Sometimes when a mountain of scary essay grading awaits, I instead grab two dark Trader Joe’s chocolate almonds and pop them into my mouth. They say good things come in twos, right?
I know I need a break and call Mr. Chi-Town. In his man cave, he’s happily messing with his beloved one called “stereo.” With jazz music blaring away in the background, Mr. Chi-Town somehow heard me. (He’s got an uncanny way of catching little Tee sounds amid any kind of noise pollution.) “Let’s go for a car ride, ” he said, as he shut down his stereo with TLC. Big GSD puppy, Wulf, a great second language listener, decoded Mr. Chi-Town’s suggestion. Without wasting any time, Wulf hopped into the car like a cool K9. I put on my beloved worn-out, dark blue University of Bristol hoodie, grabbed my cellphone, and headed out to the car to join the two that I love thinking “Make My Day, Route 66!” By now, Mr. Chi-Town’s ubiquitous jazz was already playing softly in the car.
The Great Plains is beautiful in its own way. I saw some good stuff. Nothing fancy just so you know. For Great Plains standards, it’s “plenty good” for me. To begin with, I noticed that the highways were slowly getting busy. I sense that folks are beginning to get out of work or schools and hitting the road for vacays. And then, I saw this interesting duo on the Mother Road.
Indeed, good things come in twos.
With the mighty wind blowing like crazy, Mr. Chi-Town suggested we head toward the west. The sight of the good old Trading Post caught our attention. Once a 24/7 one-stop eatery which churned out Southern favorites: Biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, BLT, pancakes and waffles, hash browns, buffalo, long horn, and ostrich burgers, and bison jerky, it’s now a souvenir store. I vividly remember that see-through refrigerator with all kinds of homemade pies: Coconut cream pie, cherry pie, and lemon meringue pie just to name a few. Our two adorable daughters used to like the buffalo fried chicken. Once they moved on with their lives, My Chi-Town and I used to make a pilgrimage once in a while on Sundays to split a delightful sausage omelet. The hot off the grill, soft, fluffy tortillas served in a “tortillas caliente” (tortilla warmers) were so tasty. So was the fresh house-made salsa. <Sigh>
Feeling the pull of the mighty Cherokee Chief, the car headed toward the parking lot. Leaving Wulf to “guard” the car, we walked into the store overcome with nostalgia. The sounds and smells of the old trading post were absent. The place was rather quiet. There were plenty of interesting souvenirs here though. These mugs caught my eye as I entered the store. It made me smile.
See what I mean? 🙂
I’m a mug lover lover, what about you? Mugs make me happy. Holding one in my hand, sipping a hot cup of plain hot water with lemon, tea, or cocoa gives me a nice, fuzzy feeling no matter what the season is. And these handsome-looking Route 66 mugs came in two other different colors, too. If B&W is not for you, take a look-see at the other “eye-catching, cheer-me-up” options below.
Granny Smith apple green or electric pink of all pinks?
The next aisle caught my attention. There were all kinds of BBQ sauces. The names of the BBQ sauces will either freak you out or make you crack. See what you think? If you don’t eat meat with fire; then, skip looking at the picture below. The following picture might just be your cup of tea.
And talking about mugs, I also bumped into a locked up fridge with cold soft drinks. Not just soft drinks. They were special Route 66 “soda pop” as they are called here in America.
Though I’m not a fan of sugary drinks, the lime soda attracted my attention nevertheless. We left the trading post with a nice little pink T-shirt for Bubbles.
By now, I was already in a much better mood and feeling hungry, so we decided to head home. Mr. Chi-Town was excited to test his latest purchase: Trader Joe’s lump charcoal called “Woodstock”. The verdict? The chicken drumsticks turned out nice, crispy on the outside, and moist on the inside, and not overly-smoky-tasting, Take a look-see for yourself, folks.
Looks good-huh? 🙂
I whipped up a Route 66 Happy-Tee Salad. All you vegetarian friends out there will dig this salad recipe, I promise. Other then the lovely twos — the greens and baby tomatoes, I used two lovely toppings. So what’s the star ingredient in this recipe? The Ojai Cook mayonnaise.
It’s got a nice, unique, creamy, yet savory flavor to it which I thought was interesting. Plus, I like the cute chicken-or-the- egg question to mull over while making the delectable salad.
Here’s the recipe for Route 66 Happy Tee Salad.
- 3 cups of fresh lettuce (rough-chopped) or baby spinach
- 1 heaping cupful of San Marziano baby tomatoes or any cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of apple-juice sweetened cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
The recipe for the lovely dressing for the Route 66 Happy Tee Salad
- 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (I used The Ojai Cook Organic Mayonnaise. The lady at the store highly recommended it. It contains no sugar or corn syrup. It contains turmeric which to me is bonus!)
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of Grade B maple syrup
- salt and freshly ground black pepper for taste
- a pinch of smoked paprika for garnish (optional)
Using a fork, whip up all the ingredients except the smoked paprika. Chill the dressing in the fridge. Just before serving the salad, sprinkle a pinch of smoked paprika on the salad dressing. This salad will also make a very refreshing snack in the summer.
Now that I’ve fed myself some good chicken and happy salad, I’m ready to wrap up this blog. May I ask what’s your favorite salad story?
And oh, by the way, did I tell you that I also spotted these, too? Do all good things come in twos? All I can say is “Welcome to the Great Plains.” Getting out on Route 66 makes my day. 🙂