Tag Archives: Kansas City

In The Middle

It’s been ten years now since we moved from the east coast to The Middle. All but the last four and a half years were in the South Kansas City area and the current in a quaint town about an hour outside of KC.

I finally feel at home. The USA is vast, miles wise and cultural wise. I grew up on the east coastThe Jersey Shore – Bruce Springsteen Country – New York City influence. Then I found myself in Southern California, Dude! Then back to the east coast and beach living.

Now let me tell you about The Middle from a Jersey State of Mind. The people are amazing. They are so kind and friendly. They love home cooking and that suits me fine, well, except for the red barbecue sauce, no thank you. I can handle a little but I think they go too far. Being from New Jersey, when you are invited to a barbecue that is exactly what it is. The grills come out and the food goes on. Here…..well, it’s a bit different. Smokers are in and lots of red sauce. I do like smoked meats, I have to say that, and now I will move along.

Sarcasm is different, well it is just plain scarce. If you are born and raised in New Jersey then sarcasm is part of your DNA. I have learned to hold the tongue and move on, well most of the time. I recently watched a certain series on NETFLIX that made me melt and feel all warm and cozy. No, it wasn’t Heartland, it was one that I will not recommend. It was one that made me feel as if I went back to my childhood and the sarcasm was tossed around like piles of fall leaves in the hands of children. It was harsh and rough and I laughed out loud a lot!

Moving along. My husband gets speaking engagements at churches from time to time. They vary in their denominational ties. Yesterday we went to a small mid-western town a fairly short distance from our town. It was a gorgeous spring morning, the hills spotted with cattle and their new offspring. We are in beef country. We have been to this church before but this time it was different for me.

The service began with an elderly gentleman and his electric guitar. They had trouble working the overhead projector and microphone but chuckled their way through it. I was taken back in time. The old-time religion/pentecostal tunes came forth easily for him and the people. Not easy for me but I sat and joined in anyway. I thought of simpler times and Johnny Cash. It was beautiful.

The feeling of a child not knowing much but wanting to learn came over me. I realized that at my ripe age I really knew so little about life. I wanted to sit at the feet of these men and women and hear their stories. The stories of days gone by, of farming hardships and joys and losses and great successes. Of perspectives that are so different and holier than mine.

I just felt these people have watched many sunrises and sunsets on countless disappointments and countless times they rose again wearing garments radiant with hope. What a special place, The Heartland of America. A place where pioneers of yesteryear passed through or settled here perhaps because they just couldn’t go any further. A strong and steadfast people.

I like to think that I am made of some of this grit. After all, it’s been said of New Jersey that “only the strong survive” – I should know, I actually have the T-shirt.

If you haven’t traveled various parts of this country get out and do it. The various cultures in the USA are amazing and all have wonderful stories of their past and new beginnings. And food! Various kinds of food!

Enjoy!

Cate B

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Groundhog Day

It is February 2nd, 2014.  Each year, on this date in the USA, we celebrate Groundhog Day.  We anxiously await the prediction of the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, to tell us when spring will come.  This winter, in particular, we want to hear of an early spring arrival.  Didn’t happen. The famous furry creature has told us six more weeks of winter .

Punxutawney Phi

Punxutawney Phil

 

It’s an amusing celebration that we have acquired over the years.  But what made it even more fun for us Americans was Hollywood’s production of Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andi MacDowell.  Totally enjoyable and some watch it every year to add to the fun of it.

Great movie

Great movie

This year is extra special.  The Superbowl is today also!  And the game will be in New Jersey (my home state) where it is very cold right now.  But even more special for my husband and I is the fact that five years ago, this very day, we drove all our possessions into Kansas City, Missouri to begin a new adventure.  Here we are.  It has been an adventure of ups and downs and adjustments.  Now we look forward to more………….

Here we are with our team, waiting for grub - just kidding

Here we are with our team, waiting for grub – just kidding

is that a groundhog on the side of the road?

is that a groundhog on the side of the road?

Happy Sunday everyone and oh, Happy Groundhog Day to y’all!

Enjoy!

cate b

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Pie …….

Kirk's Inspiration

Gotta have a piece of the pie.

My youngest son, Kirk, suggested this pie to me. I love to come up with new recipes inspired by family and friends.  I’ll post the recipe further down.

Speaking of inspiration ……. I live in a mid west city that is just that.  The culinary aroma of Kansas City, MO is wonderful.  I’ve never seen so many different styles and types of food in one small area – maybe New York.  And because of the diversity here I believe it inspires even more diversity.  You can think I’m weird, I’m OK with that.  What I’m saying is that this area seems to send off a “vibe” of creativity that can boggle the mind.  I, myself, have come up with flavor combinations that I never would have tried in my last town.

Some of my inspiration here in KC has come from the likes of Christopher Elbow and his phenomenal flavor combinations in his chocolates.  Yes, i said chocolates! Best I ever had!  Blanc Burgers and Bottles inspire me with their combinations in their burgers! And then there is  Soda Vie – unbelievable flavors of homemade soda – particularly the Fennel flavor I had at a wedding.   It’s endless here I think. I have had my senses awakened the last three years and there is no turning back.

So about the pie my son inspired.  I call it Kirk’s KiBerry Pie.

The crust I got from The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond who apparently got it from Sylvia.

Sylvia’s Perfect Pie Crust

Added by Ree on June 19, 2009 in DessertsPies

Prep Time 45 Minutes
Cook Time
Servings 1 Difficulty Easy

Ingredients

  • 1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Now, you want to bake this in the pan before adding the filling.

While crust is cooling combine:

1 package of softened cream cheese (8oz)

vanilla (about 1 tsp)

Granulated sugar (I did it to taste – sorry)

Heavy cream (Sorry again – I gradually added the cream til good consistency)

Combine til smooth and thick.

Put 1 layer of sliced kiwis and strawberries on bottom of cooled crust.

Pour filling over and top with more fruit.

Refrigerate and enjoy when completely cold.

Ta Da!

I am sorry for not having detailed measurements but i literally “threw it together” as my son spoke of this delectable combo.  I hope it works for you or better yet that you can improve it and win a contest and go to Jamaica or somewhere pie related.

I am a very creative person – meaning my mind is always creating – whether my hands carry it out or not is another story.  But boy, is my mind busy.  I love to bake and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts I love the whole concept of PIE.  It just puts a smile on most people’s face when you say the word PIE or the sentence, “I’ll bring a pie”.

cb