Friday, April 15, 2011

Buzz the Birthday Boy

Next week will be my dear old daddy’s birthday. His parents nicknamed him Buzz for being an incessant chatterbox…..or perhaps because his real first name, Alsdorf, was a tad unique they felt compelled to provide an alias. But he fancies himself to be a Mister Fix It but let me tell you how life was through the eyes of a child. Buzz likes to say his greatest accomplishment was that he raised seven children and none of us ever went to jail, at least that he knows of.


With eleventy million children my parents opted for an oversized jailhouse to keep us little hellions contained from roaming the streets. But, Buzz’s solution to maintaining the prison gray color was to paint one side of the house every year as his summer project. He was positively gleeful on the years he got the “short end of the house. His daytime gig involved working as an executive for a company that produced roof shingles. His came up with a winning solution for creating a basketball court for the little thugs to burn off energy. He would take the roof scraps, spread them in the backyard and they would compact into a hard surface. Ah no, it was like dribbling a ball in wet sand.

His mad skills translated indoors as well. A small plaster crack in the staircase turned into a bit of a cluster. Buzz accidentally bought outdoor stucco but thought heck, how different could it be. Very different. When it adhered like concrete, he opted to create a textured swirling circle pattern up the entire stairwell. If you brushed up against it you could actually draw blood. Dad likes nice hearty meal so here’s this week’s gig.

Beef and Ravioli Soup
½ pound sirloin steak cubed
2 tablespoons butter
Olive oil
Flour
1 rib celery chopped
½ onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 clove garlic minced
½ teaspoon thyme
2 cans beef broth
28 ounce can whole tomatoes chopped
½ teaspoon salt
9 ounces tortellini or ravioli
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Flour steak and brown in olive oil and set aside. Melt butter in Dutch oven. Add celery, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme and slat and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Add broth, steak, tomatoes and bring to boil. Continue cooking on medium for 20 minutes. Add tortellini and cook for additional for 10 minutes. Ladle out a bit of hot broth and combine with cornstarch to make a paste. Return to mixture and stir until soup thickens.

We could talk about the time he decided to paint his aged faded Cadillac, himself. He decided to use his old college colors to honor his alma mater . The body was red, doors, trunk and hood black. With a paintbrush, leaving big giant streaks. He was so proud, we were horribly embarrassed. It was better to walk home in the rain at midnight then be subjected to that little humiliation. One time, when he went to fetch his lovely bride from the airport, a gang of hoodlums laughed so hard that my mom refused to acknowledge him and¬¬ called my brother to pick her up.

The thing that attracted me the most to the Big Tuna was how incredibly handy he was, the polar opposite of Buzz. Something incredibility sexy about a man with a hammer and his own air compressor. But Dad’s the man, compassionate, volunteering in his community to help others. The thing I remember loving the most was riding in the giant station wagon singing songs with his deep bass voice harmonizing with ours. So here’s wishing you a happy day from far away, Happy Birthday Dad.

46 comments:

Heather said...

That was hilarious. I can just picture all of those things even though I never met your dad.
Paint one side of the house per summer?!!! Awesome.

The dish sounds awesome too. It think I will try it next week. How many servings does it make?

Mrs. Tuna said...

Ummm....six servings?

CkretsGalore said...

That was fantastic hearing about your Mr. Notreallyfixingitbutmakingitworse Dad. He sounds like a wonderful character.

Also that soup, that's something that Manfriend would like as well. Gonna have to try that!

Kristina P. said...

I think we need to see some pictures of that car!

suz said...

Ha ha! I can imagine mealtimes at your house - did anyone ever finish a sentence? Were there any leftovers? Do your spouses and kids roll their eyes and think you're aliens when you all get together?

The Zadge said...

When friends ask me now what I'm looking for in a man, my second criteria, after sense of humor, is that he be able to fix stuff around the house! Happy Birthday Buzz!

Sandra said...

Alsdorf...Buzz...yeah, I see the connection...?
Your dad sounds like a genius. I only have four kids, and I pretty much have the same philosophy: if they make it through life without jail time, I've been successful.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I love the idea of beef and ravioli soup!

Annie (Lady M) x said...

LOL! Your dad sounds like my ex when it comes to DIY. I nicknamed him 'Rework' because he cocked up every job he did and needed to repair it.

Thanks for another marvellous recipe Mrs T!

Mark said...

So Buzz wasn't handy. But I bet he still looked good in a tool belt. And looking good is half the job.
Happy Birthday to your Dad.
m.

Clare and Gary said...

Oooh what a good idea paint one side each year.. it might actually get done here!!!!

EmptyNester said...

How funny! You could very well have been writing about my FIL! No lie! He was just like that. Except for the painting only one side of the house/year...he just didn't paint it. And I am NOT telling Hubs that idea---no way! LOL

twelvedaysold said...

Your dad sounds great. My dad is definitely the handy one, which got passed on to me. Maybe that's why my husband is with me? Because I could put the new entertainment center together?

The Crypto-Capers Series said...

That recipe sounds great. I am going to have to try it. I am following you through the hop. http://thecryptocapersseries.blogspot.com
www.reneeahand.com
Thanks
Renee

Mamma has spoken said...

Happy birthday to your dad! I love your memories of him.

Ms.Wasteland said...

My dad is the opposite of yours. He is very handy and could fix/do almost anything for everyone. My husband, on the other hand, not so much. Sigh.

