Category Archives: Food & Drink

The Muffuletto From the North

Sometime in the early 1990s my wife, my son, and I were in the French Quarter of New Orleans and finding ourselves hungry we tripped into the closest restaurant to us; a very old place called the Old Absinthe House. As first-time visitors to NOLA, we didn’t have a clue that we had stumbled into one of the oldest and most famous bars in America. The Absinthe was where Andrew Jackson met the pirate Jean Lafitte to ask help in repelling the British invasion of the lower Mississippi and New Orleans. Lafitte agreed and history was made.

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The Day We Got Tossed From Paula Dean’s

A couple of friends recently visited Savannah, GA and posted some food photos on Facebook. They mentioned the names of a couple of restaurants they visited but not Paula Dean’s place. I’ve never eaten at Dean’s and probably never will after her fall from Food Network grace. But, I do have a story to tell.

Sometime in the late ’90s a friend and myself were headed to Florida for a fishing trip. We decided to take I-95 going through Savannah and stopping at Dean’s for lunch. We were in a large van and pulling an 18′ boat making a parking place hard to find. My friend was handicapped and used a modified crutch to get around. So, I drove by Dean’s and dropped him off to secure a place in line while I found a place to park the boat.

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Mama Chapman’s Pies, The Bad & Good

Just about everyone has a story about their grandmother’s pies. Well, I’m no different and story-wise, I’m lucky enough to have two.

My grandmother Chapman was known to adults as Mrs. Annie and to us kids as Mama. She lived in Greenville, SC and during several summers I’d got a chance to stay with her for a week. She was a stereotypical looking grandma of the Granny Clampett style. She was very loving and kind with only two faults. One was her fervent fundamental Pentecostal religion and the other her firmly held, but mistaken, belief that my favorite pie was her version of lemon meringue.

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Two Roasting Joes & Livy Cakes

My brother in law Tom Johnson and his daughter Olivia have opened a new business in Chillicothe, Two Roasting Joes & Livy Cakes. Tom has been fresh roasting coffee for ten years and Olivia is a graduate pastry chef. For a number of years, they have been selling their creations online and in area country markets and a number of farmer’s markets during the season. About a year ago they leased a building and began remodeling it in anticipation of opening a coffee shop and retail outlet for coffee and Livy’s baked creations.

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Remember Dog ‘n Suds?

Messing around on YouTube I came across a video about the once thriving fast food chain, Dog ‘n Suds. Around 1970 there were at least three of these drive in restaurants in our part of Ohio. There was one in Greenfield and I believe it was owned by Red Wylie. You could also find them in Hillsboro and Washington Court House and Wylie may have been involved in those too.

I’ve always been a fan of chili dogs and rootbeer and Dog ‘n Suds was a favorite.

Check out this video, it may bring back some memories.

Karnes Orchard – 2016

Just spoke with Karnes Orchard today and it won’t be long before their new crop of apples will be ready for market. The first day of sales will be on Friday, September 2 and continue into December.

Check out their website for mail orders and wholesale purchases. Below is a chart showing when various varieties will become available.  Karnes is located at 8200 Worley Mill Rd., Hillsboro, OH.

I’d suggest you make your day special by picking up some freshly squeezed Karnes apple cider and then driving a mile over to Liz’s Bake Shop at 7960 Overman Rd. for a few freshly baked glazed yeast doughnuts. What says fall more than cider and doughnuts?

karnes fruit

Cheerios & Scotch

glenlivetAn acquaintance of mine once said he only eats Cheerios for breakfast. I replied that I like Cheerios but I usually buy the generic versions. His response was, “Oh, I can’t eat those they don’t taste the same.” Yeah, they don’t taste the same but they both taste good. The nutritional and content labels read the same, they both taste good, they are both good for you, and one costs 33% less than the other. I taught consumer finance for several years and remain a firm believer in receiving value for the buck.

Okay, that takes care of the Cheerio part of the title, now let’s talk about the Scotch part. Scotch is a lot like wine, there are the  connoisseurs who make all kinds of snobbish claims and would never admit to drinking and enjoying an inexpensive table wine from an Ohio vineyard.

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Rye Whiskey I Cry!

Someplace way back in my youth I thought I should like rye whisky. It may have had something to do with hearing the cowboy movie star, Tex Ritter, sing, “Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry. If I can’t get rye whiskey I surly will die.”

old overholt labelDoug McLaughlin may have played a part. I have this vague memory of the two of us sitting in his kitchen eating crackers, Swiss cheese, and drinking rye whiskey.

