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>Soft Drink Surprise

15 Jun

>Came home last night to be told, “Ron sent you something.”

So I’m runnin’ through every “Ron” I know (three), trying to figure which one would have have done that, when Tam names the one I had not considered, “Ron at Locally Grown Gardens!”

H’mm, he’s a first-rate guy but I try to spend money at his place, figuring if we all do that, he’ll stay in business: when you have (within an easy bicycle ride!) a farm market that also serves wonderful prepared food, owned and operated by a genius chef, that’s something you want to support.

One of his sidelines — along with eggs, butter and a selection of remarkable spices, flavorings and condiments that can be found nowhere else — is soft drinks. Soda pop: a huge selection, all of it good, most of it obscure or brands I’d thought forever gone. One of the very best of the relatively unknown brands is Fentiman’s, a British marque over a hundred years old. Their sodas are “botanically brewed,” and they are slightly more fanatical about purity of the ingredients than a German brewer; with their preference for very old recipes, the result is a unique line of soft drinks that appeal to adult palates. When the first couple of flavores showed up at Locally Grown Gardens, I was moved to go online and learned there were many more, including Victorian Lemonade and Dandelion and Burdock soda. I happened to mention this to Ron and next I knew– He’d stocked the entire range!

Dandelion and Burdock is particularly good. It tastes like summer; it tastes like what Bradbury describes in Dandelion Wine (IIRC). But they’ve come out with another one, so new you can’t find it on the North American site yet: Rose Lemonade!

And Ron, knowing my tastes possibly better than I do, made sure to send home a couple of bottles with Tam when she stopped by to pick up some vegetable starts for the garden here at Roseholme Cottage.

…Words do not describe the floral, lemony and pleasantly tart taste, with a hint of ginger under the rose petals. The very thing after a long day!

We will be buying more.


>ECPR: Range Report Under New Management

12 Jun

>Management is new but there were familiar faces among the ROs and we were happy to see them.

Sign-in is more obvious than old system, one stops at the card table and sunshade right at the demarcation between the parking lot and the range proper to pay or present one’s pass.

Note, too that the building is open! Tactical Firearms Training was running a class; I didn’t think to ask if this meant that, maybe, range customers might have access to modern plumbing if we asked nice but I have my hopes![CLICK TO EMBIGGEN]There are new range rules and an additional clearing barrel (at left in photo). IMO, the one to the right of the entrance to the brick training building is better-located, with thick walls on each side and set to point you away from, well, people and (most) property. –And you will be using one or the other, as that rule has not changed: no loaded firearms anywhere but at the firing line. –Most of the rules are essentially the same but everyone gets a refresher, their very own copy and signs for it on their first visit of the season.

The range itself is to the left of the photo, a large, concrete block structure hidden by the classroom trailer; if you look very closely near the truck and green dumpster, you’ll see one of the entrance walls.

Inside it’s pretty nice: two huge bays of 8 lanes each; the “far” bay is generally for classes or overflow, the “near” bay for plain ol’ shooters. Targets are at the seven yard line; you can move them but I figure they should be far enough to make my mistakes show up and close enough that I can see those mistakes from the line.Tam and I set up near the entrance end. That’s her “Zombie Terrorist” target, which sparked spirited discussion among onlookers if it was more apt or less apt in light of recent SEAL pest-control actions. The consensus seemed to be “more,” with a minority holding out for adding gills and fishscales.Here are some of my toys — yes, with Nagant revolver ammo prices down to only mildly painful (“Save that brass!”), I took it along. Y’know, for those people concerned they might shoot someone, the Nagant is about perfect: odds are pretty good you won’t even if you wanted to. Still, if you can keep shots on paper with that long, hard, stack-y trigger pull, you can probably shoot adequately with any DA revolver. –I admit it, I gave up and did about half of ’em single-action, in which mode the Nagant is a soft-shooting revolver with a merely lousy trigger.

Also pictured, my overpolished-but-faithful .38SA 1911 and my Ruger Mk. II .22 with the Pac-Lite upper, both a pleasure to shoot.

It was a pleasant way to pass a morning. The Jack was shooting a few lanes down and after we’d all adjourned a couple hours later, joined us at India Palace for their lunch buffet. Delightful, as ever — and if you have wanted to try Indian food, there is no better way. (First time? Try tandoori chicken, so good The Colonel would steal the recipe if he could. Cold chickpea salad, some naan and/or rice and there you are, a lunch even the most timid palate can enjoy) .

A splendid meal in nice surroundings, especially at the $10.00 per price! –India Palace and Shalimar are owned by Dave Samra and are very much a family business; the food is remarkable, the venue spotless, the service remarkable for both speed and unobtrusiveness.

