Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Back

Hi, friends.  Please forgive my absence.  I've missed all of you.  Recent developments in the life of Cook in the Bar have taken me away from my kitchen and writing.  First there were home renovations.  Need I say more?  Then, I had some computer problems.  All cleared up now.

And, drumroll, please...A Cook Walks Into a Bar is now coming to you temporarily from Texas.  Yay, y'all!  Yes, my husband has a temporary position in Fort Worth, Texas for the next few weeks.  Husband came ahead, but I arrived only last night (after driving two days).  I'm thrilled to be back in my hometown.  Plus, I'm really eager to cook with ingredients from the Lone Star state.  In fact, I've already made my first trip to Central Market this morning.  (Dave, I picked up some Hatch chiles in your honor.  Yes, I know they are from New Mexico, but it is a tradition to eat them here in Texas, too.)

I have a back-log of recipes to post for your reading pleasure, so some of my posts will be a bit dated, but stay tuned for our eating adventures here in Texas as I try to catch-up.

Cross-Country Road Trip Recipe
Serves me (nobody else would dare)

2002 Honda Civic coupe
1 60-lb excitable labrador mix
1 40-lb arthritic, senile border collie mix
1 12-lb grumpy cat
approx.  150 lbs of clothes, kitchen equipment, books, and other household stuff
1300 mile journey
2 days

Start by being tired - you may want to have done several weeks of manual labor by working on your house, and don't sleep well the night before.  Perhaps you can get your neighbors two doors down to hold a party and play bass-heavy rap music very loudly all night.

Wake up early.  Load all items into Honda by yourself while climbing down and then up stairs.  The lab mix must be running and jumping at your heels during the process.  It should be hot enough outside to make you sweat.  Pack the trunk as full as possible and maximize your spatial skills by sliding items together like pieces of a puzzle.

Encourage strangers to walk their dogs by this loading process in order to fully excite your dogs before they enter the car.  Also, it makes for a more interesting experience if, before you can load your cat he hides under the furniture that has been pushed together due to home renovations.  I recommend laying on your stomach and getting dust bunnies in your hair.  Then, pull the cat out to his loud protests, wrap him tightly in a large towel, and cram him in a car carrier.  The lab mix should try to help by barking and nipping at both you and cat.

Pull out of your driveway, but then immediately pull back in because your forget a crucial item.  Leave again.  Hit traffic from folks leaving town after Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally.

Drive for 10 hours, stopping only for gas, food, and to walk the dogs.  Once you are sufficiently tired, find a seedy-looking Motel 6 (that's almost all of them) and get a room for the night.  Make sure your room is up a flight of stairs and far from the stairwell.  It is best if you need to make three or four trips between the car and the room to unload the animals and all your gear.  It is also helpful if strange men call out to you as you pass. Because the older dog has difficulty climbing stairs and the lab mix is excited, the leashes of both dogs should become tangled and cause them to start to tumble down the stairs.  Carry the older dog up the stairs, but only once the other dog's leash wraps around one of your legs and he half-pulls you up, too.

Once the strange men have been scared away by the dogs and you are finally in the room.  Sigh, open a beer, and take a seat on the bed, but only once you pull back the covers.  I mean, you've seen the Dateline report on the bodily fluids on motel beds, right?  Call friends and family, and think about how tired you are of making this same trip over and over in your life.  Sleep soundly until 3:30 am when the cat starts squalling and the older dog decides she is hungry.  Return to bed and lay awake until 5:30 am.  Decide to get ready for day.  Repeat experience of night before in reverse.

Return to car and drive for another 10 hours, stopping only for gas, food, and to walk the dogs.  Smile upon crossing Texas state line.  Smile wider upon seeing husband again.  Sigh, open a beer, and think about how lucky you are to make this same trip over and over again in your life.  Delicious.


  1. I'm so glad you're home, Katie! Though we miss you here, I was so happy to see YOU so happy as you were preparing to go back to Texas. We love you!

  2. wow that was pretty whiney, by that i mean please please bring me some hatch chilis back. please tell mr cook walks into a bar that not one but both my fantasy seasons depend on the rb from cleveland, beware of the laughing attack he will have. welcome to Texas, go birds.