Hello AR peeps! I know I haven't been around much lately but I am still here and have never stopped cooking up a storm. Perfect soup weather is nearing and I plan on not being such a stranger in the upcoming months. For now, I'll start
with a short blog.
There are two things I love in life. Dwight Yoakam and food. Okay, so there is more in life that I love but these do rank in the top 10 and are what inspired this blog. Not exactly sure where my love for Dwight started seeing how I am
not much into country music except that I do remember my dad always talking about him and then one day I bought the Thousand Miles From Nowhere CD and am almost 100% certain that is where the love started. I was hooked. Obsessed really. Within a matter of
months I had managed to purchase every single CD that he had out and I listened to him daily. While living in town and just starting my cooking journey, I remember lighting up the grill and cranking the stereo in the garage every night during the summer. My
old crotchety neighbor next door continually voiced his displeasure of Dwight and I continually reminded him of my displeasure of the 70's disco nonsense that he cranked all weekend long and so we finally came to an agreement and took turns.
Time passed and my music tastes continually changed but I never "outgrew" my love for Dwight. More and more time seemed to pass between his album releases and he seemed to be focusing more on his acting career. I honestly thought that
he might be done with music when low and behold around May or so he posted on his FB page that after 7 long years, there would be a new album. I was ecstatic and the wait until September 18th was pure torture. The day was fast approaching and I got this brilliant
idea to tie the new album into a food blog. Piece of cake right? That is what I thought too but nothing seemed to be working and everywhere I turned was a dead end. Sure, there are plenty of recipes out there with the words Cowboy and Country in them but nothing
unique to Dwight and so I almost gave up. But then one day I was sitting at work and there was a lull in the workflow and I found myself racking my brain once more and here is how the thought process went. "Dwight was born in Kentucky. What is Kentucky known
for? Bourbon. Yes, bourbon. Shoot, I've even made a steak from AR with a bourbon sauce. Oh wait, that was whiskey. Is bourbon and whiskey the same thing?" My mind was going in a hundred different directions when I finally decided to reach out to a group of
my AR friends on FB and see what they had to suggest. Hot Brown huh? So, a quick Google search and Hot Brown it was! Dwight was born October 23, 1956 in Pineville, Ky. and here is my take on Kentucky...
Next that brings us to where he was raised and graduated high school in 1974 which is Columbus, Oh. Before I begin here, I have to back it up and admit that I already had a new contraption that I was wanting to try but didn't expect for
it to be included in the blog but little did I know it would end up fitting in perfectly. So, about this contraption I speak of. A month or so ago I was at Walmart with my dreaded oddball shopping list. By oddball I mean the trip that includes all of the non
perishable pantry staple items along with all of the other miscellaneous items that have been jotted down on the list such as spatulas, laundry soap, trash bags, coffee filters, fingernail polish remover, chip clips and well you get my drift. I walked up the
aisle where the chip clips usually were and nothing so I made my way back down the aisle and still nothing. As I stood there at the end of the aisle all dazed and confused, I looked up at the aisle in front of me where there was this huge banner that hung
with the word CLEARANCE. In the midst of all of the clutter and chaos I see this tiny package of chip clips hanging on a peg. I immediately started making my way towards this peg when I got all kinds of distracted with the mayhem of this aisle. I mean there
was stuff everywhere and there was no rhyme or reason. Just before I got to the clips, a certain little something captured me and I couldn't take my eyes off of it. "As Seen On TV NEVER PEEL a Hard-Boiled Egg Again!" As some of you might know, I have chickens
that have turned into much more than just fresh eggs but now meet the criteria of pets. No need to suggest ways to peel their eggs. Trust me I have tried every single method out there including waiting until the eggs were so old they were on the point of going
bad. Some methods have worked better than others but bottom line is that nothing works completely and hard boiled eggs have become a thing of my past. I picked it up and held it for a few seconds but then I was like, if this works so great then it wouldn't
be sitting back here on the clearance aisle and so I sat it back down. On the way back up and out of the aisle I was drawn to it and found myself holding it once again. You know, $7 isn't exactly what I consider cheap however it isn't going to break the bank
either and in my cart it went.
