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The Ramblings of an Old Man
Cal Kraft, author
Do you long for a time when life was simpler? When everyone knew your name? Do you reminisce about family traditions, growing up in the 50’s and 60’s? Do you remember your teen years and that first kiss? Does your mouth start to water and your heart start to swell as you think back to family holiday meals presided over by mom or grandma? Well then, you can now take that trip down memory lane and re-create those luscious foods in the pages of “The Ramblings of an Old Man” by well-known personal chef and culinary instructor, Chef Cal Kraft and his constant feline companion, Miss Kitty. It all began in 2006. The author realized that he had spent over half his life living in the suburban community of Danbury Forest, a quaint neighborhood where families, escaping the hustle and bustle of Metropolitan DC, played together and supported each other in times good and bad. So he wrote a story about that and sent it in to the neighborhood paper. Chef Cal initiated what became his hugely popular monthly column, “The Chef’s Corner,” for the community newsletter. In it he shared tales about his family and his life growing up in the suburbs of New York. He also wrote about events within the community along with tales of past traditions in his life and others. Several of his articles ventured into the world of fiction as he imagined stories that might have occurred. Each contribution was accompanied by a tasty recipe, often tying the articles and recipes together. A long time, popular culinary instructor in Northern Virginia’s Adult Community Education Program, Chef Cal is well-equipped with recipes that he knew his students, and now his readers, would rush to make themselves. Ramblings’ contributions of over fifty recipes include traditional Italian delicacies; tasty old-fashioned comfort dishes; soups and casseroles; quick and easy desserts and special holiday treats. Also included is Chef Cal’s interpretation of miniature apple pies. Without a doubt his book will be pulled out to create his meals whenever family and friends are gathered. Several times as Chef Cal was writing his stories, he found that Miss Kitty, the gorgeous white cat that lived with the author and his wife during most of this time, had something to say. So he wrote about that too. In some instances, he even let Miss Kitty write her own story. While the “Ramblings of an Old Man” is dedicated to the residents, both past and current of that wonderful community known as Danbury Forest, it also resonates with communities all across America. No matter where you live, be it a small hamlet, a rural town, a village, or in a big city, these stories are for you. Some are humorous, others sad. Some true, some imagined. They all however, tell a story and offer an opportunity to re-create the foods that accompanied it. So sit back and enjoy, “The Ramblings of an Old Man.”