trying to make you hungry…

Oh, the deliciousness! When I got home from Australia, my mom cooked up a combo birthday meal for my brother and I, as his birthday falls 9 days before mine, and he was leaving two days before that. We usually eat a lot of chicken and dumplings, in April and May, because Joe and I tend to both ask for them for our birthdays. I’d show you a picture of the cake, but it was almost gone by the time I got my camera out, so there’s really no point.

But if you’ve read my posts about making buttermilk biscuits and gravy, there are some major similarities between that meal and this. The biscuits are more firm, and go into the oven, while with the dumplings, the mix is much more gooey, and goes right into the gravy, on the stove. With plenty of chicken and carrots mixed into the gravy, and soft, yummy dumplings to eat with it, do you wonder that it’s a favorite at our house?

With it being late spring, headed into summer, there’s plenty of fresh fruit to be gotten from the local farms and markets. The large bucket of strawberries just made me happy, and as delectable as they taste, I am really looking forward to blueberry season. But until then, we’re getting our fill of strawberries, running through a colander of them, every few days. When blueberry and blackberry season hit, though, I’m warning you, I’ll be taking pictures at the Happy Berry, down the road from  Booger Branch (no, I didn’t make that street name up), for you to see.

Some of my favorite restaurants had to be visited, and since I didn’t have my camera, the first time, I retrieved it for having Chinese takeout, from the House of Leung. The owners know all of us by name, and will even ask us if we’re sure, if we order something that isn’t our “usual”. This day wasn’t any different, as I came away with my usual egg roll and shrimp fried rice.

When I was younger, I didn’t really like Chinese food, so my brothers and I would eat Cantonese boneless chicken and sweet-and-sour chicken, every time. But when I was twenty, and went to spend a month in Indonesia, I fell in love with nasi goreng (fried rice), though I had to make sure they made it “not hot”, or it would burn my mouth out. I came home with a willingness to try everything, in order to find something I liked as well. Now, I’ll eat almost anything from a Chinese restaurant, but I still tend to stick with my favorites. And if you’re a local, let me tell you, the prices are good, the meal portions are excellent, and there isn’t any MSG in the food.

Finally, the last time I was at Zaxby’s, I only had my phone camera, which didn’t do it justice, not at all. I will never figure out what kind of seasoned salt they put on the fries, I don’t like chicken fingers at any other restaurant, and this is one of only two places that I’ll eat their Ranch sauce or dressing (the other being Outback Steakhouse). I don’t know why their chicken, fries, and Texas toast taste so good, dipped in Ranch sauce, but they do. Some people swear by the Zax sauce, of course, but I leave it alone. I will say, from one time I was on a diet, their salads (or Zalads, as they spell them) are really good, too. If I could make myself order something besides the chicken finger plate, it would be their grilled chicken salad.

Yes, I know this is all about food, and I’m probably going to get grief from anyone with cravings, but the pictures have been collecting, so I wanted to get them out there. I’ll have more food pictures on the way, as while I’m traveling and visiting, I’ll be hitting a bunch of restaurants. But don’t worry, I’ll mix it up with other things, too.

Anyway, pardon me, while I get back to packing! I finished unpacking from Australia, in time to pack up, again. And to trash my room even further, as I go digging for things that are in the pool room. My guitar and duffel bags take up a good bit of room, even if I did get the suitcases out of there.

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