Oh was the packaging ever so deceiving. Perfect hard boiled eggs my arse! The shape is that of a perfect egg but you only fill it up halfway and the yolk sits floating on top. When it is all said and done and they are boiled, you have
to cut off the bottom to get them to stand up and then you have to run a knife all the way around the layer between the white and the yolk and proceed to dig the yolk out all while hoping not to slaughter your white too awful bad. Then, instead of each deviled
egg being half an egg, you are left filling and eating the whole egg. By the time I got all six Eggies sprayed down with non-stick spray, all four pieces of each Eggie screwed together tightly, eggs cracked and poured into the tiny holes, eggs boiled, cooled,
eggs pried out of the container, the careful gutting, and mixing of the recipe filling, well I was no longer in the mood at trying my hand at this beautiful piping I see everyone doing. After all, what I had to work with was this huge mound of volcano shaped
pocked up white with a little bitty opening in which to cram all of this yolk mixture in. So, I said to heck with it and crammed it all down in there with a spoon hence the messy photo. I'd say I was ashamed of the words coming out of my mouth during this
process but trust me, they were justified..ha ha. To those of you who have owned or tried one of these things, I'd bet money that you are laughing right now. Needless to say, I will NOT be making deviled eggs anytime soon but I will use them again for egg
salad or things that call for chopped egg so not a total loss. Oh, back to Ohio. While Googling and trying to find how I was going to tie Ohio into this blog, I discovered this little fun fact which I found perfect. Ohio is the second largest egg producing
state in the nation. Ohio has 30 million laying hens and 10 million pullets (hens less than one year old. On that note, here is my tribute to Ohio and my take on the "famous/worthless" Eggie. Side note to the recipe. I had a partial can of chopped olives that
needed used and I mixed them in with the filling instead of placing a slice on the top of my ugly "volcano's".
Dwight dropped out of college and headed to Nashville in hopes to make his music career but his brand of hip Honky Tonk style was not considered marketable so he headed to Los Angeles to pursue his Hillbilly style there. It was 1986 and
his release of Guitars, Cadillacs when his career launched. His video Honky Tonk Man was the first country video ever played on MTV. His third LP (Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room) included his first #1 hit which was a duet with his musical idol Buck Owens
in Streets of Bakersfield. This brings me to my next food entry. Dwight is known for his "Bakersfield" sound and even had a line of frozen pre-fab food at one time called Bakersfield Biscuit. I don't think that ever went over well but I often find myself still
referring to him as Bakersfield Biscuit. I spent a short time in Bakersfield visiting my sister many moons ago but remember nothing about food and once again found myself hitting Google. What I found mostly with Bakersfield and food was Basque Restaurants
and that they are very popular there. When it was all said and done, I decided on a Basque Soup (surprise surprise) that is always served as a first dish. There were many different varieties but I chose this simple one with no meat that would keep all week
for work lunches. From what I could tell, it is traditional to serve it with pinto beans on top in addition to salsa but I just used Louisiana Hot Sauce because that is how I roll...Also, I changed up the recipe I was going to use at the last moment and only
had stewed tomatoes instead of the tomato sauce this one called for.
September 18th finally came and I could hardly contain myself all day. I rushed home, stuck the new CD (Three Pears) in the stereo, opened the windows, and sat outside on the back porch chilling with a glass of wine, and listened to my
Honky Tonk man do what he does best. He has very much mellowed out as he has gotten older but so have I. It did not disappoint in the least bit and all of the waiting was well worth it.
I may not be a cowgirl at heart but as I mentioned in the beginning, I am a foodie at heart and I love me some Dwight Yoakam. I hope you have enjoyed my version of the long awaited "Three Pears".
What did I do with the three pears you ask???
Roasted Pear Bellini's of course!
Until next time, happy cooking AR peeps!
Soup Loving Nicole