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Posts Tagged ‘wiregrass area’

  1. Of Broccoli, Lent, Cheese, Episcopalians, and More Cheese

    March 15, 2012 by The Yum Yum

     

    Last night after Mass, the parishioners at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ozark served a broccoli and cheese soup, a tortellini soup, a salad, and a fruit salad of sorts. I didn’t have any of the tortellini soup as it contained meat, but the broccoli and cheese? Are you kidding me? I had two bowlfuls, one with additional cheese and tomatoes added into it.

     

    In addition to all that, we had sweet and non-sweet teas.

     

    The Episcopalians really are a welcoming Church, in so far as I’ve had an experience with them. I told the priest forthrightly that there would be more Episcopalians if people actually knew the Church existed. When their sign says, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You,” they also mean, “We’ll feed you, chat you up, and invite you to return again.”

    Anyway, the broccoli and cheese soup makes my mouth water thinking about it even now.

     

    How’s everyone enjoying the warmer weather? It’s actually in the 80s outside right now! The perfect kind of weather for my cold bones that stay cold.

     

    Also, guess what? Next Tuesday will mark something very, very exciting; can you guess what that is?

    If you guessed “The Yum Yum celebrates its second anniversary,” then you would be absolutely correct! Yay!

     

    The other major thing I’m craving now is ciabatta bread and brie, but Chris said he and Jim are getting me some. I have no idea where my love for brie came from; it’s so incredibly delicious and wonderful, like eating cream. I bet a pizza made with brie would be out of this world.

     

    Speaking of out of this world, has everyone seen Jupiter and Venus in the night sky recently? It’s amazing to know that we can see the brightness of our planets all the way here at Earth. They’re quite close to one another and quite bright on top of that. The larger of the two planets in the sky is Venus, as its closer and therefore brighter. That sounds strange to say, since in reality, Jupiter is far larger than Venus, but I’m factoring in distance here.

     

    Also, if anyone’s interested in coming to Mass at an open, loving, diverse, and friendly congregation, you’re welcome to come to St. Michael’s on Sunday; the service is at 10:30, and Sunday school is at 9. Right now, the Church is having Lenten services on Wednesday nights at 6 PM, so you can come to those, too.

     

    Get your nosh on, everyone.

     

    Beaux

     

     

     

     

     


  2. Homemade French Onion Dip Really Works

    February 4, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Literally, you need a pack of onion soup and two cups of sour cream.

    Blend those suckers together like you’ve never blended anything and that all reality is contingent upon those elements in that moment.

    And then add chips and serve.

    I tested this recipe out last night; it works, and if you like french onion dip, well, I say get with the program; it’s quick, easy, and better than buying an actual container of the dip. Homemade foods invariably taste better, I think.

    Get your nosh on!

    Beaux 


  3. Slocomb’s Dangerous Intersection with the Hanging Stop Sign and Beaux’s Sarcasm

    January 31, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Today, I saw a truck run through the hanging Stop sign in Slocomb.

    Now, I’ve seen many, many cars go through this sign with rolling stops and at only partially reduced speeds. However, I have never seen anyone driving around 40 mph and without any attempt to slow down.

    Not long after that, a child was walking on the sidewalk; he almost certainly came from the Slocomb Health Center and crossed that street.

    If the child had crossed a few minutes earlier, he would’ve been dead, run over by idiots driving a truck.

    So, I implore the officials who are running Slocomb to install a traffic light at the four-way stop of Dalton Street and Slocomb Street- AS WAS ONCE THERE.

    Someone is going to get killed there; it’s only a matter of time, especially since you have several businesses in that area, including Harris Brothers Hardware, Dalton Drug Store, and the Slocomb Health Center. It’s a fairly busy street for a small city.

    So, again, before you have a tragedy on your hands and a lawsuit the likes of which Slocomb can’t handle, it would be an excellent idea to put up a traffic light.

    Or we could do this hard way and the Occupy Wall Street movement could come to Slocomb and become Occupy Slocomb Street and Occupy Dalton Street. I mean, people might get arrested, but if they get arrested for saving someone’s life, that would be worth it.