>We Ate Root Vegetables, Okay?

12 Jun

>We ate ’em and we liked ’em: Breakfast at Roseholme today consisted of what’s-in-the-fridge: a half-dozen slices of bacon, for starters, fried up and resting on a paper towel, followed by:

(Most of) a Rutabaga, in tiny cubes;

A Turnip, likewise;

Three New Potatoes, ditto.

Cook until starting to brown (sprinkle with Cajun seasoning if desired) and add

Sufficient Onion (this depends on the onion; the one I had was a mean, old one and it took less than a quarter);

One Large Carrot (diced)

One Poblano pepper (same)

Stir in, ponder, stir again and push to the sides; turn the heat up to High, grab a chopstick or wooden skewer and add

Egg. !?!?!!! Thought I had three but two were cracked and unhappy. So it goes.

Bacon is mixed back in, shredded, right before you turn off the fire. End result was better than it had any right to be; those who-buys-them root veggies fry up in flavorsome fashion. Season to taste — we’re using Tapatio hot sauce this time ’round and it works well.

>N. B.: Dinner

11 Jun

>Even a pie-sized chicken pot pie from the fancy corner market (nearly as good as scratch-made) can be improved if you quickly saute one each Poblano and Anaheim peppers (with a little sugar, wine vinegar and red pepper) and add them to the plateful of goodness. Vary to suit your taste.

(In other news, I skipped lunch today).


10 Jun

>See that? It’s cabbage and kielbasa and it’s for dinner as soon as I finish this post. With egg noodles cooked in chicken stock on the side!

Update: Not half bad, though next time I’ll cook the cabbage — bagged “coleslaw mix” — about half as long. Maybe a minute or two at high-ish heat with red wine or cider vinegar and a dabba sugar, then add in the kielbasa for about as long, reduce heat, cover and ignore for 10 – 15 minutes.

Start for this was a couple slices of bacon, well-peppered; cook, set aside. Add some olive oil to the bacon fat, heat and add the cabbage with sliced onion. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar and enough tasty vinegar; stir ’round and add some garlic (Mrs. Dash — I cheated), caraway seed, red pepper flakes, paprika and a dash of Worcestershire sauce — seasoned salt if you like — followed, in due course, by the kielbasa and there you are.

Blamed if I’ll tell you how to cook noodles in chicken stock; you can pour sand out of a boot, right? 😉

>Scratch Lunch

9 Jun

>I found the ScratchTruck for lunch today. They had plenty food — nearly a week of operation has helped them fine-tune how much to carry. “Modern mobile comfort food,” their slogan sets the bar high–

[Drumroll, please]

–And they clear it easily! Quite a few items on the menu. (Click to embiggen.) I had the burger (good-tasting beef, flame-grilled, with Gorgonzola and bacon marmalade, on a nice Cibatta-esque bun), fries (skin on, twice-fried, excellent taste; not much salt and didn’t need it) and their outstanding watermelon-jalapeno lemonade. The latter is refreshing and not at all hot; the peppers are only singing harmony.
Just a A few photos will follow. I was hungry, so I didn’t snap many before digging in. Service was friendly and fast, especially for cooked-to-order food.

Scratch: food from a truck. First-rate food. Roberta X approved!

>Lunch: Plans

2 Jun

>Update: So I went. Couldn’t get away until 1:40 but hey, they do the lunch thing from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm…. Except the serving windows were closed! Undaunted, I tapped on the door and the owner-operator opened it. “All done?” I asked.
“Yep — I ran out of food!”
“Busy, then?”
He gave me a rueful-but-happy look. “And how. Too much success, I guess–” He indicated the little courtyear area the truck was parked next to, where most of the sittable areas were occupied with people happily eating.

That’s a pretty good review, right there. It’s a brand-new venture and you have to figure things very closely with a food truck; I can hardly fault him for doing so better than expected. Told him I’d try again another day.

You can count on it. If he sticks close to this week’s route, he’s pretty close to the Skunk Works at least two days; maybe I can swap lunch times with another tech and show up earlier. Especially if I brought another lunch back!

Original Posting:
I don’t know if I’ll be able to but there’s a new thing roaming about that I’d like to try tomorrow: ScratchTruck. It’s a gourmet food van, or so they say. The menu looks…intriguing. (Watermelon-jalapeno lemonade? What?) There’s at least one good review already.

(We’ve had West Coast Tacos roving Indy for a year now — mmm-good).

The past, re-imagined! Can newstands and soda fountains be far behind? Reminds me of “Little Sandwich Wagon” (the Memphis Nighthawks, back before WW II). You can hear a snippet here but alas! –No lyrics.