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Category Archives: homemade desserts

What is an Urban Hobo

What is an Urban Hobo

For those that may not be familiar with “Hobos”, it may help to give you brief history.

The first recorded use of the term Hobo appeared in the Western U.S. around 1890. However, the Hobo movement begun much earlier, right after the end of the Civil War. It is not clear where the term Hobo originated. Some suggest the origins come from the farming term hoe-boy meaning “farmhand”. Others suggest that it comes from the railroad greeting Ho beau, or the syllabic abbreviation of homeward bound (i.e., HO BO). Essentially a Hobo was a migratory laborer, a wandering worker. Due to economic strife, it was necessary for many men to leave home in search of work. Hobos are closely associated to the railroad. As they moved across the country, the railroad was the preferred mode of transportation. Sooner or later hobos would return home to their families. Over time, the term hobo became synonymous with “Tramp” and “Bum”. Hobos were neither! The difference being that hobos travelled to work. Tramps travelled looking for handouts. They only worked when absolutely necessary. Bums seldom if ever travelled, and never worked. Hobos even developed a strict code of ethics which they lived by, something neither tramps or bums concerned themselves with. The code of ethics read as follows;

1. Decide your own life, don’t let another person run or rule you.
2. When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
3. Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
4. Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again.
5. When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
6. Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals’ treatment of other hobos.
7. When jungling (i.e., camping) in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you.
8. Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.
9. If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.
10. Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.
11. When traveling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.
12. Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard.
13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.
14. Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
15. Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.
16. If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!

Today, the term Hobo evokes a romantic image of someone who took charge of their own destiny and embraced their spirit of adventure. Someone who lived their own life by their own rules. Someone who followed their own path.

Urban Hobo pays tribute to the Hobo spirit by encouraging others to embrace their spirit of adventure by exploring their city, state or region. Embrace your own sense of style and taste. Live your own life. Choose your own path.

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SWEETS!!!

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Urban Hobo is about “artful edibles” ….simple great goodness delivered in cool packaging. Great gifts at great prices for yourself or for someone special.

We are happy to speak with you regarding our cookies and caramels and customize your order for corporate gifts, events or something for yourself!

Our goal is to provide cool gifts that are handmade and unique and not pricey.

Be sure to check out our website http://www.urbanhobo.com.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Shawn O’Hara-Smith
Urban Hobo
shawn@urban-hobo.com
480-929-4008

 

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Tools…Juan’s Perspective

One of the things that gives our art work a unique character are the tools we use. These aren’t just any run-of-the-mill hardware store tools. These tools have a history. A soul. Many of them belonged to our parents and grandparents. We don’t simply enjoy using them because of their family history. It goes much deeper than that, because we each grew up using these very same tools. And, each of them has provenance. Each of these tools were used in a professional trade.

Here are a few examples of the tools we currently employ in our tin work. The two dollies were used by my Grandpa Smith in his Radiator/Body Shop in the 1920’s, ‘30’s and ‘40’s. Back when cars were made from actual steel. If you needed to shape a new body part or re-shape a damaged one, you would place the appropriate dolly behind the piece of steel and pound on the other side with a hammer, until the desired shape was achieved. These dollies are made from solid blocks of steel. After they were retired to my Grandfather’s personal workshop, I used them for many “important” projects when I was a kid. I even used them to pound out a few dents in friend’s cars.

One of the ball peen hammers belonged to my Grandpa Swinford. He used it in his carpentry business and I used it when I first learned to hammer nails (it was a lot lighter than a claw hammer and I hit the wood as often as I hit the nail, so it really didn’t matter if it was the right tool or not).

The other ball peen hammer belonged to Shawn’s Mother, Phyllis. She used it in her Art Gallery. Shawn spent a lot of time working in the gallery and used it to hang pictures.

Each of these tools were originally used professionally, for years, in artful endeavors. Over time they developed scars and wear and characters all their own. These very tools were used by our parents and grandparents to teach us skills and pass along a little bit of their knowledge. We are carrying on that tradition by using them in our own artful endeavors. Used together, they shape our tin work and give each piece a unique appearance and a little bit of history all their own.

 

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Gotta LOVE Salted Caramels

New product I will be adding to my Urban Hobo line…”Salted Caramels”. Yum Yum! I have to tell you….this was NOT an easy task for me. Being new to candy-making…I was trying to master the “soft ball and hard ball” stages. Like I said… not an easy task.

First time I made it, was too hard. However, Juan (my master taste tester) LOVED them. Reminded him of a See’s Sucker…I wanted them to be soft and chewy, not hard that would break your teeth. I tried a second time and was so nervous about the candy getting to hard I took it off the heat too soon and now way too soft. (I know it sounds like Goldilocks and the Three Bears) Again, Juan loved the texture and taste with the bit of sea salt it really topped it off.

I tried again and again… a little nervous as my candy thermometer I began to have no faith in and started doing it more traditional or old school….getting a small dish of water and testing for hardness of mixture.