    I would totally go to jail for exercising my rights as an American citizen. I mean, they would actually be doing me a favor- because that would be a HUGE conversation piece for the rest of my life and an experience under my belt for standing up for what’s Right against those who are doing Wrong.

    Too often, people are afraid of doing that, because they’re afraid they’ll “upset someone.” But that’s the point- people who are doing wrong SHOULD be upset so they can repent of their wickedness.

    But in all seriousness, Slocomb: get your ducks in a row and put up a traffic light there before someone gets hurt.

    Because if *I* am the one who gets hit, you will have to face off with Bapaw. That translates to, “Slocomb will be owned by the Harrises and the town will be renamed Harrisville in a lawsuit that will be covered nightly on WTVY in a 3-Ring Media Circus and will be written about with biting sarcasm by Jim Cook in the Dothan Eagle.”

    Frankly, you do not want to face off with Bapaw.

    Oh, and to make this blog about food: I made some excellent ravioli tonight. More on that tomorrow.

    Get your nosh on!

    Beaux

     


  4. Continuing Updates and a Bit about Rachael Ray

    January 26, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    My great olive experiment has turned out well, in my humble opinion.

    Okay, everyone knows I’m not humble about my opinions; they’re typically pretty solid and well-reasoned, so I do think I have a reason to not have to go to the level of humility.

     

    Then again, I guess I do like to refrain from asserting that I am absolutely right and that everyone else is wrong. That’s the kind of opinionated perspective that will get one in trouble real quick.

     

    Anyway, I took a regular jar of olives and added red pepper flakes and cumin.

     

    They’ve turned out absolutely DELICIOUS!

     

    For my next trick, I shall add to them sugar, I think, to see what sweet olives might taste like.

     

    But I may do that with a different jar and not add them to current one swimming with cumin.

     

    How’s everyone doing this Chinese New Year season? We’re also closing in to Mardi Gras and Lent. ACK! That means Christians have to give up something they like!

    What could I give up? I like so many things- coffee, sugar, salt, ack!

     

    Maybe I can give up being awake and just sleep through Lent and wake up for an Easter Vigil Mass. I mean, forty nights asleep and then awakening to chocolate, colored eggs, and the Lord Arisen, Indeed sounds like a plan to me.

     

    The weather’s been messy lately. In fact, on Monday, I was driving and encountered HAIL pelting my car!

     

    Also, I had a temper tantrum, and my rosary broke. (Yes, I pray when I drive! Don’t judge me!)

    But then, later on, a friend of mine offered me a rosary he actually got while in Rome, blessed by a priest at St. Peter’s Cathedral. YAY! The real deal, I’m so happy!

     

    That’s one of those situations where I realized that God’s got His (or Its) own rhyme and reason. God takes away lesser things to give to us greater things. (Not that I didn’t enjoy that rosary; it was quite beautiful, and I used it often.)

     

    That calls to mind the reference Christ makes about how his followers will do even greater miracles than He.

    …spooky, God telling us that we’ll do more than He. Really spooky.

     

    Today, I watched Rachael Ray, and because Channel 4 News kept interrupting the regularly scheduled programming, I wasn’t able to see everything that she made, but the food looked good; a kind of puff pastry quiche dish that didn’t require actually using such things as cream.

     

    One day, when I finally have energy to do something again, I’m going to start cooking and posting recipes on here.

     

    Then again, I don’t actually have to continue enduring the “Post a Day” challenge, but I think it’s a good quota to set for myself to post at least something every day.

     

    I’m in the mood to cook spinach.

    Get your nosh on.

    Beaux

     

     


  5. Uncle Bob’s: A Sunday Night Adventure

    January 16, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    ACK, I missed a day! And I slacked off with the writing of the haiku!

     

     

    That partially has to do with the fact that haiku must invariably include “kigo” or “seasonal words.” I like the 5-7-5 syllable pattern but won’t be able to use good “kigo” each time.

     

     

    So, instead, let’s talk about why I missed posting yesterday:

     

     

    Half of all my adventures (okay, who am I kidding, most of them) begin with my being dragged into a situation reluctantly. I go to, say, visit my friend Caleb, and then Caleb drops the bomb on me that we’re going to Dothan, and things get wild from there.

