New Food – Crickets

I was “up north” and my daughter-in-law said, “You know they sell crickets at the candy store in town.”

Crickets? Definitely a new food.

So Liz and I headed for the candy store to buy chocolate and …. I mean crickets.

They had two different kinds: salt and vinegar or bacon and cheese.

We chose the salt and vinegar box.DSC_0041

Once home we slid the bugs onto the table and did our taste test.

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Jacob was the first one to try …

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He tentatively puts it in his mouth.
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And swallows …

His comment was that all he could taste was crunchiness and salt.

I ate one and agreed.

Jeff then ate one and said it was like eating a salt-and-vinegar peanut shell – which was a good description.

I asked him how he would rate it from 1-10.

Jeff’s response – “In comparison to other bugs, I’d give it a 10 because I’ve never eaten a bug before, but compared to other food, I’d give it a 2.”

THE MOST BLOGGED ABOUT MEAL EVER – MY BROTHER’S EGG BENEDICT

Well, probably not really. I’m sure there’s been a White House state dinner or some Beverly Hills wedding reception that was referenced more in cyberspace than this one – but it’s got to be right up there in the top 327.

It’s about my brother and his eggs benedict.

OK – I have this brother (I said that already.)

And my brother has a friend who has a cooking blog.

And my brother’s friend with the cooking blog has a friend who is a chef at a classy, gourmet-type restaurant.

My brother does not cook. My brother doesn’t have to cook because he married well. He has a wife who’s an excellent cook, so there’s no reason for my brother to cook. But since my brother does things on his blog like analyze Pop-Tart flavors and set goals for himself like visiting every remaining Dog and Suds in the nation – his friend of the cooking blog thought setting him up for a cooking lesson with the chef-in-a-classy-restaurant would be fun, or at least interesting.  The chef said “sure.”  My brother said “sure.”

What Roger learned to cook was Eggs Benedict in Bourbon Bearnaise Sauce, Asparagus, and Pineapple Salad with Poblano Peppers and Lime Juice. Jim Jordan, photographer extraordinaire, was on hand to record the event.

Hence the first flurry of blogs about my brother’s foray into the kitchen.

My brother’s

Jim, the photograher’s

The cooking friend’s blog

And even the restaurant’s FaceBook page.

When Roger was done, the chef gave him a check so he could replicate the experience for our mom for a Mother’s Day brunch. This also included, of course, his wife and youngest daughter. In addition, he invited me, his sister and and Steve and Kelli, his niece and nephew-in-law. (He also invited their kids – but the kids had their own gourmet meal – you’ll see.) And the meal took place at three, so technically, I don’t think you could call it a brunch … however, this was solely due to the fact that we were coming from church services in three different towns -not my brother’s cooking.

So, he was on his own. No chef to help him (though Kelli and Sally pitched in just a tad – a very small tad.) No professional photographer to record the event. No step by step instructions, just a few pages of handwritten notes.

And everything went wonderfully and deliciously well. The sauce sauced, the eggs poached, the asparagus nourished and the pineapple added a tangy, fruity addition.

Once again, my brother blogged about the adventure.

As did I.

Here is my own visual take on the day. (You will notice that my brother is starting a new pursuit – how many meals he can make while wearing a green shirt.)

take on the day.

I MADE IT!

This post actually begins 12 or 13 years ago. Not sure exactly how many.

I was in Nashville for the EPA Convention. I roomed with Karen and we had an exceptionally cool corner room, glassed on two sides – overlooking one of the busiest downtown intersections. During the day we learned about publishing and at night we sat on the windowsill and discussed our upbringings as PKs – and waited for our husbands to call. Nate would call from home, but Ken was in Kansas City with Don Scharbert attending a church technology conference during the day – and at night, searching out the best Kansas City steak place within a 100-mile radius. Sometimes when Ken called, they would’ve just come from “the greatest steak ever” or sometimes they were still on their way to “the greatest steak”.  And one night, they were lost the entire 30 minutes I talked to them. Ken would start a sentence and then stop and say, “No, Donald – not THAT way!” They had me laughing so hard, I was crying.

But the steak place that made the biggest impression on Ken was Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

“I’ve got to take you there sometime,” Ken told me.

Well, about two years later at Christmas, we saw our opportunity. We had enough Hampton Inn Points to stay for a night in the city – and the Hampton Inn was connected to a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Perfect. We had had a hard fall and this seemed like a good break. We could enjoy dinner and look at the Christmas lights. We made the reservations and everything was planned.

And then I got strep throat.

So much for that little getaway.

“I’ve got to take you to a Ruth’s Chris Steak House,” Ken said. “We’ll get there. I promise.”

But months went by and then years went by and …

Alas, we didn’t get there.

Then, within this past year, a new Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse opened close to work. I said I wanted to go sometime and Jenny said she’d go with me. We literally planned to go about six or seven times and stuff just kept happening. I began to think I was destined to never get there.

Once again we planned to go – yesterday. Then we heard there was freezing rain still we decided to risk it.

Now, let me say right here – Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is not cheap. Yet there are dozens and dozens of reviews on the web proclaiming it is the best steak ever and that everyone has to go to Ruth’s Chris at least once in their life time.

And if you order the steak – well, that’s ALL you get except for a loaf of bread. So Jenny and I both ordered the petite filet and asparagus (which is $9.00 extra). Then our server told us that we would have enough asparagus for two servings, so she suggested we order another side in place of one of the asparagus orders. She suggested the au gratin potatoes.

The seared steak is seasoned only with salt and pepper. (The good taste, our server claimed, comes from the high quality of beef.)  The steaks are then topped with butter and served on plates that are heated to 500 degrees – so it’s good NOT to touch them. The butter on the hot plates makes the steaks sizzle as they are placed in front of you.

Yes, the steak was excellent.

As were the asparagus and the au gratin potatoes.

I savored every bite.