Monday, January 21, 2013

Ryan Update 1/21/13

14 days since our last update.  Here’s what we’ve been up to.

A blur, is an understatement.  We are narrowing down treatment options with only one more hospital to visit, MDAnderson in Houston, TX (we leave today).  Last week was extremely fast paced as we had a 3-day consult with the staff at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan, GA and directly after that headed to The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  At this point, we have received more than a handful of opinions from Doctors all over the country (including Emory, City of Hope, UC San Diego and several Alternative Doctors too) and feel that our path is becoming more clear and that is something we are grateful for.  Clarity.  

We have had a lot of family come in and visit for a few days at a time.  They helped us research and most importantly lent a helping hand.

We anticipate starting treatment by weeks end and plan on attacking the cancer on many fronts.  With a foundation of chemotherapy, we will also layer in a supplement regiment with a strict diet.  It’s important to understand that this pursuit is a war and not just one battle.  Once we see results (and we know we will) from our initial efforts we will then go into a 2nd phase of treatments.  Our goal… stabilize, reduce and hope for surgery. 

Our spirits continue to be high and we are fueled largely in part to your support, love, well wishes and prayers.  Thank you for everything you are doing.  The cards and emails.  The phone calls and notes on  The donations.  The meals.  The gifts.  The hugs.

A charity hike, ‘Hike for Hidi’, occurred on Saturday the 19th in San Francisco by great friends Ray & Bridget of Primal Fitness.  Even Ryan’s younger brother who lives in Sacramento, made the trip to SF to be part of the experience.  There are other events happening all over the country from, California to Indiana and here at home (all events can be found on  We are amazed and honored to be this fortunate.  

We will close this 'Ryan Update' with a letter that he wrote to his M&T family.  It puts a lot into perspective.

I’ve leaned some interesting things about the human race over the last few weeks.  My heart is speechless from your generosity.

Jen and I just spent the last few moments reflecting, and crying. We are now in the final moments before our treatment path embarks, and are realizing how big of a fight, and how big the odds are stacked against us.

Over the last three weeks, it has been easy to push the fear down inside. With the barrage of doctor appointments, blood and urine tests, family in town to help with treatment planning sessions, tons of letters of support, dietitian meetings, reading countless documents to make sure we know all we can, and then the last little bits of the quiet evening before sleep when Jen and I just stare at each other... minds racing.
It all comes to a head in the coming week.

The wave of love, prayers, contributions and well wishes is so warming to our souls, that I feel I've already won... I've already won guys.
I've already won.

My thanks, and gratitude is eternal, I'll carry it through whatever time God sees fit for me to have on this planet and into whatever is next.  But fight like hell I will. I take into battle the energy of a thousand people who have reached out over that last few weeks. I'm ready for this challenge, and a great part of that preparedness I owe to you!

On behalf of Jen and I, thank you from the bottom of our hearts M&T family!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dare All and Prevail

Be firm and be faithful.  Desert not the right.  The brave become braver the darker the night.  Then up and be doing though others may fail. Thy duty pursuing.  Dare all and prevail.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

maple bacon jam - 2013 style

1 pound sliced bacon
1 sweet onion
1 cup strong coffee
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brunoise parsnìp
1/2 cup brunoise carrot
2 sprigs thyme
pinch of all spice
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt

cook sliced bacon in oven at 35OF until completely crispy, let drain on paper towels. dice onion and sauté in pan using a teaspoon of reserved bacon fat til translucent, then add brown sugar, thyme, all spice, black pepper and salt, allowing sugar to melt into onions. next, add sherry vinegar, maple syrup and coffee and allow mixture to cook over medium heat til thickened and syrupy. crumble bacon into mixture, bring to a boil and pull off heat and transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse til just  combined. put mixture back in pan and add carrots and parsnips and bring back up to a boil. pull off of heat when carrots are al dente. when cool, jam is ready to eat. maple bacon jam will be thick and pasty and is great with anything from simple bread and butter to garnishing a cheese plate to topping vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

i've got an idea cancer...

First things first... we are blown away by the outreach of love, support, prayers and good vibes by all of you.  There is no way we could thank you enough for the strength and energy that is coming our way.  In many ways, you all have changed the way we look at this world and have already given Ryan a huge head start in this war.  With family flying in from Indy and Los Angeles, we have spent the last couple days as a unit, compiling all of our research and mapping out treatment options.  We hope to finalize Ryan's treatment plan within the week and make our way to the front lines.  Ryan could not have a bigger group of badasses helping him make the decision of his life.

Several Atlanta restaurants (Muss & Turner's, Local Three, Empire State South and Five & Ten) to name a few have added a line to the bottom of their guest checks, calling it "Round Up for Ryan".  They are allowing patrons to round up their bill to help us fight this fight.

In addition, there will be a fundraiser on January 27th with live music featuring Yacht Rock Revue and huge participation from some amazing Atlanta Restaurants (Abattoir, Floataway Cafe, Bacchanalia, Muss & Turner's / Local Three, 4th & Swift, Brick Store Pub / Leon's Full Service, Rathbun's, Taco Mac, Canoe, STG / Bocado, Miller Union, No. 246 / The Optimist, Double Zero Napoletana / The Iberian Pig, Restaurant Eugene / Holeman & Finch, Rosebud, Southbound, Noni's, Empire State South, Cakes & Ale, Greg Hardesty with Recess in Indy, Six Feet Under, Octane, Honeysuckle Gelato, Fox Brothers BBQ / The Big Tex) just to name a few!  Holy Shit!  WTF!?  As if this wasn't enough, there will also be a live auction during the event with some unreal lots.  To see details and buy tickets, just click here!

To follow Ryan's progress and to stay in touch, our dear and gracious friends have put together a home base at Please reach out as often as you would like to say hello.  You can view pictures and videos, obtain event information, receive medical updates, offer donations and review contact information.  You can also post comments and well wishes for Ryan wherever you find the "leave comment" icon.

We will be back in touch soon with more updates and progress.  Again, no words can express how much we appreciate the support and help from all of you.


Friday, January 4, 2013

a medical diagnosis...

First we want to say happy new year and thank you for your support in 2012.  It was such a great year for us, we loved being able to feed you, hang out with you and share our plans for the restaurant.

As most of you know, we have been working hard on a brick and mortar space to bring the idea of Staplehouse to fruition.  2013 is our goal.  We were well on our way, when several days ago, we received some news that set us back a little.  Ryan has just been diagnosed stage 4 gallbladder caner.  You can imagine the shock that this news has brought to us both.  Some of you have become dear friends over the years, some of you we’re just getting to know and the rest of you are friends we just have not met yet.  We felt it important to reach out to you all, our dear supports, and say we have a new mission for the next little while… to beat the hell out of cancer!

Our prelude dinners and small batch offerings will be less frequent for a while, but we will get back at it as we reach higher ground.  We are blown away by the love and well wishes by a lot of you so far, and cannot tell you enough how much it has raised our spirits.

Be sure… this is not a pity party and Ryan isn’t one to feel sorry for himself.  We intend on kicking open the doors, guns blazing with great new energy and direction in 2013 and beyond.

For some of you this information is a few days old, but to most brand new... if you wish to reach out, please do so.  We will back in touch in the coming days, weeks… with more info on Ryan’s progress.

Thank you again for letting us do what we do over the last four years.  We are so excited for what’s next.

We hope to see you all very soon.

Jen + Ryan