     

     

    I’m not the world’s most impulsive person; I like schedules, I like order, I like knowing that I’m going from point A, to point B, to point C. Deviation from the plans makes me a very upset panda.

     

     

    So last night, we went to Friday’s, where Caleb happens to work, and met our friend Landon there. Dusty was working and acted as our server. He actually helped me an extremely cheap decision in terms of food.

     

     

    Now, most of the food at TGI Friday’s is vastly overpriced, but of course, you know by now that I feel that way about most places; you pay a higher amount of money than you should for too much food that has too little quality. Please note, I’m not singling out Friday’s for this; I simply put them in the list of restaurants that should knock off a few dollars from their meals or at least make the place more bougie.

     

     

    So, I ordered macaroni and cheese, which, as luck had it, was only on the kid’s menu and only had a kid’s size. I’m not complaining; it turned out to be the perfect size. Fries came as my side, and they were nothing impressive; I ate them with ketchup.

     

     

    The macaroni and cheese actually turned out to be fairly decent. The noodles could have been cooked longer and could’ve been softer; that’s the way I prefer it, but I suppose the noodles being a little stronger wasn’t a bad point.

     

    My bill came out to be less than $5 (including tax!), so my cheap, deal-seeking self was highly satisfied. The bill did actually total up to $6 for me, though, since I let Dusty keep the change and gave him an extra dollar for his tip.

    And the best part is that I ate every bite and was completely full, all for $6- that’s not an easy task to accomplish in Dothan these days.

     

     

    Then, Caleb’s sister Katie and her husband James arrived. They wanted to go have a beer, so a big issue turned up with our not knowing what to do and where to go. Caleb’s not 21, so we couldn’t go to certain places that are perhaps more unsavory.

     

    Someone informed us about a new place in Dothan called “Uncle Bob’s.” I realized where they meant the more they explained it.

    Uncle Bob’s is located on the south side of Dothan, next to Winn Dixie Marketplace and behind Dunkin’ Donuts.

     

    I shall officially refer to what Uncle Bob’s is: it’s a “barcade.”

    What is a barcade, you may ask?

    Good question!

     

     

    A barcade combines both a bar where one can purchase alcoholic beverages and arcade machines where one can play games.

     

    In addition, Uncle Bob’s has pool tables and a limited menu of moderately priced bar food, including nachos, pizza, and burgers.

     

    The atmosphere is akin to a nightclub, but, get this, there’s NO SMOKING! All smoking is done outside the building, so the air stays fresh.

     

    The environment in general feels friendly, and the music played is a good, solid mix and not one particular genre. The moment we stepped up to concrete, the outside speaker began playing Lady Gaga.

    It’s like Uncle Bob’s KNEW that Caleb and I had arrived.

     

     

    But yes, there was a good mix of pop music, R&B, rap, techno, and rock; I didn’t feel like we were being suffocated with one particular style.

     

    Katie begged me to play pool, and I finally gave in and played a round with her, James, and Caleb.

     

    Unfortunately, since we had already eaten, I didn’t have any reason to eat the food at Uncle Bob’s. Sad day. But I will recommend the place to others and will most likely return there (willingly) in the future because of how great the place was. I’ve never been to a bar that had that kind of good vibration to it.

     

     

    Also, I think it’s mainly geared towards people in their 20s; most of the patrons present last night seemed to be in that age range, but it also wasn’t especially crowded.

     

     

    So if you want a beer, a game of pool, a non-smoking environment, pizza, and video games all with great music, check out Uncle Bob’s on Ross Clark Circle on the south side of Dothan!

     

     

    Get your nosh on!

     

     

    Beaux

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  6. Oh, Shrimp and Olives!

    January 14, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    These days, I rarely recommend ramen to many people, just because you can buy other kinds of pasta that are delicioso and make similar dishes.

    But last night, I want something to nosh on, and so I fixed a bowl of ramen, and to it, I added olives and shrimp.

     

    Oh, and a little soy sauce.

     

    So. GOOD.

     

    Ideally, one could do that with other kinds of pasta that are actually made from vegetables and create a really healthy meal.

