Tuesday, April 16, 2013

From the Heartland...

I swear, all my good intentions about keeping this blog up fell to the wayside for the last couple of months...in case you hadn't noticed.

Work devoured me, and I was busy having nightmares about Hell's Library (you've just not lived until Gordon Ramsay screams at you for not processing holds fast enough and that book carts are backing up), and worrying about the success of my newest project.  I know I don't usually talk about work on this blog, but this customer has consumed most of my waking and sleeping hours for the last year, with it coming hard and heavy for the last month in preparation for go live.

It's not every day that your company brings the largest library consortium in the country online with 426+ libraries coming together from 4 different systems...and it worked out pretty well, if I do say so myself.  There's the inevitable data cleanup and system tweaking that happens with any migration, which will be ongoing for a few weeks, but everything worked and worked at the appointed go live hour!  It was a great load off my pea brain, and maybe, just maybe I can get back to blogging and sleeping without Gordon Ramsay.

 I spent the entire week in southern Illinois for this go live, and had a few culinary adventures.  I took my co-worker who was on site with me over to the Paducah, KY area, specifically Grand Rivers, to eat at Patti's 1880s Settlement.  Yes, after flying into STL and driving for 2.5 hours, I then suggested we go to dinner that was another hour away.  I am the best like that.

I was introduced to Patti's about 15 years ago, when some quilter friends convinced me to come with them to Paducah for the American Quilters Society's National Quilt Show.  (I know, I know...I have a hard time picturing me at a quilt show, too. I'm so not handy with a needle and thread...although I know how to sew on a mean button.)

What enticed me to spend the weekend with them was one of them saying we were going to eat at a place where "they ask you if you want a 1-inch or 2-inch when you order a pork chop."  Sold!

Patti's is a weird little place.  The decor is a whackadoo mix of grandma's parlor, grandpa's front porch, quilts, and other assorted oddities.  All of the female servers wear granny dresses, and the tea served in Mason jars.  Oh, and did I mention the bread comes in a flower pot?  With strawberry butter.

I personally think the 2-inch pork chop is a little too much; it's more like a personal pork roast, and you really want to try and save room for at least 1 bite of dessert.  You may remember this post from a few Thanksgivings ago, when I shared the recipe for the Boat Sinker Pie?  You know, the one with 5 sticks of butter?  This is the home of that pie.  And, they serve it with ice cream!

UPDATED:  LinC reminded me that I had forgotten to post a picture of said pork chop...the pork chop that was practically the size of the plate upon which it was served! Unfortunately, we had already devoured the flowerpot bread.  And, I may as well confess that I gnawed on the bone...but like a dainty wild animal with no growling and furtive looks.

At the end of our long week, we were heading back to St. Louis to spend the night before flying home on Saturday.  One of the folks at the customer's site mentioned a German restaurant in a little town on our route back.  Off the beaten path, in Mascoutah (say that fast 3 times!), we came upon the Roemer Tof Restaurant.

It was the trip for restaurants with weird decor.  There were these giant Christmas wreaths hanging down from the ceiling, like chandeliers, with fancy decorated cookies hanging from them.  I have no idea what they were for, and I didn't care after I got my Holzfäller (Lumberjack) Steak, which was a pork steak topped with roasted onions and bacon...that "pork on pork" action gets me every time.

I opted to sub out my skillet potatoes side dish for some Kässpätzle.  Y'all know my love of noodle things and that I've never really met a noodle that I didn't like, and this was no exception.  It was basically spatzle with Swiss cheese...sort of a Bavarian mac and cheese, if you will.  (And, I must confess that I have owned a spaztle maker for years, and I've never actually made spatzle.  I used it to rice potatoes before I got a potato ricer.  Somewhere, Alton Brown is howling in pain from all the unitaskers that I have.)

After all this excitement, I'm home for awhile, so I should probably do a little cookery.  Or, at the very least, a little grilling...I need to burn the pollen off my grill for sure.


LinC said...

Welcome back! So glad the Library Titanic has successfully set sail. All that pork and not one photo? You must have been hungry if you didn't take a picture before consuming.

Poodlebugz said...

Damn! How did I forget the picture! I have since rectified that wee oversight, and you can see the 1-inch pork chop in all its glory.