Archive | April, 2014

Food For The Soul

13 Apr

“An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.”  Hafiz

Talk about waking up your heart.  Try a trip out west.  Or if you live out west, look around you.  Yes, I’m sure that every part of the country has things that wake the heart, but sometimes we just stop seeing them. So what happened to my project of food reviews?  Really boring food the last few days as I weaned myself from ribs and chicken and deep fried veggies.  Boring but delicious salads.  But how many salads do you want to look at.  So I decided to show you some things that have been feeding my soul for the last few days. WholeHole   First there was Window Rock.  A quiet, almost spiritual place.  Spent about two hours there drinking in the quiet.  Purchased a lovely pair of earrings from a Navaho woman, and watched children scamper up and down a formidable rock wall with their dad. 

The next day took us to the Grand Canyon.  It was a sight that started me weeping for the sheer beauty of the place.  

GrCGrCan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are’t enough words in my vocabulary to describe the heart stopping beauty of the place.  Nor can any pictures do it justice.

After gazing for a while we took a break and enjoyed a bowl of chili, a salad, and some melt-in-your-mouth fry bread.  A raven the size of our overweight cat swooped down at the end of our meal to clean off the picnic table. Stayed a while longer and enjoyed the view from other lookout points.  Then quietly made our way to Williams.  Tomorrow it’s on to Las Vegas for a family visit.  And perhaps a few coins into a slot machine.  

Loveya – The Grandma

Advertisements

Winslow Arizona

11 Apr

“What we speak becomes the house we live in.”  Hafiz

Went to see LaPosada, an incredible hotel in Winslow Arizona.  Not to be missed.  Google it if you’re that interested to see if it’s really that great or if I’m just blowing smoke.  Old ladies do that sometime.

IMG_1122

A garden in Eden in the middle of the dessert.  And then there was the food.  Decided to have a salad because I’ve been eating so much on this trip.  Ordered the Spicy Chicken Chili which came with a bunch of black beans and a corn husk filled with a sweet corn polenta.  OMG.  Happiness prevailed.

But before that brought the main course they brought out an appetizer of cornbread drenched in butter and topped with a honey glaze.

crnBr

Yes, a few bites were consumed before I remembered the pic.  Worth it!  And then the main course arrived.

chix

The chicken is to the far left nestled against the tortillas.  Polenta in the center and black beans to the right.  Two of us consumed the black beans.  We think it’s going to be an interesting night at the motel!

Loveya – The Grandma

Still In Santa Fe

10 Apr

“The sun never says to the earth,’You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that.  It lights up the whole sky.”  Hafiz

Yes, we didn’t move out of Santa Fe until later in the day.  Meanwhile, we visited the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and had lunch at an historic hotel with overpriced gift shops.  Or are those spelled shoppes?

The above quote – don’t ask.  

I would love to share more specific information about the hotel but I don’t remember the name.  I do remember that our waiter’s name was Fernando, that he gave incredible service, and was someone who should be a leading man in the movies and not waiting tables.

But on to the food.  After consuming mega ribs and chickens yesterday I decided to follow a sensible eating plan for at least one day and ordered the Cobb salad.

Cob

This salad was a southwest version with jicama, which if fun to say and a nice addition to the salad.  Lots of bacon, topped with avocado and almost too pretty to eat.  But eat I did!

OK.  I added a small side of sweet potato fries, which I shared.  They were luscious and served with a side of ketchup or catsup.  It’s always been a mystery to me why there are two words for one product.

spFr

So is it clear to you why I don’t try to make my living as a photographer.  At least I remembered to take the pictures before I began eating my food.

Note:  No one offered to buy us anything today.  But we did have dinner in Albuquerque with a relative.  Salad and pizza at their home.  Lovely back yard landscaped with cactus and little scurrying lizards.  Clear skies and mountains as a backdrop.  All is right with the world.

Loveya – The Grandma 

Santa Fe Ribs

9 Apr

“Now that all your worry has proved such an unlucrative business, why not find a better job.”  Anon

So here we are in Santa Fe without any idea of where anything is.  Circled through suburban areas while we voted where to find the incredible shops that we knew were waiting for us.  “Turn left here!”  “Should I turn right?”  

After 45 minutes of such scintillating conversation we stopped to ask directions.  We asked a mail person who was emptying a mail box.  If he didn’t know where things were, who would.

Forty-five minutes later we found motels-a-plenty.  Comfortably tucked into a Comfort Inn we got directions to a restaurant that would have our long desired ribs.  Ta da!

Bldg

Enter The Ranch House.  A cozy table in the bar where we could watch TV and hear the 1000th report of old news, indicating that it’s been a slow news day.

But then the food began to arrive.  Ribs and half a chicken with sides of Golden Potato Salad and Slaw.  Words cannot describe my joy or the number of napkins needed to keep myself looking presentable in public.  I recommend the spicy sauce!

Mt

OK.  So I forget to take the picture until I’m half way through my meal.  Cornbread on the plate with the ribs and chicken and salads behind in generous sized cups.  Thank you Jesus!

Of course, we needed to finish with dessert, which were all homemade.  We chose the bourbon creme brûlée to share.  There was a luscious  strawberry on top.  

BRU

Yes!  I forgot to take a picture before we attacked the dessert!  Get over it!

Now remember that last night a gentleman bought our dinners for us.  So we were joking how we had to find someone to buy our rib dinners.  Just then the waitress came up and said because we were first time customers they were buying our dessert for us.  Because my heart is pure!

Loveya – The Grandma

TEXAS!!