     

    Anyway, I just thought I would share my fantastic adventure. What would’ve really been nice: adding Parmesan cheese to the mix. However, I had already put soy sauce in it, and I thought Parmesan and soy sauce wouldn’t go well together.

     

    I could be wrong.

     

    It wouldn’t be the first time, and most likely won’t be the last, either.

     

    I emptied out part of the olive juice and replaced it with pepper juice instead, making the olives spicy. So. Good. Who would’ve thought of spicy olives?

    Tonight, Gigi made dressing and prepared a salad. So I threw in some cheese and olives to the salad, and do you know that it needs nothing else? I can’t imagine putting salad dressing on it at this point; it’s perfect the way it is. It would probably even be really good without the cheese on it.

    Olives make me happy, can you tell?

     

    But, then, I like salty foods, and I like spicy foods, so my spicy olives make sense on a whole new plane of existence.

     

    Veggie-Table mentioned recently that she’s a complete grandmaw and gave several reasons for it in her blog, but I can make her feel better because I’m a dude and I’m more a grandmaw than she is, complete with hot teas, rocking chair, and my series of virtual pets. I’m not going to become an old cat lady; I’m going to become an old Tamagotchi lady.

    But the one thing I can guarantee you is that if you visit Veggie-Table or me, we’ll be the grandmaws that make the best food you’ve ever had!

    Now I’m craving gingerbread for some reason, good grief.

    Get your nosh on!

     

    Beaux

     


  7. Gumbo, Yo!

    January 13, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Gigi discovered that some of her gumbo was still in the fridge tonight, and we also had salad shrimp.

    I should also note I was in my room and received a phone call…from the HOUSE PHONE…for her to tell me this.

     

    So, I tossed in the salad shrimp to the gumbo, popped it all in the microwave, and then had a veritable feast.

     

    My major suggestion would be to use rice or orzo in place of the noodles we were having, and to add crab meat (or imitation crab meat) to the gumbo. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it, yeesh.

    I think I also ate the last of the Peppermint Crunch Andes Mints tonight. They were so good. The Passion Cookie wasn’t quite as stellar, but it wasn’t horrible, either.

    Oh, wait, no, I just checked; there’s one left, but maybe someone else should eat it instead of me.

     

    Anyway, I apologize again for such a short entry. There’s actually an unsavory situation going on with one of my friends, and so my attention has been split and focusing on it. I’ll have to get in touch with Earle soon so we can begin again the GREAT PUBLIX ADVENTURE OF THE WEEK!

     

    Get your nosh on!

     

    Beaux

     

     


  8. Of Olives and Eggs

    January 12, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Chopping up a fried egg Gigi made and tossing it into a bowl full of olives = din-din win.

    Peanut butter cake and peanut butter balls are probably the best tasting and worst-for-you foods in existence.

     

    Gigi made Almost Gumbo yesterday. I call it Almost Gumbo because it contained no shrimp, and the essential Gumbo to me is Shrimp + Okra. I ate a bowl or two, and then it all disappeared when I got home.

     

    One thing I despise is when a so called “medical professional” goes on a TV show and says something that is demonstrably not the case. I’ve heard them say that “caffeine doesn’t actually wake you up; it just prevents sleeping.”

    Oh, REALLY? I’ve drunk enough coffee and tea in my life to know exactly how caffeine affects my body.

    Have I already gone on this rant this week?

     

    In fact, the other night, post-Ichiban experience, I had coffee with Chris and Jim because I was beginning to crash, and that cup o’ joe woke my sleepy brain up.

    Experience: busting poor hypotheses every day.

    GET YOUR NOSH ON!

     

    Beaux

     

     


  9. Chinese New Year in Just a Few Weeks!

    January 10, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    French fries and vinegar go well together. So do french fries and ranch dressing.

    I thought I would let everyone know.

     

    After writing my fantastic restaurant review from yesterday and then falling a bit under the weather AGAIN, I don’t have too terribly much that I can comment on today.

     

    But I should note that on Sunday, when I was up earlier than usual and visited the local Dollar General, I bought some great peppermint crackle Andes Mints that taste just like peppermint bark.

