My List of Good Food & Bad Cars

Yes, I do have a good book but I felt like telling you about Good Food I have eaten and Bad Cars I have driven. Lets start with my favorite thing, FOOD!:
  1. I think that of all the things I have consumed in my life, right up there on the top of things to eat is Ham and Beans with a side of cornbread. Just took the bone out of a spiral ham (with lots of meat still attached) added a few onions and celery boiled them like Kidneys (You know, boil the piss out of them) added beans and served with the corn bread made to the specifications on the side of the Corn Meal box. This just gets better each day after made and today it was fabulous. I am not a dry bean snob and will eat beans right out of the can in my soups.
  2. I think Baby Back Ribs are about the best thing a guy could eat. In fact I have the wife convinced that some day we will go through Memphis just to see if their dry rubbed ribs are better than the wet mopped ones. Might have to eat them in Kansas City on the way down or back.
  3. On our last trip to Tulsa, we stopped at the TA Truck stop at I-35 and US75. The fried chicken on their buffet was about the best I have eaten anywhere, anytime. Many of you know it as BETO truck stop. It is about the middle of the road to Burlington, Emporia Topeka and Ottawa. You can get a giant cinnamon roll and a great cup of coffee but I try to time my trips through there to hit the buffet. If we really aren't hungry there is a Wendy's for those days when a double grease/cheese burger is on your mind. Might even eat a Frosty.
  4. Gumbo and Rice. I prefer the seafood kind but the rest of the crew likes chicken and beef. For a kid from Kansas, I just love the mystery of all the seafood flavors mixed in with some great peppers, Okra and Onions. I used some calamari this last time and it was a great addition.
  5. Rib Tip Special at Grover's Smoke House. When they trim up the ribs, all sorts of wonderful meat is trimmed off the ribs. Take these chunks, smoke them and put Grover's BBQ sauce on it and dig in. I'll bet even though I lick my fingers, I'll go through 7 or 8 napkins. It comes with a side of fries. None of that sissy slaw for me.
  6. Beef Bulgogi with a side of Kim chi and rice. This Korean dish is grilled at the table and is like a Korean Philly Beef sandwich without the bun and cheese. Right now I am between good Korean Restaurants locally so the supply is somewhat limited. We have an "Oriental" restaurant here that has Mexican cooks. They do OK but nothing like when it is cooked at your table over a miniature Mongolian BBQ grill. (My friend tells me that KA-Gogi is to be avoided. It used to go woof.
  7. I am trying to think if I have ever had a steak I didn't love? Yes, the Water Buffalo in Vietnam and the steak in Germany that was overpriced and had a pat of some strange butter that tasted like someone had put grass in the butter to be funny. For the most part cook me anything Medium Rare and hold the A-1 for the side. If you use a good smoky fire like I do, leave off the A-1. About any sides will do. Small dinner salad, baked potato and a steak. None of those sissy desserts after a good steak.
  8. One year we hosted a dinner for the 5th US Army Commander as he made a visit to Kansas. I started with a hunk of Brisket that I smoke on the grill for a couple of hours. Brought it in and cooked it in the oven for a couple more hours and let it cool. Slice that sucker and an hour before dinner (the next day is best) slather it in BBQ sauce and put it in the oven. We served Hot German Potato salad as a side. I think one of the guys also gave me a couple of Pheasant and I smoked them and they were served as an appetiser. No one went home hungry.
  9. Smoked Turkey. I think a hickory smoked turkey is about the best way to go. I have them baked, deep fried and roasted and I like my hickory smoked turkey the best. I like a garlic smashed potatoes side and I don't care what else you do if you will just leave the damn liver out of the gravy.
  10. One time I had a group of students scheduled for a class. There just wasn't an empty class room anywhere so I got permission to bring them to Rabbit Run. One of the students was a part time chef and he asked if he could do the salad. He took the greens and put them in cold water. he sliced the carrots and everything else into small bits. When he put that salad together it was so crisp that people couldn't hear when they were eating the salad. He made a Roquefort or Blue Cheese dressing that was to die for. So I will eat a great salad pretty much anytime I can get one.

CARS - Be forewarned that I have driven a lot of cars and have many favorites. This list is limited to one's that I hated:

  1. Last night Jay Leno had Wonda Sikes on his program and she agrees that in the realm of bad cars the PT Cruiser is about as bad as it gets. It is a cute little car but noisy and a pain to drive. Her comment went, "Give them a Bail out but don't let them make the PT Cruiser anymore.
  2. My all time bad car I owned was the VEGA. Again, cute car, great design but the guy that made the engine out of silicone impregnated aluminum should have to eat engines as bad as they did. Small water leak, good by head gasket and block. Manage to keep the engine together for 50,000 miles and the EPA would make the air in your driveway a super fund sight. Smoke works than Minnesota killing mosquitoes.
  3. 69 Chevelle. Great car to look at but the 305 engine was the worst gas hog I ever owned. on a good day it would get 12 on the highway. Put that car on ice and I swear a hog could outrun it.
  4. Almost any old Flat Head V-8 Ford car with a 6 volt system. These things cracked heads so bad you would thin k they were mafia enforcers. The battery charging system and the starting system was just never in balance. The only way I could get mine started if it was cool was to carry a 12 volt battery and extension cables to jump it. Then you had to be real careful to disconnect the 12 volt batter quick or it would fry the coil, points and wires in between the battery and the starter.
  5. Renault Dauphine. If you lived in France, had a dealer nearby and didn't drive this car more than 30 miles a week, they would last almost forever. (Or it would seem like it) Bring it to the USA where people drive 30 miles a day at highway speeds and they were terrible. In high school I had a girl friend that owned one of these wonderful cars and at least one night a week I would take it to the gas station where I worked the other evenings and give it a good going over. The seals leaked into the rear brakes so cleaning out oil once a week was mandatory. The one my dad talked me into buying would do 45 in third and only go 45 in fourth. There was one hill that I could go 50 going down only because there was no cross traffic and I wouldn't have to stop fast.
  6. 71-80 something full sized Chevrolet's. These gas guzzlers had a real issue throwing hubcaps at people as they drove down the highway. They were at best expensive gas hogs and should have never been made. I test drove a station wagon one time and after one block of driving what felt like a battleship we went back to the dealership. It just kills me that today they are still out there and the kids will buy one for $500 and put $2000 dollars worth of tires and rims on them and drive like they had good sense. I thin k it also takes about $1500 worth of new suspension to put those 20 inch tires on.
  7. Ford Falcons. Just the name should say it all. Even when my buddy managed to build a frame and put a 327 engine in his Falcon, it was a piece of crap.
  8. Chrysler K-Cars. When the Government bailed out Chrysler in the 70's, to keep up the payments on the loan, the GSA bought K-Cars to fill the fleet. I was stranded more times in a K-Car than in almost any of the junk I owned and I owned quite a few junkers. Lordy, whatever you do don't hit a deer in one. Did that and darned near totaled that sucker. None of the doors ever opened and closed properly after that.
  9. Any British Car with a Lucas Ignition. Do you know why the British drink warm beer? because they have Lucas Refrigerators.
  10. I will leave one open for your vote_________________________________



  1. Great post! One thing, if you go to Memphis to eat ribs, skip Rendezvous, it is so overpriced, packed with gawkers, not eaters, and the waiters think that they are the customer they are so uppity.

    A piece of info, I was involved in the design of the logo for TA when I was a mere lad of 23. They still use the complete sign package, at every one of their stops, that I did for the truckstop in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    Gumbo must have sausage, it is a steadfast rule. Old Testament people called sausage "manna."

    I would rather eat grass-impregnated butter than kimchi.

    The car thing is hilarious. The worst that I ever owned was a MG Midget. After having the entire wire harness replaced about three months after buying it, so the wiper button wouldn't control the blinkers, I proceeded to spend about four thousand dollars on a convertible that did not have air conditioning. IN MISSISSIPPI! I almost died from fluid loss every time that damned car left the garage, unless it was in the dead of winter.

    Priceless quote: Manage to keep the engine together for 50,000 miles and the EPA would make the air in your driveway a super fund sight.

  2. Ohh how you made me miss warm weather for bbqing!! It can be done but it's hard to convince the husband to tend the grill for hours in below zero weather! We have used the "Jack Daniels oak chips" to smoke our steaks on and have loved the results! Husband is trying to perfect grilling baby backs and they keep getting better and better!

    As for cars you for got the Ford Pinto! I owned one of those for a few months. I shoved alot of money into the tranny and timing belts but eventually the engine blew. I caled it rewop itnop.....power pinto backwards as a joke........not an ounce of power but was quite a joke with all my friends!

  3. Ha! your blog made me hungry! I love ribs, fried chicken... All that good stuff. Say what you want - good American cooking is some of the best in the world.

    Germany's not known for their steaks, but I imagine the grass in the butter was bison grass - grows on the plains in Poland (they put it in their Vodka.)

    I LOVED this:

    "Any British Car with a Lucas Ignition. Do you know why the British drink warm beer? because they have Lucas Refrigerators. "

    Being a Brit, I drove nothing but old British cars for almost a decade. Started off with a Morris Minor, then a Triumph TR and had my share of MGs. I'll share Two Dogs experience with the wiring... Although I had an MGB GT. Only women (and apparently Two Dogs) drove the Midget!

  4. Yeah, I bought it off a friend of mine's sister, she was filing bankruptcy. NOT A GOOD MOVE.

    The only good thing that ever came out of England was the Chunnel.

  5. Good to know about the truck stop on 75 - thanks. LOVE fried chicken but hardly ever eat it.

    Being from south of New Orleans, I'd probably bump gumbo to the top of my list. With tons of seafood. And I'm with Two Dogs on the sausage. Mmm.

    My brother drove a Vega in high school and all I remember was his friends calling it the Baby Sh*t Green Machine (pukey green color). That and the floor boards had rusted out, so it was something like riding with Fred Flintstone, feeling like I need to run to keep the car going. Oh, and wear galoshes when it's raining, because hitting a puddle in New Orleans in that thing was never fun.

  6. Your post about food is something I shouldn't be reading as I am trying to get back into healthy eating after the holiday excess! Everything sounds great though!

    Sorry I don't know enough about cars to comment on those!

  7. Barb found a recipie for a soup and we shopped for the ingredients yesterday. Be forewarned that if you are going to use salsain soup, buy the mild kind. Medium salsa just gets hotter and hotter as the soup cooks. I loved it but it was so hot it made my nose run. Therre was a little cilantro in the soup added right at the end and it was souper. MUD

  8. Gotta comment on that cilantro thing. Last time I was in Tornado Alley to see Bean, we went to Applebees to eat one night and every stinking thing that I ate was smothered in cilantro. Everything tasted like dish washing detergent.

    (And to answer that question, my dishwasher stopped after the wash cycle one time, never completing the whole wash thing, and I didn't notice. Everything had a film of detergent on it and all the food tasted like Applebees.)