Whey my ship was in the Boston Navy Yards in 1962-63 I remember hanging out at a couple of jazz clubs and drinking Old Overholt over ice.

Rye whiskey is so named because 51% of the grain used is rye. At one time it was the most popular of American whiskeys and even George Washington distilled rye whiskey at Mount Vernon. Sometime following prohibition it lost out to bourbon and almost disappeared from liquor store shelves.

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You’re so unsophisticated!

Man, can I relate to the article referenced below. On our last cruise I attended a Scotch tasting session at which I scorned by the presenter when mentioning that I drank my Scotch over ice. It was like an old maid schoolmarm cracking you on the wrist with a ruler and scolding you for picking your nose in polite company. I experienced the same thing when I mentioned enjoying Reunite Lambrusco on ice!

The Right Way to Drink Scotch.

 

 

 

Cowabunga, Great Burgers!

There are those who have dedicated their lives in search of the best cheeseburger. While my passion isn’t that great I do make a mental note of where I found a great burger.

Jimmy Buffett made a fortune off of his Cheeseburger in Paradise and even more by opening a chain of restaurants by that name. Well, I’ve eaten in a couple of his joints and didn’t think the burger that great.

Of the chains it’s hard to beat Five Guys. I know their fries are house made and I got a feeling they buy good quality beef that’s freshly ground. Haven’t had a bad experience yet.

When it comes to a good cheeseburger, however, we don’t have to travel very far. Within a few minutes driving time from Worley Mill Rd. there’s Doc’s Bainbridge Restaurant. I had a burger there

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Tips on Makin’ Smoke

Most people know that the secret to turning tough cuts of meat into tender, juicy, and delicious barbecue involves cooking it in a smokey, low heat environment for a long time. Low and slow as the saying goes.

Over the years I’ve tried lots of different smokers and seen many more being used by others, including competition BBQ teams. Just about anything can be used if the temperature can be controlled while introducing smoke. At the Georgia State BBQ Championship I even saw a guy using the interior and front trunk of a VW Beetle for a smoker. You couldn’t see what was inside, however, because the windows were blacked out by layers of smokey residue.

Several years ago I got tired of tending to hours of charcoal and wood fires and began trying to create smoke with my Weber propane grill. The problem is, wood won’t smolder and smoke at the low temps needed to cook a pork butt slowly.

My solution turned out to be creating a separate “hot” fire for the wood chips, and a “low” fire for the meat. I took an aluminum pie pan, punched some ventilation holes in it, built a small charcoal fire in it, and once the coals got hot enough I piled on the chip. I then lit off the gas burners, adjusted for a temperature of about 225 degrees, and let it do the low and slow magic while the charcoal kept the smoke rolling.

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A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Sub

sub-grinder mapSuper Bowl Sunday is just days away and the Mother’s Club will be assembling hundreds of sub sandwiches. As much as any single food, the submarine sandwich has become a Super Bowl staple.

In these days anyone in American can describe what a sub sandwich is. The most common fast food restaurant in today’s America is the Subway chain of sandwich shops. So, as the chain grew so did the use of the term sub to describe that pile of meats, cheeses, and toppings that get stuffed into a long bun.

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Thanksgiving Navy Style, 1953

I served on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) in the early 1960s. On most occasions I chose to stay onboard during holidays so others, who lived closer to their homes, could get the day off. The Kennedy is today a museum ship and the organization that maintains it has a Facebook group on which I found this Thanksgiving Day Menu from 1953. The menu was very complete including complementary cigars and cigarettes.

Bread wars

About the only time I favor drive-thru fast food is when traveling and having to keep a schedule. On our recent drive to Miami and back I took note of what seems to be a bread war between fast food chains. Hardee’s was touting their buns as being fresh baked and several chains, Wendy’s included, were featuring what’s becoming a food fad, the pretzel bun sandwich. Even aboard our cruise ship pretzel breads and bread sticks were served at every meal. Wraps seem to remain popular and McD’s has added several new versions to its menu.

Drinking laws update

Jack Daniels LabelAt least twice in the past I’ve written blogs about the great diversity of laws in America regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It’s an interesting subject and the particulars are often changing. Today I came across an article about what states permit the sale of various alcoholic beverages in grocery stores. Instead of copy and pasting the whole thing I’ll simply provide a link. I’ll also provide a link to a similar article I wrote in 2012. Grab yourself a cold one and take a break.

Huffington Post article about grocery store sales. Click HERE.

2012 CGS blog about drinking laws around America. Click HERE.