     

    You can purchase these at www.groovycandies.com

     

    They’re also incredibly bad for you, with four of them equaling 200 calories. But they’re so, SO delicious.

    Mainly, I bought them because I thought Bapaw would like them. I’ve thought that for years.

    Also, did I tell everyone about my failed experiment with the coconut hot chocolate? Needless to say, putting the coconut flavoring in my hot chocolate was such a horrible mistake that I don’t think I’ll ever look at coconut the same again.

     

    Bapaw’s not a fan of coconut and never has been to my knowledge, and now I wonder if my love of coconut cake and flavor has been destroyed by the activation of some latent genes in me. The last several times I’ve had a coconut cake or something made with coconut, it’s been awful.

    Then again, maybe coconut’s one of those things that we should smell and not eat, or maybe it’s a delicate flavor that has to be treated in a specific manner and prepared properly. Who knows?

    I still like the taste of piña coladas, though. I think.

    So, our next BIG holiday coming up is *drum roll, please* CHINESE NEW YEAR! Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival and by various other names in Chinese. In traditional societies, Spring was seen as the beginning of the New Year as opposed to simply January 1st.

    Also, while studying haiku recently, I discovered that traditional societies (including ancient Japan) also understand a season to begin before the equinox or solstice. Rather, the Spring Equinox, for instance, would mark the MIDDLE of the Spring. The Summer Solstice would mark the MIDDLE of the Summer.

    Isn’t that interesting? That’s akin to my idea of how Spring starts on March 1st, Summer on June 1st, Autumn on September 1st, and Winter on December 1st. This idea, of course, is a little more extensive than that. The haiku calendars I saw actually said that February 5th would be the approximate first day of Spring.

    Anyway, back to Chinese New Year. Kelly’s already mentioned our having some kind of get-together, and in fact, I think one of the weekends falls on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

    I. Am. SO. Excited!

    Naturally, we’ll have the theme of Asian food and hanging red things everywhere. Spring rolls and fried rice sound like the beginning to a wonderful evening. Probably no fireworks, though. Maybe I should invest in some red candles!

    More to come.

    Get your nosh on!

    Beaux

     

     


  10. Ichiban Restaurant Review!

    January 9, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Well, we celebrated Chris’s birthday on what I shall term the Great Ichiban Adventure.

    Ichiban, as I said in the previous blog, is Japanese for “Number One.” The restaurant itself, as predicted, is a multicultural mix of Chinese and Japanese food, along with various American dishes.

     

    First, the service was speedy, and I approve of that; we were seated almost immediately upon walking in, and after receiving our drinks, the servers came frequently to top them off. No problem here.

     

    Second, the most impressive aspect of Ichiban is the atmosphere. Many Asian restaurants take care to create the “Asian image,” and Ichiban is no exception; they even had a waterfall with a fish tank, and a glamorous chandelier hanging, along with various lights that frequently changed colors. The music sounded like contemporary American radio stations, which is not a problem, but I have been to restaurants that played more soothing and traditional Asian music.

     

    Various decorations with the symbol for “Fortune” or “Happiness” (福) hung in various corners throughout Ichiban, but they were all the same; I don’t know if I liked the uniformity for found it slightly distracting.

    Now, for the most important part: the food!

    What can I say? One thing I’ve learned about restaurants focusing on Chinese food is that they have a tendency to have the same menu at every place, with the buffets offering seafood at night and on the weekends.

     

    Ichiban differs on three major points: they offer an extensive salad bar, they offer an expanded sushi bar (more on that in a second), and they offer hibachi. Hibachi is the kind of Japanese-American cooking where the chef performs a “show” for one by cutting taking the ingredients and cooking them across a hot plate.

    Now, I can’t review the hibachi as that’s mostly geared towards meat eaters, and though I eat seafood, I prefer other methods of eating seafood than hibachi.

    The sushi bar disappointed me, as, well, it wasn’t really all that great; there wasn’t really that many varieties of sushi offered from what I could see, and when I walked up to it the first time, they were almost out of every kind.