It was better; however still not keeping a form (cut into small squares) so it needed to go longer. HOWEVER, Juan did come up with a great idea…”Dipping Sauce”

Of course we tried it by reheating the mixture and slicing some apples and dipped into the warm caramel goodness. You know what??? It was awesome. A great sauce to heat up fondue style or top your favorite ice cream dessert.

Alas, SUCCESS! I got the soft ball stage perfect AND I was able to cut into squares and wrap with wax paper. They look great, kinda “old school” style candy.


My “friends” like it


So now…I will have caramel suckers, caramel chews and delectable sauce ready to order in the very near future. I’m so excited to have mastered the caramel chews as I hate to lose at something …. And each day I would gather the ingredients and explain to Juan that “This is it!…I am getting it today” Well, I attempted many times and FINALLY won! 

 
To be continued…

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Wow! It seems like yesterday I was putting up a Christmas tree! (I know I know time flies for me)
Now we have red and pink hearts decorating windows and storefronts…cookies, cupcakes and chocolate with “I Love You”, “Be Mine” or “Run Away with Me”.

For me…Valentine’s Day isn’t about the one day a year….it is about the other 364 days…. a reminder how lucky I am to have Juan in my life!

He is my best friend and I married him…of course if you ask him, he would say that I would have had a much L-O-N-G-E-R engagement and I should’ve said yes sooner etc. (wink wink smiley face)

Juan doesn’t have to worry about spending the outrageous cost for flowers or buy me another sparkly diamond…I really never was into that. A homemade card or dinner made at home is perfect for me.

Taking the time to do something special for your loved one can make up for any pricey gift or flowers.
So today I wish you and yours a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I hope it’s special. Especially if you live in a cozy 900 square foot home.

 

My First Urban Hobo Cookie Event!

Urban Hobo-First “Small” Event!

In my last post…I was filling you in about the Valentine’s treats we are creating for that special someone in your life! (wink wink smiley face) Well, we are doing a small venue at our office complex. We have been very pleased at the response so far as many people know how much I LOVE creating fun and “kitchy” stuff being art or artful treats!

We are creating some cute heart tags along with our “Urban Hobo” ones with a loving sentiment.
To my Realtor friends…these are great gifts for your clients. We can create another “heart shaped” tag that reads “Unpack Your Home” Or “Unpack Welcome Home”. With the great packaging and the cost of $15.00 for two dozen cookies…it’s a special way to say thank you and not break the bank in doing so.

Hopefully it will be a great success…I’ll keep you posted on the results and let you know how I did. In the meantime, I am still taking orders to be shipped across the US…just send me an email shawn@urban-hobo.com or call 480-215-2329…I am happy to take your order and get it out to you pronto! (quickly)

 

Roses are Red…Violets are Blue…

Roses are red….Violets are blue…We’ve got a great Valentine’s gift (for purchase) for you!
Wow!!!! It seems like yesterday we were enjoying the Christmas Holiday Cheer. Now we are just about to hit February 14th, Valentine’s Day. The annual commemoration celebrating love and affection between two people! (Awww)

I know it can be “Very Commercialized”… Nothing says love like a diamond”…”Tell her you love her with a romantic dinner at this very expensive place”… Juan is pretty lucky in that sense. For me, being a couple and being my best friend is NOT about one day a year…it’s about the other 364 days of the year too. I much rather receive something sweet and simple as a handmade card or homemade anything. To me that comes from the heart!

In keeping with those same sentiments, Juan and I are making/baking/shaking away over the next couple of weeks for the Valentine holiday. We are creating our Urban Hobo bindle packs full of delicious cookies.
Bindle packs you ask? Bindle packs are a very big part of the Hobo life.  [A bindle pack is where hobos carried all their worldly possessions]

 Juan and I LOVE our product name “Urban Hobo”…URBAN for the love of city-close living and HOBO… for the true hobo held very high standards, values and ethics. If you saw our past post, “Urban Hobo Cookies are here”…I talked about the “Hobo Code” and how the hobo lived to a higher standard than the average traveler that lived on the streets.

We are in the process of creating our fun fabulous website filled with eclectic art and “artful” edibles. (wink wink smiley face) I’ll keep you posted and announce our launch date soon.

In the meantime…we are gearing up for the “heart filled” holiday and taking orders for our delectable cookies. You love peanut butter and white chocolate??/You’ll love these. AND they will come bundled in a bindle pack with your choice of kerchief. (Pink Paisley, light pink, white, shocking pink [not shown} and white)

Also we have created a heart tag with your choice of saying…1) I LOVE YOU… or 2) RUN AWAY WITH ME.

If you are interested in purchasing a hobo pack for your loved one, please contact me (listed below) with color choice of kerchief and tag and I can have it shipped to you quickly! The cost of a bindle pack is only $15.00 plus shipping. Your sweetheart will receive two dozen (sometimes we throw an extra cookie or two) in a bindle pack.

You can email me with some basic (kerchief color and tag preference) info and I will call you to get additional details. We do accept credit card payments (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover)!



