come in open minded, leave fair food satisfied

On the last State Fair weekend in North Carolina (marking yet another year of slacker parenting by not taking our kids for this experience), I thought it would be perfect timing to share Nick’s musings on Fair food debates.  Enjoy. 

Among the issues discussed:

3. Which type of food on a stick? – They have put every type of food except soup on a stick at the fair, and they’ll probably do that sometime soon, too.  It’s great fun to walk around and carry food on a stick, and you can even put the stick in your pocket or behind your ear to hold your food if you need.”

Top Five Fair Food Debates – nickclaussen.com

gratitude: heath toffee, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, and M&M

I’ve waxed poetic on the ice cream sundae before – perfect scoops of rich, creamy ice cream covered in warm fudge, and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  Ahhhh… 

You can do a lot of miraculous things with truly outstanding ice cream.

Like milkshakes.  Milkshakes inspire poets the world ’round.  Also teachers, writers, entrepreneurs, and parents.  Hell, milkshakes could probably power peace talks if folks would just give them a chance.

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what separates us from the primates (besides opposable thumbs)

The debates are endless and will forever rage on because food.  Who doesn’t have an opinion about food?  No one, that’s who.  I’ve yet to hear someone say, “You know, I have absolutely no preference when it comes to food.  I’ll eat anything…hell, feed me Cream of Wheat three times a day, I’m just fine.”

Nope.  Folks have their opinions, and they tend to be pretty hearty ones, too.  Here are some of Paul’s.

“So the debate around here lately is about whether or not pineapples belong on pizza. It’s gotten heated.

I don’t really want to pick a side because I’ve agreed with both sides at one point in my life. And honestly, I don’t really care. People have been putting pineapple on pizza for a long time. Why is it an issue now?

Trust me, I’m the first person to speak out on food faux pas. If I see someone spread ketchup on top of their fries, I cringe and then walk over to them and throw their fries out.

But this pineapple debate is just silly. Do what you want.”

What’s Yummy In Your Tummy? | The Captain’s Speech

gratitude: because sometimes double P stands for Deliciousness

Ice cream.

I could probably start and end this gratitude post with those two words – ice cream – and most of you would be like, “yeah!”  But what would be the fun in that?

We’ve lived in this area since 1997 and been in our current house since…oh, I don’t know…2009?  Maybe?  This is the sort of thing responsible adults usually know.  This is also where my weakness for numbers rears its ugly head.

At any rate, we’ve been around a while but only recently discovered a local restaurant in the downtown area.  It’s across from our historic courthouse and has two Ps in soda shoppe so it seems extra old-timey.  Now, it’s not vegan or fusion or organic anything, but it has a solid menu that anybody can order from.  (Well, maybe not anybody.  Sorry, vegan niece.  Love ya, mean it!)  All four of us can eat dinner there and no one’s the least bit grumpy about what they “had” to settle on.

But this place also serves The Best Old Fashioned Hot Fudge Sundae around.  Like, for reals, people.

And you know I’m hardcore serious about my ice cream.  My standards are forever set at Ben & Jerry’s nirvana, so if I’m gushing about the dreamy goodness then if you’re in the area you know you oughta stop on by.

The vanilla ice cream – I’m a purist, can’t get anything other than vanilla – is creamy deliciousness in a tall sundae glass.  Their warm, thick, sweet hot fudge – no wimpy chocolate syrup here, no sir – coats your throat like Willy Wonka’s chocolate river.  And the ice cream to fudge ratio is precisely as it should be in a world where too many people drizzle a topping over scoops and dare to call it a sundae.  These folks put hot fudge into the glass before adding any ice cream, drizzling it down the sides and into the bottom so every delicious sundae bite has cool vanilla bean dreaminess with warm, gooey fudge.  Of course they add a healthy dose of hot fudge to the top as well as a nice dollop of whipped cream…because, well, Soda Shoppe.

Mmmmm…all hail, ice cream.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: another southern staple

I know I joke around about living in the south.  They have a strange obsession with Cheerwine here and a bizarre inclination to deep fry anything.  When we go out to eat I have to ask BrightSide to remind me which kind of sweet tea that particular restaurant serves – moderate, hummingbird, or put me into a diabetic coma sweet.  Don’t even get me started on why chicken and waffles are offered together as a breakfast order.

But I’ll tell you something this glorious state introduced me to: the delectable dish that is chicken pie.

I mean, chicken pie in general is delicious, but there’s this place in town called Michelle’s Catering.  Oh, my…Michelle’s chicken pie…

Anthems could be written about the savoriness of this pie.  Its tender chicken, the scrumptious sauce, a flaky and fabulous crust.  I have dreams about this pie.  The mere thought of it makes me salivate just a little.

I just texted my husband begging him to bring home this pie.  Tonight.

Some might say I have a problem, but I figure it’s better than being hooked on deep fried Twinkies.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

ginger root, fennel, and a great rutabaga

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not big on vegetables.  Actually, “made no secret” might be a bit of an overstatement.  I worry my parenting skills might be questioned (or a blood panel ordered) if I openly admitted exactly how lacking in vegetable expertise I am.  Let’s just say, for sake of clarity, that I have an extremely limited palate.

And nothing makes that fact more glaringly apparent than a stroll through the Harris Teeter produce section.

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vultures by any other name…

So here’s what I want to know: why don’t I weigh 115 pounds?

For real.  Not because I’m exercising or watching what I eat or meditating myself into a zen space where I no longer feel the desire to overeat.  I’m wondering why on earth I don’t weigh 115 pounds because I eat with vultures.

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the evils of leggings and the perfect cheese fries

The last few potato chips in the bag.  An open can of cashews on the counter.  Stumbling across a Snickers bar two hours before dinner.

We’re talking about the kind of stuff that sucks all the oxygen out of the room.  The things that have almost a magnetic pull, drawing me to them, calling my name until I finally cave.

These are evil.  Pure eeeevil.

White cheddar cheese popcorn.  omg, what kind of devilry is this?!  The first bite is shocking, the second mouth wateringly delicious.  Before I blink twice I’m eating this stuff by the handful and have to force myself to stop after inhaling half a bag.

White cheddar cheese curls.  Okay, come on.  Is everything covered in this white powdery goodness completely addictive?

Lularoe leggings.  Sweet pumpernickel, there are no words.  Sista-friend introduced me to these and I was immediately sold.  I mean, who doesn’t want a pair of leggings that make you feel like Flo Jo?  I own two pairs now, and when I wear them I spend the whole day running my hand down my thigh.  I’m certain I must be raising eyebrows around town but damn, it’s magic.

Black Friday sales.  Okay, now that these have gone online I’m in a world of trouble.  My hard and fast rule of not shopping for myself the month before Christmas flies right out the window when I see something I really really want marked down 50% or more.  Over the last five years or so our Black Friday scores have included a vacuum, travel gear, lamps, and some really nice sheets.

Salty snacks.  I used to be all about the sweets.  Cakes, cookies, chocolate – all were my kryptonite.  Lately, though, it’s the tang of salt I crave.  Pringles, potato chips and dip, cheesy fries, tortilla chips, salsa, and peanuts all call to me like a homing beacon.  ‘Tis the season for a good cheese ball with Wheat Thins, and I can chow down on that mess all day long.

Decadent appetizers.  Nothing pulls me down as fast as seeing “cheese fries” on a menu.  Texas Roadhouse has them down to an art – giant steak fries seasoned with some mystery salty goodness, tons of melted cheese, and bacon crumbled over the top with ranch dressing for dipping.  Mmmmm…..