September 30th, 2010
Over the last year, Dena and I have blasted chain restaurants on more than one occasion. However, now is the time of our bloggaversary, and after a trip to Nebraska recently I was struck by how chains CAN be charming, and are often a fond memory from a person’s childhood. Like or not, chains can make represent the culture of a region, and can even be an addiction that people mourn for when they are forced to leave it.
My friends Carol and Amos took me to Nebraska to experience a Husker game, and there was a little chain I saw over and over again, and was lucky enough to eat there on one occasion. It’s a smaller Midwastern chain called Runza. Runza is not only the name of the restaurant, but also the name of their signature dish. It’s a mixture of ground beef and cabbage baked into dough. It’s REALLY good and it’s a tradition in the state of Nebraska and is a staple at Husker games. I couldn’t help but notice that the place has a following up there, and it’s most definitely something that Nebraskans pine for when they leave the state. It’s something adults in Nebraska remember from when they were kids, and it really is something that brings comfort to people. Which got me to thinking that maybe all chains aren’t evil monopolies slowly killing the American spirit with processed, soulless foods.
Which led me to my next thought, what is MY favorite chain? Of course I enjoy the basics from McDonald’s and Burger King, but if I had to go with the all around best—-Chik-Fil-A is it. I remember as a kid going to the one in the mall, and loving the way the breading on the chicken sandwiches tasted and being fascinated by their waffle cut fries. I was thrilled when central Arkansas starting getting free standing Chik-Fil-A restaurants, and even more ecstatic when I discovered they served breakfast! The big kicker for me is that no matter where I go I know that the food there is going to be awesome, and the service will be spectacular. NEVER have I gotten bad service at Chik-Fil-A. I have never had a mixed up order, or even gotten a bag that was missing a straw. I have never ever had a worker at one of their stores be rude or act like they hate their life, which is more than I can say for ANY Taco Bell experience I have ever had. Good food and good service mean I want to go there so much I have to put in a little extra time on the old workout videos, but you know what—-it’s totally worth it.
So in honor of us being up and going for one year, and in honor of a chain that is truly good in every way, we are giving away a $25 gift card to Chik-Fil-A! All you have to do is post a comment here to be entered! The contest will run for a week from the date of posting, so leave us a comment and be entered to win!
September 28th, 2010
This week’s theme at I Heart Faces is chalk. I know that lots of people will be creative but I had to share an old picture of Boo. When she first came home to us, we couldn’t post any pictures of her face or her name. I have lots of pictures of her back doing sidewalk chalk or her riding her scooter.
This was the first one I posted of her with her name and face when the adoption was final. I love it for that but also because it shows her creative side. She is not one to write with a stick of chalk. She would mash it, add water, and paint with it. That is more like my mom than any of us.
Check out the other chalk at IHeartFaces this week.
September 24th, 2010
Happy Bloggaversary to US! Red Velvet Wisdom got rolling one year ago today. Looking back, it has been such a fantastic experience. It has also been more work than we realized. We want to start the party by looking back at some of our favorite posts of the past year.
Favorite Restaurant: Oh, this is so hard. I have to say we fell in LOVE with Jackie OHS with the Green Tomato a close second.
Favorite Recipe: Chicken Fried Bacon
Favorite Holiday: I think it was Christmas.
Favorite Picture:I think it is this set.
Favorite Search Engine Result: hermaphrodite red velvet (someone was looking for this and found us!)
Favorite Website: Iheartfaces.com
Favorite Cause: We were honored that our young cousin, Diana, allowed us to share her story of dealing with breast cancer. While it broke our hearts, we hope it may help someone else.
Favorite Story Told: Telling about Dad eating Bonkers Cat Treats and an Electrosol Tab. (not at the same time)
Best Post Title: There was a tie between Peggy’s Hair Barn and Casket Emporium (a real place) and I’m Bringing Crisco Back
We have had so much fun in all we have done this year. Joy is so close to wrapping up the book, Red Velvet Wisdom, and that will make year two even better. We hope to find great restaurants, recipes, and stories to write about.
Today is also my sweet little mother-in-law’s birthday. I did a major facebook booboo and had her birthday listed as two days ago. She and our mother are one of the reasons we began this venture. I hope that her day is amazing!
Birthday giveaway coming up soon!
September 20th, 2010
Do you know how many smirky pictures I have? I get that look a lot.
Check out the other smirky looks at IHeartFaces.
September 19th, 2010
This weekend our family gathered to celebrate our dad’s birthday. Nothing says, “I love you,” like an all you can eat seafood buffet, so we all met there.
There aren’t many buffet places that I like at all, but The Ole Feed House in Texarkana, Arkansas slides under the radar a little. Everything there is really fresh and taste good. I think even more of the appeal is that you can get everything from boiled shrimp, fried fish, crab cakes to frog legs and fried chicken. There are also rolls dripping in butter.
Oh, and ribs. ?
This is what the poor little guy had to deal with when he wheeled the cart around to clean the table.
We ate ourselves silly and then went for the hot, fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls.
Mom brought her big purse. Coincidence? I think Mom’s little dog, Gracie, feasted like a queen today. Of course, Mom is good to only take what is left on her plate, so nothing goes to waste. (or any plate at our table)
I think the unspoken competition of *who gave the best gift* went to Amber. She framed a picture of the only great-grandchild and Dad together and decorated the frame. How can a belt compare with this cuteness?
Happy Birthday Dad!!
September 17th, 2010
I’ve been busy starting school, going to volleyball games, and now, nursing an injured knee. No, not mine. Boo tore her meniscus at a ball game a week ago. The clickety-clack of crutches are all I hear, except when its, “Mom, can you bring me (fill in the blank). ”
I won’t complain anymore though. I have a friend whose son is in the hospital. His aortic valve ruptured almost a week ago and he’s waiting for the conditions to be right for surgery.
While waiting, everyone is gathering mail for him. It takes his mind off the business at hand. Please send him something if you can. He would be so thrilled to get a postcard or get well card.
c/o: Ronald McDonald House
520 Sand Hill Road
Palo Alto CA 94304
Thanks if you can.