We have other colors and black & white too

 Contact me! I would love to fill an order or two!

Shawn Smith
shawn@urban-hobo.com
489-215-2329

 

Urban Hobos-Patron Your Local Neighborhood Haunts!

I mentioned on several posts about our love of urban living…living small (right-size your life) and organizing your life to where you are not spending all of your time at work to now come home and spend hours managing a home that is too big. Again….everyone will have a different set of values on what is too big and what the right “downsize” would be. However, if you are not getting to enjoy life for all the hard work you out in to…then that is where “right-sizing” comes in.

Anyway, as “Urban Hobos”, Juan and I are passionate about walking or riding our bicycle as much as possible especially on the weekend. That is why we chose a home that was in a great neighborhood location and also near all the conveniences such as restaurants, markets. retail, grocers etc. I did suburban living and I am really glad I made the move to a more city/urban way of life.  Why???…great local/Mom & Pop places to visit and hang out.
One favorite destination for us is LGO or La Grande Orange Grocery. La Grande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria is an organic coffee/breakfast bar, café, pizzeria with a funky retail grocery. (Taken from their website) Their food is simple and clean with no hidden ingredients. It’s a one stop shop of happiness no matter what time of day.

Juan and I will head out on our bicycles early in the AM to LGO’s. We enjoy the ride especially this time of year as it is very chilly in the morning (Can be as low as 32 degrees which is cold for us) and our route takes us through beautiful mid-century modern homes and old style apartments to arrive ready for a large cup of HOT coffee at our destination.
It is a typical neighborhood friendly spot. It gets really busy yet everyone seems to be at ease chatting with friends and neighbors waiting for their orders while enjoying the cool early morning talking about their holiday plans for the next two weeks. The staff at LGO are always there to lend a hand, whether it is to answer a question or to help you to your table with an extra plate or two…always happy and eager to help!

So many ways to enjoy a meal; eat at the restaurant, order a quick breakfast/lunch/dinner meal to sit outside, take-and-go, or come in and wander the aisles for awesome baked goodies and treats. PLUS for you 40+ year olds…some very cool “old school” candies you haven’t seen in years! They also showcase local artists/crafts displaying unique table top gifts. Truly so much to see and do!

SO if you are in the Phoenix metro area, I encourage you to make a stop at LGO. You can sit in the Arcadia room enjoying fine wine, pizza and other specialties. Or you can order on the grocery side your favorite breakfast/lunch or take-and-go treat…or enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the cool early morning sun on the patio.
Question for you….Do you have a special local restaurant you enjoy to frequent that is nearby to your home? If so, tell me about it and send a picture or two, I would gladly POST on our site and showcase your favorite place!

 

Urban Hobo Cookies Are Here!

Well…it’s the holidays and for many this is “baking season”! You know….you get in that mood where you want to hang out in the kitchen with your cup of coffee and your recipe book and sort through delectable goodies from years and years ago. Recipes that have been passed down generation to generation. Amazing how some things have changed in how we mix or knead….and how “old school” is still the best way to prepare…especially when it comes to baking.

I LOVE to bake…always have. As a child I always found myself wanting to create some sort of themed cake or cookie creation for the holidays and it still rings true till this day. So much so that I have decided to branch out and create a simple yet tasty treat that can easily be shared with anyone on the go….Urban Hobo cookies”!

Why did we come up with the name Urban Hobo? Well in order to tell you about our name I should give you a little insight into Hobos. A hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond. The term originated in the Western most likely Northwestern region of the US during the last decade of the 19th century (Wikipedia). Unlike “tramps”, who work only when they are forced to, and “bums”, who do not work at all, “hobos” are workers who wander.

Juan and I like the idea of a hobo as they were in a unique class of their own and also had a code of ethics that they followed. I will provide you a list of many that truly speak to Juan and I and what we are trying to do with this new line of products we will soon be selling. (I know shameless plug)

The “URBAN” part of our name speaks to our love of urban living….living small and living near the city or neighborhood where you have access to great restaurants, groceries, retail etc…the majority being small business owners which we need to patron as the small business owners are what will help our country grow and get back on track economically. So PLEASE….wherever you are located in the US…please visit and patron your local small business shops! (Okay so now I have created a public announcement)

So like the hobo…we have created delicious homemade goodies that will be delivered in a brindle pack to your door. (A brindle pack is where hobos carried all their worldly possessions)


cookies packed!


Here is a sampling of the hobo ethical code that the true hobo lived by. It truly speaks to me and Juan and what we would like to do with this new product line;

  • Decide your own life, don’t let another person run or rule you
  • When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times
  • Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos
  • Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again
  • When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts
  • When jungling (jungle is a hobo camp site)in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as bad, if not worse than you
  • Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling

We will announce our new website (coming soon!) where you will get a chance to view our line of wonderful tastey treats! 

Should you wish to order or have questions, please contact;
Shawn Smith
shawn@jmsogroup.com
480-215-2329

 
 
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