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I occasionally have a craving for a Reuben, a sandwich that I like a lot. Unfortunately, ordering one in a restaurant is a crapshoot, because some sauerkraut contains sulfites and I'm nastily allergic to them. If I can manage to get the package the sauerkraut came in, I can check the ingredients list, but that's difficult to impossible in most cases. So I don't get a lot of Reubens.

Except today I went to the grocery store, picked up the necessary ingredients, and Gretchen made Reubens for me for dinner.

Yum!
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We're getting less accomplished around the house than we might hope, but progress is being made. Christmas decorations are going up all over, the major ones for today being the installation of inflatable Olaf and Minion Dave in the front yard along with a string of large decorative lawn stake bulbs to mark them off.

Katie's last dance class for the year was today. Had we known, we would have gone to watch, but we didn't. *sigh* She is probably going to drop the dance class in favor of being able to play spring softball, because the scheduling is completely incompatible.

While Katie was at dance class, I spent an hour out playing Ingress. I have closed to within 30K AP of level 10 and have 6000 MU of active fields which may make it to checkpoint. The latter is pretty much unheard of in this neighborhood -- I think that the high-level player on the other side is either out of town or taking time off. (I can't say that I'd blame him on the latter -- I think his phone was constantly on to ping him with attack alerts. That would make me insane in short order.)

The weather today was sunny and near 50 degrees, which is bonus material for December. We took advantage of it by grilling tonight which got some more stuff out of the freezer. :) Tomorrow, it's leftover pizza as we clear some more stuff out of the fridge; last night was turkey pot pie, which pretty much finished off the Thanksgiving turkey.

I have a goal of eating the contents of the freezer. We'll never quite achieve it, but maybe we can thin it out a bit...
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After our post-Christmas dinner with friends, we had a lot of pulled pork left over. On Thursday, we got a loaf of fresh French bread and served it as sandwiches to Jeff and Carol with melted Swiss cheese and BBQ sauce.

Today, we made pulled pork nachos to finish it off.

Gretchen would have been happier with the pulled pork leftovers if the house hadn't smelled like scorched pulled pork for several days earlier this week.
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So I went to T-Bob's for breakfast this morning with [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise, then back later for lunch. The latter did not work out quite as well as I'd hoped.

I ordered the T-Bob burger, which comes with cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and their sweet heat sauce. After the first bite, I realized that things were just a wee bit hotter than usual.

Maybe more than a wee bit. Like a whole lot.

Because I am not too bright, I ate the Flaming Burger of Death. By this time, Ted was out making a delivery, but his son was there and I told him that I thought that something was wrong with the sauce.

"Grab a piece of bread and dip it in the sauce on my plate."

He did. And his eyes got very wide.

The best guess is that the onions were sliced with the same knife that had sliced the fresh jalapenos, but not cleaned in between, and that a good bit of jalapeno had gotten into the grilled onions. This would explain a lot.

Because, oh man, that burger was on fire.

Pulled Pork

Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:03 pm
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[livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise and I have had many home-cooked meals over the years, but we have never ventured into the world of pork shoulder -- not counting the one time I tried to smoke it on the grill long ago. But today, Gretchen prepared and shredded a fine pork shoulder into lovely pulled pork. The Carolina Gold sauce went with it very nicely.

Yum!
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With apologies to [livejournal.com profile] jeff_duntemann...

Last night, we had quesadillas for dinner. The girls were initially quite skeptical, but we persuaded Julie to eat a flour tortilla that we had filled with cheese, microwaved, and then folded over. Her reaction: "This is good!" Yes, dear...

The air conditioner in my car has been unwilling to keep up with the heat. On the way back from the baseball game on Saturday, it couldn't get the car cool at all and we finally opened the windows. Today, I took it to Meineke where they vacuumed everything out and recharged the refrigerant. So far, so good.

On the other hand, the leak in the family room ceiling is still there. I've got a very good idea of how the water is coming in now, but the fellow who was going to caulk the area is stubbornly refusing to return my phone calls. You wouldn't think it would be so hard to get this taken care of, but apparently finding someone reliable is harder than it looks. And it rained hard again tonight. *sigh*

The big demo for work went well today. Afterwards, I went through the code and reverted my changes from the weekend and replaced the HashMap in serialization with an IdentityMap as [livejournal.com profile] mdlbear suggested. Happily, the demo code still works after that. :)

And tomorrow the cleaning lady comes. Perhaps she will find the missing car keys.

Sauced

Jun. 27th, 2014 11:01 pm
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When I was down at ConCarolinas, we went to a BBQ place that had a serviceable mustard vinegar BBQ sauce. I've lacked a good sauce like that since Merle's closed down some years ago and this reminded me that I would really like to have one.

