Havana (Florida) Car Show

Studly Doright and I had dinner in downtown Havana, Florida, last evening, and got more than just a great meal. After enjoying a delicious dinner and a glass of wine at The English Rose Cafe we wandered around Havana where an antique car show was in progress. Studly even won $35 in a raffle! Not too shabby.

Studly’s favorite vehicle in the show was the green ‘65 Ford pickup. Can you guess which one I’m fondest of?

If you ever find yourself in the area be sure to stop by The English Rose Café. It’s a little slice of British heaven in the Florida panhandle. (Note: I don’t receive any type of compensation for mentioning Millie’s restaurant—I just really like her food!)

Peace, people!

The Perfect Burger

Our current political scene is so depressing that all I want to do is eat. If I’m not careful I’ll regain the 20 or so pounds I’ve lost in these last ten months. Studly Doright suggested that I write instead of eating. If I can’t enjoy a burger, I’ll contemplate the perfect one.

Studly grills a good burger on occasion. When he buys good ground sirloin and doesn’t cook it until it resembles dried shoe leather his burgers are among the best. He melts cheese on top, then we add lettuce, fresh tomato, a sweet Vidalia onion, mustard or mayonnaise, and our choice of pickle on top of a grilled buttered bun. I add a splash of ketchup to mine and it’s oh so good.

When we eat hamburgers at a restaurant we’re fairly adventurous. I’ll often order one with guacamole and jalapeños. Of course I suffer mightily for that indulgence, but oh my goodness it’s so good.

Studly’s favorite is a burger dubbed “The Lip Smacker” at our local Well’s Brothers eatery. The Lip Smacker features half a pound of meat grilled to perfection and topped with cheese, bacon, peanut butter, and strawberry jam.

Would you eat The Lip Smacker? I won’t, but then Studly won’t even contemplate my guacamole and jalapeño burger. What’s your favorite burger? Are you a plain Jane kind of burger lover, or do you go for the exotic?

Salad Days 

Cleopatra contemplated and thus reflected,
“My salad days, When I was green in judgment, cold in blood”

According to Shakespeare, her dalliances with the emperor were viewed as the flighty romance of her dewy youth,

Would the mighty queen have bothered with something so mundane as a salad? A woman who chose 

Death by asp would not have bothered with a paltry bowl of greens. Pomegranates and honey, beer and bread, 

Figs and nuts aplenty, but salads most likely weren’t on her menu. Unless, of course, it was a Caesar salad. 

I’ve Been Eating on the Railroad

In Monday’s post I recounted the tale of a trip to Birdsong Nature Center outside of Thomasville, Georgia. My friend, Lee Ann, was visiting from Indiana, and we wanted to explore the beauty of nature while enjoying a good hike. Birdsong was the perfect place to indulge our wishes.

Of course after our four mile hike we were hungry, and I suggested that we drive into Thomasville to enjoy a meal at Jonah’s Fish and Grits. Jonah’s is always a great choice. Unfortunately everyone else in the area had the same idea, and the line for Jonah’s snaked down the sidewalk. My first inclination was to go on back to Tallahassee, but on our way out of town we saw a sign for Sass! Sweet and Savory Sisters Restaurant. 


I’d seen their sign before, but didn’t have any knowledge of their fare. I quickly consulted Lee Ann and with her approval I made a sharp turn into Sass’s parking lot. 

Sass is located inside a historic train depot and outdoor seating features a ring side seat to actual train tracks.


Lee Ann wondered aloud if the tracks were still in use. A few minutes later, we got an answer:



I remarked, in a necessarily loud voice, that Sass would be the perfect place to bring someone with whom you didn’t want to make meaningful conversation.

But all joking aside, Sass was a terrific lunch spot. The staff was lively and efficient and the menu included everything my dreams are made of including beignets! 


Lee Ann ordered a strawberry, walnut, and spinach salad, while I ordered a couple of appetizers: mini tomato sandwiches with dill mayo and baked pimento cheese on French bread. And it goes without saying that we enjoyed the beignets for dessert. Oh my!

What a great meal to celebrate our visit. And I highly recommend Sass. Yes, Jonah’s is good, but Sass is its equal. Different fare, but both worthy of a trip to Thomasville. 

Peace, people!

Mi Favorita

vessel clean, bone dry
scrubbed until nothing
of substance remains.

colors long faded, rust
brown in the deep bowl
long dormant orange-red

stripes run horizontal
on a sad blue-tinged,
chipped background.

perched on a shelf behind
a small glass pitcher
and an oval turkey platter

brought out for special
occasions calling for
authentic Mexican salsa

the hot stuff made with
jalapeños and cilantro
chased with cold Corona.

