Mostly Food

Picked up something new this week. Tina’s parents visited for Thanksgiving and John brought a bread recipe with him. He made it for us last Sunday and we were making a batch within 20 minutes of getting home that night. It makes a really crusty loaf, ideal for dunking in olive oil. The beauty of it is that it requires no kneading – just mix the simple ingredients and it’s ready to cook; well, after 12-18 hours of sitting. Cooking is a bit different. You put the dough in a cast iron pot (Dutch Oven) with a tight lid and cook in a 475 degree oven. You can pick up a Dutch Oven at any good camping store – Bass Pro Shop, Gander Mountain, Cabelas. Our first attempt was a flop (literally) which Nancy attributed to using bad yeast but I think the problem was that the mix was too wet. The next batch used fresh yeast, a tad more flour and a pyrex equivalent of the cast iron pot – the recipe said that was OK. It came out beautifully and tasted perfect. I’m a crusty bread kind of guy and this met all my expectations and then some. Anybody that wants the recipe – google no-knead bread.

On the way to Thanksgiving dinner, Nancy decided that the green bean casserole needed more onion rings so we stopped at the Winn Dixie in Deland to pick up a can. I was dispatched in for that one item. The store was quite busy but when you looked around it wasn’t a typical crowd. Probably 90% of the customers were guys walking around hunting for one or two specific items and maybe half of them were standing in front of something talking on a cell phone. I understood immediately what was going on and could hear several of the conversations. One guy was saying he was “standing
exactly where you told me but the stuff was not there. No, I’ve not asked anybody”. Another was saying “the can says Beef gravy and it’s brown. I don’t think this will work, do you?” I scanned the signs over the rows looking for one that said onion rings. I found a sign that seem to come the closest and headed down, scanning both sides. Nope. Two more rows when I heard the guy confessing that he hadn’t asked for help. I went up to a cashier and asked her. She directed me to the row I had first traveled but gave me a hand motion of picking a can off the top shelf on the left side. I went back and only scanned the top row and sure enough, onion rings. The good thing is that because most people were buying one or two items, the checkout process was smooth. The clerk asked for my Winn Dixie card and I told her I didn’t have one – which was true, I didn’t have one. She then asked for my number. I asked her how I could have a number if I didn’t have a card. She gave me a look like she was talking to her 5 year old and said “phone number” and left off the dummy comment she wanted to add on. Sure enough, we have a Winn Dixie card and it knocked $1 off the $4 item. I really felt good when I got back to the car and was able to report that not only did I find the onion rings, but got them with a 25% discount. I know Nancy was sitting there thinking she was going to have to jump in and rescue the whole mission.

The dinner was everything you want in a Thanksgiving dinner – good food and good company. This was an extra special year because the holiday fell on little Tommy’s birthday.

Insofar as the food was concerned, in my opinion, there was one standout item, I’m not a dessert guy and almost always just skip it, but the apple pie caught my eye because it looked just a bit different so I decided to try it. Wow! It absolutely was different than any apple pie I’ve ever had and by far the best. Turns out it was made by Simon and Julia from an old recipe in her family. It was not as sweet as usual and not so wet and gooey – which I guess is what appealed to me. Seemed almost strudel like. I’m going to have to get the recipe and have Nancy try her hand at it. I’m guessing that because it was different, it will have folks that love it and others that will prefer the more traditional pie. They can just have smaller slices – that works for me.

And I’m a little biased but I think my cranberry sauce was exceptional this year. I added a few sections of Honeybelle orange this year to give it just that little extra zing.

Analyzing Tiger gate. I think they concoct a story about sleep walking or total memory loss after the crash. But what I see is the lady Wood, Tigress, taking after el Tigre with a 9 iron. He makes it to the car but she connects with the back window on the last swing. He’s big time escaping at this point and backs into the fire hydrant. She’s closing in again for the kill shot when he crashes into the tree. At this point she realizes that maybe she’s over the top and drags him out of the car and starts wiping up the blood. Frantic call to the lawyer and PR guy. Cops arrive. Now you see why I never took up golf.

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