Not long after that, I was walking through Trader Joe's and saw their Carolina Gold sauce. It looked promising, so I took a bottle home.

Of course, it sat around for several weeks looking for the proper bit of pork to put it on. And when [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise suggested ordering in ribs tonight, it found some nicely suitable pork.

It's a good sauce. Thicker than Merle's was, but Merle's sauce was extraordinarily thin.

What we need is a nice pork shoulder now...

Chili

Oct. 3rd, 2012 10:30 pm
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The weather was rainy and miserable enough today that [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise declared that we have finally moved into chili season.

Yum!

Tasty!

Jul. 23rd, 2012 05:08 pm
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After squeezing nine lemons (with the assistance of Katie and Julie) and adding a lot of Splenda and water, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise has produced a rather nice pitcher of lemonade. :)
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So I said to [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise, "I know what I want for dinner, but it's not very helpful."

"Yes?"

"I want a chocolate malt and something to go along with it, like a good hamburger."

Now, we could have taken the girls out to Red Robin, but that would have blown out the entire evening by the time they were done playing in the mall. Cheeburger Cheeburger would have been perfect, but they closed down in this area years ago.

"Hey, what about Smashburger? Let me check the menu."

A quick search and it turned out they had burgers and malts. This looked like a victory condition. Miss Vicki delivered the soda for Picnicon tomorrow, we chatted for a while, and just as she was getting ready to leave and we were getting ready to leave, Katie lost the contents of her stomach. This pretty much put the kibosh on the family expedition.

"You go on out," Gretchen told me. "I've got leftover rib tips for dinner."

So off I went.

Smashburger is a bit more upscale than Five Guys -- which I go to way too often. They have a wider selection of items on the menu at Smashburger, including chicken, salads, and shakes and malts.

The basic fries are better at Five Guys than at Smashburger, but Smashburger has more varieties of flavored and topped fries, including sweet potato fries, so if you want something different, they're a better choice. (The fries at Smashburger are shoestrings, while the ones at Five Guys show signs of coming from whole potatoes and are meatier.) And I like the burgers at Five Guys better too, as they're a bit more solid than the one that I got at Smashburger, although the burger that I got there was quite tasty -- just really messy. The burger feels "looser" at Smashburger for whatever reason.

And when I say that Smashburger is more upscale, just for example, the Smashburger lettuce is a romaine leaf, while Five Guys uses iceberg lettuce, and the Smashburger comes in a basket, not wrapped in a paper bag.

And Smashburger has a kids menu, which can be important if you have kids. :)

Overall though, it was a happy experience, as I got my burger and my malt and they were good.
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Two places on Algonquin Road where we would eat occasionally have closed recently.

One was a recent entry in the "fast casual" category, "Hungry?". The food there was generally good, but maybe just a touch pricey. Apparently just a little too pricey in this economy, as they're gone now after five years of operation.

The surprise was driving by Russell's Barbecue and finding that it was closed and the building up for sale. We would try them again sporadically, but they were never anything like my favorite place for BBQ, although they had a large local following. Apparently the Elmwood Park location is still open.
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I went to Sam's Club and the Jewel to pick up groceries. Between them, I got fresh bananas, strawberries, green beans, lettuce, and apples. (Ok, the lettuce was pre-cut and in a bag, but that way we get more than one variety of lettuce and/or veggies in the salad with no fuss.)

My mother, for all of her virtues, was not much of a cook. Some of that was due to growing up in the South in the 1930s and 40s when prosperous households had a cook, which her mother did. Some of it was due to the ingredients that were available when she was feeding us, sometimes on Guam which was not exactly a hotbed of agriculture. (I still don't particularly care for milk, having spent many of my formative years confronted with milk that was reconstituted at a dairy on the island.)

Strawberries, for example, came out of a can from the freezer, were mostly thawed, but still contained random ice crystals, and were spooned over sponge cake shells from the grocery store to make strawberry shortcake.

Today, strawberry shortcake starts from fresh strawberries, sliced and sweetened with a bit of Splenda, then ladled over fresh-made, still-warm shortcakes from the Bisquick recipe, and finally topped with some real whipped cream from a can, because some things are both convenient and good. :)

I am happy to be a locavore for things that are actually available, but I love being able to get all the things that travel here from around the country and around the world.

More BBQ

Mar. 8th, 2011 11:21 pm
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The new BBQ place occupying the former Dairy Queen on Elmhurst Rd. opened over the weekend, so we figured we'd give them a try. It's a nice, family owned spot, the barbecue is good and properly smoked, the portions are large, and they have a drive thru. There are three kinds of barbecue sauce: sweet, heat, and mustard vinegar. We tried the sweet tonight and determined that we don't need to try the heat, as the sweet sneaks up on you after a while.