Hope your dad has a wonderful birthday!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

How I wish my dad was still around for me to cook his favorite foods for. My dad was really handy, he could do it all. But your dad's housepainting sounded like my husband's! He absolutely hates to paint. Before he stopped doing it altogether, he used to paint a room one wall at a time. Guests always thought it rather strange and that surely *I* was a saint to take it so well! I thought it was a hoot!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Your dad sounds wonderful! I am a good judge because my childhood home just happened to have a textured swirl pattern in the dining room. Still have scars : )Happy Birthday to your dad!

JennyMac said...

Love this post for your Dad! Happy Bday Buzz. And the soup? YUM.

And Ms. Tuna, will you pretty please link your email to your blogger profile? I can't email you back on your comments! Hope you are having a fab weekend!

Kristy said...

Aww, so sweet of a post for some great men in your life!

dbs said...

Happy birthday to your Dad and if I may, I would like to wish my Dad a happy birthday too. He was indeed a handy-man but was also the most embarrassing person when it came to discussing politics.

Jen said...

I thought everyone painted one side of the house each summer. That's how we always did it.

What a sweet post for your father.

Xmas Dolly said...

Thank you for stopping by, and I'm glad I came over. Where were you when my 4 kids were small. That would've been a great meal to make for them. I'll pass that one on to my daughter she has the 4 children now. ~hehe~ Your Dad sounds like a hoot! Is he still like that? Praise God give him a birthday hug for me too cuz my dad was just like him! Thanks again! Oh, I have a meme on Thursday called "Recipe Swap Meet" you should sign up with this recipe I'm sure my readers will love it. I know I do! Have a good one. Following you!

lovinangels said...

This is hilarious. My dad used to fix our cars with soup cans, and I think he attached them with caulk.

A Helicopter Mom said...

Haha! Love your writing style! :)

I'm following you back. Thanks for visiting and following A Helicopter Mom!

Mickey

bettyl said...

Terrific! Men--can't live with 'em, can't leave 'em on the side of the road!

Hilary said...

Your dad sounds great! I am laughing at the stuco

Stephanie said...

I'm right there with you sister on "Something incredibility sexy about a man with a hammer and his own air compressor"!

NANCY said...

Hello!! I'm following you thru the SippyCups & ClothBums bloghop and hope that you'll follow me back! Have a fantastic day!

Nancy

http://thatsoundslikecrazy.blogspot.com

Missy said...

The Birthboy sounds like he needs a Big Party with lots of Great Gifts!

Shawn said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad!
My Dad was not a handyman either. In fact, my Mom did all the painting, inside and out!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Only one important question - has your dad hung up his hammer yet??

I only ask as I know quite a few oldsters who don't realise that failing faculties and power tools just don't mix!!

Raven said...

LOL that was fantastic! And the recipe looks great too. :D

ModernMom said...

Oh I love these stories! Imagine being excited when the year came that it was the short end of the house:)

Thanks for the giggle:)

Linda Medrano said...

I love the story and the recipe too! In fact, this post rocks!

I'm So Fancy said...

gave you a shout out. come by for a visit. xx

Julie said...

My dad's birthday was April 14th - but his name's Jim. A much easier moniker to stomach than Alsdorf.

LOVE that. Just your dad's name made me smile.

But your post to him was even better. Nothing like family love.

(and for once, I'm not being snarky. much.)

Xmas Dolly said...

You did come over! Thanks so much! Hope you enjoyed yourself and took a gander at the other recipes too. We're just starting out with our meme so we hope to have a much bigger following soon. Have a great weekend, and thanks again. Already following you!

The Empress said...

I love a good story, and a recipe that ties it together.

It just feeds my OCD so nicely.

The Empress said...

Oh, no, I'm comment #39.

Now, at #40.

My work is done here...canNOT leave it dangling at an odd number like that.

Lorie Shewbridge said...

Thank you so much for joining our recipe swap meme. Not only did we get a delicious sounding recipe, we got a wonderful story about an amazing sounding man. You had me laughing and crying at the same time.
Happy birthday to Buzz... a fabulous man.
I hope you continue to join us every Thursday, your recipes and stories sound fabulous... I am also following you along with XmasDolly, my partner in crime and cooking. =)

Not Blessed Mama said...

Damn, and I really wanted to paint my own car too. It kinda seems like you're saying it's a bad idea...

Sarah @ Life as a Movie said...

Ahh, loved your post. So sweet. My dad thinks he's the shitnaz too and he's a huge ham. I laughed so hard about the wall drawing blood.

Ca88andra said...

I had to laugh at your mom calling her brother to pick her up! Great visual! I wish I could make that soup but none of my boys would eat it... oh well...

mothersalwaysright said...

Your Dad sounds like a real character. I love the image of the wall that draws blood. Although I imagine if I had grown up there I would probably love it a little less!

Kernut the Blond said...

I just had a b-day, too. :) Tell your dad "Happy Birthday" from a fellow Aries.

I love that your mom called your brother to come get her. hahahaa But your poor dad.

Mine loves to fix stuff, but ALWAYS injures himself doing it. Usually a huge cut on his hand or a big electrical zap. But heaven forbid you ever make a disparaging remark about his handy work - he gets his feelings hurt rather easily when it comes to that stuff. He would not have been crushed over his wife refusing to get into a badly painted car. But that's still hella funny!