Friday, April 1, 2011

The indulging bliss of food

I’ve been listening to Julia Child’s “My Life in France” on an audio book and what struck me was her and her husband’s pure bliss for food. Food truly defined her life. And the more I listen to her story, the more I think how many meals have defined my very own life, or left a lasting memory long after the day or occasion has passed. Maybe it’s not so much what you do, but what you eat, and who you share your meals with.

It got me thinking of my most memorable meals, and not all of them were extraordinary good mind you, some were downright disasters, or just plain ordinary. Unlike Julia I cannot recall the foods I consumed at these meals, but these are the places and meals that stick out in my mind.

#14 Capers. Every year we go to Derby Indiana and while we are there we visit our favorite little spot in Tell City, Indiana, Capers. While the food has not been as great the last few times we have been there it is still a great little pub, with good pizza, and some ok entertainment on the weekends.

#13 Zaxby’s. Our new found favorite. We stopped at one on our way home from Disney last year, and have even made it a day trip to go back to one a handful of times since.

#12 Pizza Joints. My favorite pizza joints are no longer around. When we were younger it was a pretty big treat to go to Pasqualies. Paramount Music Place was also a great pizza joint. When we were kids were loved to go and watch the show, and the organ pipes would not only belt out tunes, but bubbles and smoke. I remember one of the last times I went there was for my 16th birthday party. My friends and I packed the upstairs balcony.

Another favorite pizza memory was having a really bad day with my husband. I don’t remember why the day was so bad, but the only way we thought we could redeem it was to pop open a bottle of really expensive wine we were saving for a special occasion. We did just that, and drank it over a cheap pizza.

#11 Farrells. Another old place that is no longer around. My sister Kelly and I always wanted to go on our birthday’s for the ice-cream Sunday that they decorated as a clown. However, on one of sister’s birthday she had a change of heart, she was so distressed that they were going to deliver the Sunday to her while singing happy birthday that she hid under the table for most of the meal.

#10 Frosty Boy. How can I not mention an old New Palestine standard? Cherry slushies and hot fudge sundaes.

#9 The Moosejaw. My husband and I got married in the Wisconsin Dells with our immediate family. After the nuptials we all went to eat at the Moosejaw. It was a Thursday afternoon and there was a ton of us. The waitress didn’t believe that we had just gotten married. We were all dressed to go ride go-carts and play putt-putt, plus we each were sporting a set of paper moose antlers that the restaurant gave out. Taylor still has her antlers. I am so jeal that I didn’t save my own. Was the food great, nah, but it was such a silly place to be after such a monumental event that it still makes me laugh.

#8 Eating for Two. Ask my sister Katie about cold cut sandwiches in the Meijer Parking Lot. When I was pregnant with Gavin I was ravenous starved all the time. At that time in my life hunger could drive me to do all kinds of things such as opening up unpaid food while doing grocery shopping only to pay for empty contains at the checkout….or not even being able to make it home before making a sandwich in the parking lot.

Foods I didn’t even like tasted good to me when pregnant with both of my babies. With Gavin I devoured cartons of cottage cheese, tubs of ice-cream, Big Mac’s and Skyline Chilly cheese dogs. With Macey it was Taco Salad and Chinese Food.

#7 Bob Evan’s Turkey Dinner. I was so hungry after I had Macey, and Paul was so good to me. He brought me one of my favorite meals, an extra large ice tea and a big slice of coconut cream pie to wash it all down. All husbands should take lessons from him…buy that pretty wife of yours, whatever her heart desires after all that hard work.

#6 Of course the Bierstuba. I’ve mentioned them on here before.

#5 Lamberts in Missouri. It was a little out of our way…but so worth the drive. They are known for their thrown rolls at which they fling to you from across the dining room. Sometimes they hit the light fixtures or take someone out, but they are big enough that they are easy to catch and still toasty warm. A very fun and tasty dinning experience!

#4 The Beef House. One of the best meals I have ever had in my life!

#3 Hollow Hamburgers. Sorry mom, but it is still one of the funniest meals I remember as a kid. And I know when my sister’s read this they will laugh and remember too. We did not think my mom was the best cook growing up, or maybe we were just like my kids now…and were very picky. My mom would try to make something new and we would choke, gag, feed it to the dog, or flush it down the toilet. There were some real flops, but one of the best was not my mom’s fault at all. She and Dad had purchased some kind of pre-frozen burger to cook out on our little grill. My mom loves a good burger on the grill so I can only imagine her dismay when she placed them on our hamburger buns that they had a liquid slosh sound inside them. We bit into the hamburger and they were completely hollow on the inside and all the juices had pooled and then spilled out onto our plate, soaking our hamburger buns leaving them soggy. I think my sister Kelly and I got in trouble for laughing so hard about it, and we still had to eat them regardless of how disgusting they were.

#2 New England Lobsters Fresh From the Boat. When you go to Maine you must have lobster! There is an incomparable difference to what you will find in these parts, to what you can purchase fresh off the boat. A few times we have visited and my Uncle was in the know of who to call to get live lobster straight off the boat. It takes a very large pot, and a bit of nerve to put something living into a pot of boiling water. But they are so deliciously good that no one can be content with just one.

And there is no better way to work off a full belly of lobster then with a walk on the beach. Oh, and how can I forget a Whoopie Pies for dessert?

Another New England restaurant we favor is Federal Jacks, and the Maine Dinner!

#1 BEST....Memphis Tennessee. When I was six months pregnant with Macey I took Paul to Memphis Tennessee to celebrate his 39th birthday. The best parts of that weekend were mostly all about food, and lots of it, southern style. I cannot even tell you where we ate at, which is sad. When we got to Beale street we walked it up and down, reading all the menus on the store fronts and finally picking one. For being the best meal of my life I seriously don’t remember exactly what we got, but my guess is that it included most of the following. Southern fried catfish, sweet potato fries, ribs, fried green tomatoes, okra, and greens. I just remember being completely satiated after that meal!

Later that night I had researched a ribs place that was off the beaten path. When I say this I mean that we were the only white folk around for miles. We go inside and order an entire rack of ribs….and we finished them all. We were practically lying down in our booths across from each other when we were done…so full! The waitress came to clear our table and said to us “Well, I ain’t never seen nobody eat the whole rack before.” In her very southern drawl. We still laugh about this.

Some other noteable places we have dinned at:

Stone Hill Winery Vintage Resturant

The Old Talbott Tavern

The Overlook Resturant

Karl Ratzsch's

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