I'm thinking I'll see how the mustard vinegar sauce is on a pulled pork sandwich some time in the near future. :)

More BBQ

Mar. 8th, 2011 11:21 pm
billroper: (Default)
The new BBQ place occupying the former Dairy Queen on Elmhurst Rd. opened over the weekend, so we figured we'd give them a try. It's a nice, family owned spot, the barbecue is good and properly smoked, the portions are large, and they have a drive thru. There are three kinds of barbecue sauce: sweet, heat, and mustard vinegar. We tried the sweet tonight and determined that we don't need to try the heat, as the sweet sneaks up on you after a while.

I'm thinking I'll see how the mustard vinegar sauce is on a pulled pork sandwich some time in the near future. :)
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Katie was begging for "yellow popcorn" yesterday afternoon. What this meant was that she wanted a bag of the stuff from the store covered with the fake butter substance and salt that you find when you cruise the chips and snacks aisle. Daddy promised her something better.

So last night, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise staggered off after dinner for her long-delayed nap and I stayed downstairs with the girls watching TV. I grabbed a microwave-safe dish and threw about a third of a stick of real butter in it, then popped it into the microwave to melt. When that was done, I filled the microwave popper with popcorn and set the process in motion.

While the popcorn popped, Katie went to the cabinet and pulled down three of the red and white striped plastic popcorn containers that we'd bought for the purpose. And when the popping was done, I put a third of the popcorn into each container, drizzled butter into each one, added popcorn salt, and shook well.

It was excellent popcorn. Katie and Julie concurred.

And Katie has been bugging Mommy ever since for more of Daddy's yellow popcorn. I've explained to her that this kind of popcorn is for special occasions.

We'll see how that goes...
billroper: (Default)
Katie was begging for "yellow popcorn" yesterday afternoon. What this meant was that she wanted a bag of the stuff from the store covered with the fake butter substance and salt that you find when you cruise the chips and snacks aisle. Daddy promised her something better.

So last night, [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise staggered off after dinner for her long-delayed nap and I stayed downstairs with the girls watching TV. I grabbed a microwave-safe dish and threw about a third of a stick of real butter in it, then popped it into the microwave to melt. When that was done, I filled the microwave popper with popcorn and set the process in motion.

While the popcorn popped, Katie went to the cabinet and pulled down three of the red and white striped plastic popcorn containers that we'd bought for the purpose. And when the popping was done, I put a third of the popcorn into each container, drizzled butter into each one, added popcorn salt, and shook well.

It was excellent popcorn. Katie and Julie concurred.

And Katie has been bugging Mommy ever since for more of Daddy's yellow popcorn. I've explained to her that this kind of popcorn is for special occasions.

We'll see how that goes...
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Why can Heinz advertise using the slogan "Heinz is what ketchup tastes like"?

This article should help explain. Although I note that it doesn't say a darned thing about how Heinz ketchup in Canada is sweeter than the hypothetically same product in the United States.

Apparently I know what ketchup tastes like. I should by now, I suppose...
billroper: (Default)
Why can Heinz advertise using the slogan "Heinz is what ketchup tastes like"?

This article should help explain. Although I note that it doesn't say a darned thing about how Heinz ketchup in Canada is sweeter than the hypothetically same product in the United States.

Apparently I know what ketchup tastes like. I should by now, I suppose...
billroper: (Default)
I was in the Loop yesterday for meetings and decided to leave the office and head south looking for food. I found the Halsted Street Deli (which was nowhere near Halsted Street) and decided they would do. I found a hot pastrami sandwich on the menu and ordered it.

"Regular or spicy mustard?" the counterman asked.

I thought for a moment and answered "Regular," since I felt that was less likely to contain some interesting adulterant that I'm allergic to.

When the sandwich came, I found it had dijon mustard on it.

In what universe is dijon mustard "regular" mustard?

I normally avoid dijon mustard because it contains small quantities of sulfites which I'm allergic to. Fortunately, my sulfite load was low enough that the sandwich didn't set me off.

However, dijon mustard on pastrami is really pretty revolting.

*sigh*
billroper: (Default)
I was in the Loop yesterday for meetings and decided to leave the office and head south looking for food. I found the Halsted Street Deli (which was nowhere near Halsted Street) and decided they would do. I found a hot pastrami sandwich on the menu and ordered it.

"Regular or spicy mustard?" the counterman asked.

I thought for a moment and answered "Regular," since I felt that was less likely to contain some interesting adulterant that I'm allergic to.

When the sandwich came, I found it had dijon mustard on it.

In what universe is dijon mustard "regular" mustard?

I normally avoid dijon mustard because it contains small quantities of sulfites which I'm allergic to. Fortunately, my sulfite load was low enough that the sandwich didn't set me off.

However, dijon mustard on pastrami is really pretty revolting.

*sigh*

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