is his purpose?  Maybe he’s a cake topper.

Wouldn’t want that on my birthday cake.

I feel so inadequate.  How have I made it the past 18 months without these utensils?  What am I missing?  I bet if I could figure out what these things did my cooking abilities would increase three-fold.

One thing I loved about Lisa – I’d bet my life savings that she couldn’t identify any of these gadgets either.  We were kitchen clueless together.

If you’ve got a clue, let me know!

Conversation Starters by Michelle

Posted by Danny

On Monday, Jesse and I were on the front porch talking about life – not an unusual occurence.  Michelle can’t stand for two people to be talking without being in the middle of the conversation.  She sort of senses that others have congregated without her, and she quickly finds a way to jump in the middle of the conversation – and in the middle of your lap for that matter.

I’m not 100% sure how the conversation moved to dating, but somehow it did.  And she asked, “Jesse, what do you talk about on a date?”  Jesse responded, “Sometimes it’s easy to talk on a date and sometimes not so much.”  We laughed.

Michelle said, “Jesse, you ought to ask the girl if she can cook.  Because you need that.”  I concurred with her line of thinking and prodded for more.

“What else could Jesse talk about on a date?” I asked. 

She then proceeded to give him a list of ten questions that could be conversation starters.  These were her other suggestions:

Do you like sports?  Because you’re really gonna need to if you marry me?

Do you like weird guys who sing all the time?  

Do you mind guys who wear shirts with holes in them?

Do you like guys who wear black short socks all the time, I mean ALL the time?   Even to church.

Do you mind guys who rock out in a green, old minivan?

Do you like guys who go to weddings almost every weekend?  (wearing short black socks)

Do you like guys who can play any song on the piano, without the music?

Do you like guys who can do math?  Tell her you’re really good at math.

Do you mind a guy who stays out really, really late at night? 

I particularly like the first date opener that includes the reference to marriage!  Clearly a great way to start a new relationship. 

I think he should take these questions on his next date.  I’m not sure it would last that long but it would certainly be interesting to watch!

A fly on horse poop

Posted by Danny

I’m like a fly on horse poop.  I go from one pile to another, seldom finishing what I started.

This is the pot from dinner.  I put the stew on, something my mother-in-law froze for us a while back.  Of course, I was in a hurry so I put it on high. My stove should not have a “high” setting…and my car should have a governor.  I drive like a bat out of hell.  You’ll not see a Christian fish sign on the back of my car – nonbelievers would find it difficult to believe that a believer was behind the wheel.

I put the stew in and decided to make a “quick” phone call – not a social call but one to line up a play date for Stephanie later in the week.  Reception was bad in the house, so I went on the porch.

My friend and I began talking about weekend plans – and when I returned inside about ten minutes later, my stew was cooked – the pot was singed and the house smelled like a cigar bar.

The time that was saved by someone else preparing the meal was lost trying to get the damn burnt-on, black yuck off the bottom of the pan.  I had to scrape every inch with a butter knife – and then I pulled out the Softscrub.  As usual, it worked like a charm but I think I’ll let Jesse eat the next meal out of the pot before I feed anything that comes out of it to the kids.  I’ve seen some of the stuff he puts in his stomach – he can handle a trace of Softscrub.

At work I become distracted by emails concerning the kids.  At home I work on the stuff I didn’t finish at the office.  I’m never focused on one thing. 

I lift weights in between calling out spelling words.  I fold laundry while waiting to get a real person on the line at Time Warner (there is plenty of time to get something done when you’re on the line with Time Warner.) 

And I find that I go nuts to inanimate objects – like the recorded voice at Time Warner (we’ve been having some internet problems).  When I call I immediately yell into the phone “I WANT TO SPEAK TO A HUMAN!!”

“Could you repeat your request, I did not understand”, the polite robotic woman replies.


 “Would you like to speak to a customer service agent?”

“If she is alive that would thrill me!”

And when she finally comes on the line, I floss while waiting for her to remotely check my connection.

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