8 Apr

“Because my heart is pure.”  Me

Whenever someone asked me why something good happens in my life I tell them it’s because my heart is pure.  That’s when the uproarious laughter begins.  But tonight was another such evening during dinner in Texas.

mestk

We are in a part of Texas where many of the restaurants have a carry in policy.  That’s right.  If you want something to drink you go to the liquor store, purchase it, and bring it with you.  We were in the mood for margaritas with ribs so went out to make the purchase.  Lady at the liquor store told us where we’d find the best steaks but assured us we were not in rib country.  She also told us where to go.  OK.  Margaritas and steak. 

Found the Texas themed restaurant and learned that they were, just this very week, adding Mexican dishes to their menu.  A lone construction worker at the table next to ours was having something that was decidedly Mexican so we asked him about his choice.  He said it was good.  He had that wonderful Texas accent that we northern women love to hear.

Asked about the catfish and he said that he had had that too and it was also good.  Talked a little about where we were from and our road trip.  After he left and we ordered (I ordered the catfish) the waitress told us that the gentleman was an oilman working in the area and he’d bought our dinners for us.  That information bowled us over and silenced us, which is pretty unusual for our merry band.  Thank you, Texas Gentleman.

But then we got down to eating.  Started the meal with Texas Toothpicks, which are strips of onions and hot peppers that are battered and deep fried.  Served with ranch dressing, of course.  

I did order the catfish which came with hushpuppies and a side of deep fried okra.  All was delicious.  Catfish was tender with a mild flavor that I ruined with tartar sauce.  Yes, I believe that condiments are a major food group.

catfish

Waitress was a ray of sunshine after our long day of driving.  In light of our free meal she got a tip of around 75%.  I emailed my husband to tell him the story of  our adventure.  He replied, “Keep flirting with the locals and see if you can score a pickup truck with a gun rack.”  That’s why I love that man! 

Loveya – The Grandma

 

 

Day #1 Kansas City

7 Apr

“I’m having fun, not chicken.”  Anon

The above quote is not exactly anonymous, but my friend said that if I put her name to it she’s brain me.  It happened at the restaurant in Kansas City, or somewhere near there.  When you keep getting lost you’re not always sure of you exact location.  But we did find the exact location of a restaurant thanks to the recommendation of the young clerk at the Super 8.

Sign

OK.  We weren’t sure if it was chain restaurant or not and it was getting nigh to 8:00.  And even though the ribs were the special we’re on our way to Texas so I decided to save BBQ eating until then.  The logic of three hungry geriatric women is amazing!

After much deliberation I chose the beef and chicken fajitas. And started with a Guinness.  I ordered the small Guinness.

Guin

 When the fajitas arrived they were sizzling, and obviously way too huge to consume in one sitting.   Right!  But I must degrees.  

One in our group ordered a chicken something with a baked potato on the side.  Don’t you like that in-depth description of the chicken dish.  Unfortunately, the chicken was overcooked and difficult to cut and challenging to chew.  The waitress was informed.  The manager was informed.  My friend was offered another entree and chose the chicken fajitas.  Meanwhile my fajitas arrived.

 

guac Beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luscious, tender complete.  Who could ask for anything more.  Of course, by the time my friend’s fajitas arrived I was 3/4 of the way through my mound of food and didn’t want to make her feel she was eating alone.  Are you buying this?  Needless to say I ate every morsel and am now back at the Super 8 reminiscing about my past pregnancies when my stomach was this distended.

But the upshot of our whole dining experience happened when the waitress brought my friend her check.  They merely charged her for her glass of wine.  No charge for the uneaten chicken something and no charge for the delicious, replacement chicken fajitas.  And all this service with a smile.

If you’re ever in the vicinity of Kansas City and can find this particular restaurant, give them a try.  Great service!  Great fajitas!

Loveya – The Grandma

Hello Again

5 Apr

“Having two bathrooms ruined the capacity to cooperate.”  Margaret Mead

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  That’s because I haven’t been cooking anything interesting enough to share.  And that situation isn’t going to change in the next two weeks.

Backstory – When I was a young girl, which was shortly before the extinction of the dinosaurs, a new thing called Atomic Power came on the scene.  The story was that soon this Atomic Power (capitalized like God) would make it possible for people to have a 4 hour work day and everyone would have lots of time to paint, compose music, write great American novels, blah,blah, and blah.  An example of how that turned out pictured below.

 

Yes, that’s our cat, Jim, in his favorite recliner, watching NASCAR.  They were three wide in the turn and he was glued to the screen.

For inquiring minds who want to know, Jim was found and raised by college students many years ago and named after Jim Morrison.  His pupils are permanently dilated.

At any rate, Jim is not writing the great American novel and neither are the vast majority of us.  My job, waitressing, is safe from being taken over by robots unless that can come up with a robot with attitude.  Where was I?

Oh, yes, life.  In order to have a more interesting life I decided to do more interesting things.  And so, while I have two weeks off from my job, I decided to drive to the Grand Canyon.  Never been there.  After I made this announcement to a group of women friends two other retired ladies asked if they could join me.  We leave tomorrow.

Because I will not be doing any cooking for these next two weeks, and we’ve vowed not to eat in any chain restaurants, I decided to do two weeks of restaurant reviews on the diners where we dine entitled, What’s Grandma Eating Now!  Maybe the title needs a little work.  Will have my phone and laptop with me so this whole project should go swimmingly.  

S in Bag

Our other cat, Stinker.  She always gets a little paranoid after she does drugs (catnip) and hides in a bag until she comes down.  Yes, we have a very interesting home life.

Loveya – The Grandma