  

Mouthing Off

I scalded the roof of my mouth several days ago while dining on the exquisite Fit Fare Veggie Skillet at the Denny’s just down the road. Before you look down your nose at my choice of restaurant let me assure you that our Denny’s in Midway, Florida, is the best in the world. It is well-managed with an efficient and personable wait staff, and food that looks exactly like the pictures featured on the glossy menu, and tastes just like I need it to taste.

When my favorite server brought me my favorite meal I dug right in and was immediately rewarded by that ohmygoshtoohottoohot!!! panic. I couldn’t very well spit the food into my plate so I grabbed my ice cold soda and took a long drink, holding the liquid in my mouth until the food cooled.

I knew immediately that I’d pay for my eager gluttony for days, after all, this wasn’t my first burning mouth event. But I don’t think I’ve ever gotten actual blisters in my mouth before. Worst of all I couldn’t even drink my coffee this morning! Maybe I should just go back to bed. To heal.

Me on a day when my mouth didn’t hurt. That’s Studly Doright guiding me around the dance floor.

Peace, people! 

Postscript: Several days after scalding my mouth I’ve been rinsing with lots of Shiner Bock beer. Salt water would probably be better for the healing process, but it doesn’t mellow me out like beer does.

Leftovers

turkey on wheat bread
cornbread dressing stuffed bacon
cold pie for breakfast

   
   

some foods get better
on the second time around;
leftover heaven

Studly Doright isn’t a big fan of leftovers except when it comes to turkey and dressing and pecan pie. The man loves cornbread dressing and won’t cease eating until he’s scraped the pan clean. It’s embarrasingly endearing.

I can’t say that I’m any better. After having three generous pieces of pecan pie yesterday I might be the first person in history to have overdosed on the gooey dessert. My stomach spoke to me in angry tones all night long in a way that was anything but endearing, yet quite embarrassing.

It seems that leftovers, like everything except possibly hundred dollar bills, are best enjoyed in moderation.

  
Peace, people!

(im)Perfection

My mom was a kitchen perfectionist. She had precise ideas as to how most things had to be done, and I never quite was able to live up to those ideals. I never stirred correctly, never measured properly, never quite made anything to Mom’s specifications. I’ve always blamed her for my not learning to be a better cook, but truthfully I never enjoyed kitchen tasks.

Every year as Thanksgiving nears I wish I’d paid more attention to Mom’s directives. Even though I’ve now successfully prepared two dozen or more holiday dinners on my own I still have at least one hiccup in the preparation stage every single time. One year I almost forgot to buy a turkey. Another year I accidentally prepared sweet cornbread as the base for my cornbread dressing. That’s a definite no-no! No amount of sage or pepper could counterract the sweetness. There’s no telling what will happen this year. You see, I’m a bit of an imperfectionist.

On Thanksgiving morning I can always imagine my mom looking down from her perch in heaven shaking her head and saying, “Oh, sis, not like that!” But she’s also probably beaming in amazement that I manage to pull the whole thing off, and that so far no one’s been rushed to the emergency room after one of my meals.

Studly Doright and I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May your heart be filled with love and gratitude and your belly filled with good food.

Peace, people!

Thanksgiving Day at Doright Manor

Roast Turkey

Cornbread Dressing

Green Bean Casserole (Studly’s favorite)

Grape Salad (from Chicken Salad Chick-my favorite)

Cranberry Sauce

Deviled Eggs

Yeast Rolls

Pumpkin Pie

Wine

  

 

 

An Ode To Pimento Cheese

Until this week I hadn’t eaten a pimento cheese sandwich in over 40 years. But for some reason this week I felt this need, nay, this HUNGER for a pimento cheese sandwich.

In pursuit of the perfect pimento cheese, I stopped by my favorite sandwich shop, Chicken Salad Chick, on Monday and purchased a take home container of their pimento cheese.

  
Since then I’ve had a pimento cheese sandwich for dinner each night along with a beer and a sliced apple. Mmmmmm!

In honor of the lowly pimento cheese sandwich I give you this poem:

funny yellow substance
funny little spread
served between two slices
of soft white bread.
oh pimento what are you
veggie, fruit, or bean?
never mind, it matters not
your attributes I’ll sing.

Come to think of it, I’m not really certain what a pimento tastes like. I sure like the cheese part, though.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. Keep in mind I haven’t taste tested it, but if any of my readers try it out let me know what you think.

  
Peace, people!