My friend Charley Stanchik has a YouTube channel, Scared in the Kitchen. To begin with, Charles is, first and foremost, a fan of the King, Elvis Presley. That must be distinctly understood. Charles is not an Elvis impersonator, but he carries himself each and every day in the style the Memphis Mafia — a typical outfit is white tie over a black shirt, two-toned shoes, black pants — and he tries in every way to honor the essence of the King. And he does a good job of it.
Charles does dress in full Elvis regalia on Halloween, and he passes out candy in front to the local CVS as a much-beloved part of the Chevy Chase neighborhood Halloween Parade along our three-block commercial strip. Hundreds of children and adults attend, often in very clever costumes, but Charles always is the main attraction.
Here we are —
Note the blue suede shoes.
On his YouTube channel, Charles styles himself as a “Representative to King Elvis Presley and Culinary Specialist.” One of his annual specialties is the Fool’s Gold Sandwich, and Elvis favorite. The sandwich is basically a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a pound of bacon, and a loaf of bread cut lengthwise. To this Charlie adds a pound of cheese.
Charlie’s cooking is unconstrained by standard cooking techniques and recipes. For example, his recipe for Chewy Pizza involves microwaving a non-microwave DiGiorno pizza topped with a pound of cheese. The center comes out chewy.
Actually, the Chewy Pizza recipe is among his least adventurous. Most of the recipes follow his motto: “if it fits in he microwave, shove it in. And a pound of cheese goes with everything.” Most of the dishes are aptly labeled “surprises.” Examples are Egg Salad Surprise, Pasta Surprise, and Chili Surprise. You should check them out. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried any of these recipes, and I won’t promise to try any. My tastes run in more conventional channels. I certainly won’t try, or even link to, his sardine and oatmeal with cucumbers and lettuce and, of course, a pound of cheese. But I do admire Charley’s efforts and his bold individuality in a city of charcoal grey suits. It’s always a pleasure to see him.