     

    I was only slightly adventurous this time around in breaking my normal pattern of food I eat at Chinese restaurants; I had coconut shrimp, the buttered seafood mix, mai fun (thin, white rice noodles), a king crab stuffed pastry, and a few pieces of sushi. The second time around, I had some macaroni and cheese and some lobster baked in cheese.

     

    Naturally, I had to try their macaroni and cheese after Chris’s brother said that it tasted odd; my opinion differed from his as the mac and cheese seemed just right to me, not needing salt or anything.

     

    Now, my adventures took place on two different fronts: first, the peach bun, which I had no idea what it could be, and the whole baby octopus stir fry. The peach bun is difficult to explain; it looks like a rather unimpressive bun, and it tastes mostly like regular bread, except that at the center is a sweet, yellowish, cake-y paste. I described the flavor as tasting like a gooey, highly concentrated pound cake. They were delicious at best and unimpressive at worst; nothing too terrible or disgusting about them.

     

    The baby octopus was a difficult one. I got three or four on my plate, not knowing how they would taste, and I tried one of them; I actually like octopus and squid. The stir-fry was spicy, as it turned out, and the octopus was difficult to chew. I like octopus in olive oil that’s been boiled until tender, and I think the baby octopus would have been better without the spiciness to it, which didn’t complement its flavor well.

    The chewiness factor bothered me; I wish I could’ve cut them and eaten them piece by piece, but I had to actually pop a whole one in my mouth and eat it, and the spiciness just killed the whole experience for me. Some flavors just don’t mix well.

    Also, they brought our tickets and fortune cookies way too soon. I have to dock them a few points for that; we may have been halfway through the meal when the tickets came, and another friend had yet to arrive and eat. Typically, I see the bringing of the ticket as a polite way to encourage people to hurry up, but there is such a thing as rushing it. Also, I’m a slow eater; I chew my food thoroughly before swallowing and just generally make it a point to taste it and enjoy it before swallowing.

     

    Now, for the pricing, which was the worst part of the experience: including tax and only ordering water, my ticket came up to be about $14.50. That is, of course, because we did dinner, and because at dinner, they include seafood. They may actually only do seafood on the weekends, I’m not sure.

    Lunch is cheaper, around $8 per person, which seems more reasonable.

    Buffets, in general, are slightly bothersome to me because I don’t eat so much at buffets; I tend to eat in a more spread out manner throughout the day, eating here and there, as opposed to going to a restaurant, sitting down, and eating one huge meal.

    But then, buffets are also designed in such a way that people can choose from any variety of immediately available food. Buffets may be the ultimate sign of the American culture and the general attitude of wanting whatever we want and NOW without waiting and without any effort whatsoever.

    That brings up a story!

    When I was in high school, our history teacher took us to a Civil War reenactment, then to Fort Rucker, and then to a Thai restaurant in Daleville owned by some of her friends. The family owned and run Thai restaurant, Two Sisters, did a buffet, which included about 12 items if memory serves. I remember how good their spring rolls were even now.

    Later, I recall one of my classmates criticizing the place and exaggerating about how they had a tiny buffet and only three things on it. Again, that’s the kind of attitude people have today- they don’t just want options, they want every option ever and all at a low, low cost.

    Eventually, having too many options catches up with us, and instead of being able to choose one out of two things, we’re choosing two out of 10 things, then we’re choosing 10 out of 100 things, then 100 out of 2000 things; it’s more work to choose something than it is to work for the money to pay for whatever it is we’re choosing!!

    I’ve gotten off topic, oops.

    Back to Ichiban!

    Beaux’s Verdict on Ichiban:

    I would have to give them 3.5 foodie stars out of 5 stars. The price really killed the whole experience for me. Given, for the amount of food some people eat, I understand $15 is robbing the owners of the restaurant, but I’m not one of those people.

    Would I go back?

    Yes, I’ll likely return to Ichiban, but for the lunch prices.

    Would I encourage others to go?

    Yes, if you’re an Asian cuisine foodie, I would suggest checking it out. I would suggest, too, that you make dinner a celebration for some reason, as just seven people eating would total a ticket of over $100.

    Now you see why I normally order appetizers in restaurants as meals instead of getting a so-called “entree.”

    Get your nosh on, folks!

    Beaux