Eating the Opponent continues: Molasses Cookies

This are easy to make, with soft and delicious results. When you’re tired of sweet Christmas cookies, try this stronger  flavor. The other options is white sugar and sorghum in place of the brown sugar and molasses. My research tells me the molasses version is more typical of Detroit area moms and grandmas and bakers.

Go! Pack! Go!

Go! Pack! Go!

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Research – guest post by “Chuck”

It started as research for Eating the Opponent, Atlanta. Then it blossomed. Courtesy of my dear husband and the Internet, I give you: Cheeseheads Breaking All the (Tailgating) Rules.

The following pictures may help illustrate what not to do and may raise relevant questions:

The marked parking spaces are for vehicles only. Fans cannot use parking spaces for tents, grills, chairs or other items. (Would a rock band using the top of a Cheesehead Camper as a stage be okay?)

cheesehead van

Tailgating is allowed at the Georgia Dome in the Yellow Lot or Lot A, known as “The Gulch.” Tailgate tents cannot exceed 8-by-10 feet. (If a bar 3 blocks away erects a temporary pole building, would that be ok?)

pole building

All vehicles require a valid parking permit. (But what if it’s an away game?)

away games

Tailgating may not interfere with vehicles driving through the lot. (Would it be ok if I set out orange cones?)

orange cones

Tailgating equipment (grills, coolers and electronics) may not extend beyond the parking space. (We’re trying Mr. Tailgate rule guy. Would you like a brat?)

truck grill

Loud amplified music or noise is prohibited in any Georgia Dome lots. (It’s not amplified and it’s not noise.)


Tailgating may not extend beyond the parking space.


Take that, Atlanta. Up here in Green Bay Packer country, we know how to handle tailgating.

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Throwback Thursday – Everyday Packers Decor

Everyday decor – I looked over this post and realized, as usual, that not much has changed since this piece first hit the Interwebs in 2011. Read on and find out what little did need updating.

Decor? Heck, this is just part of the household. Nothing is fancy. You know I hang green and gold ornaments on my Christmas tree. You know I sip coffee from a Lombardi mug that sits on a cheese coaster. With my Green Bay Packers and their winning streak in mind, let’s take a brief tour.
This title towel keeps my bread machine dust free in between uses.

Nap time means Packer blanket throws and green & gold Happy Feet slippers!

Let’s head upstairs.
In the bathroom, I can wash up with a classic and well-used Green Bay washcloth.

Tiny rabbit Krumpet used to live in Amigo’s room and hang out in a Green Bay Packers bean bag chair. Krumpet and La Petite now have their own apartment, but I still use this picture every September to show my students two important interests in my life: rabbits and the Green Bay Packers.
And last but never least, the guest room sports classic Green Bay Packers sheets.

These are just a few examples of simple evidence that yes, we are true fans in this household. Any questions? There will be a quiz Sunday night. Or Monday – “we” play Atlanta on Monday Night Football. Peach cobbler for Eating the Opponent, anyone?

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Crazy Busy Long Weekend

Let’s see: Thanksgiving Thursday, all together with family. Good meals, good company, good conversation. Later on, we had good leftovers and good naps.

Friday: No, folks, I didn’t venture into the craziness that is Black Friday. We went out for lunch and had New England Clam Chowder (Eating the opponent: Take that, Tom Brady!). I shopped online a bit. Amigo took off with La Petite for the weekend.

Saturday: Shop Small! We went downtown for Small Business Saturday. It was fun to see some of my favorite shops looking busier than usual. I hope the shoppers come back to these locally owned and operated stores and shop there regularly. I now have a new canvas tote that shouts “Shop Small”, a pin that announces the same, and a new mug that was free with any purchase at one of the shops. Readers, I’ll see if I can get my act together and share pictures.

Sunday: Chuck was working the football game. He spent the entire day and more at Lambeau Field. I drove southward to pick up Amigo and bring him home. La Petite took advantage of my minivan’s cargo space and bought a bookshelf. I realized I’d forgotten to pack my small hand truck, so we took a detour into the nearby Menard’s and bought one for her. She has moved annually for the past four years, so it’s actually a good investment.

Finally, Amigo and I found our way home, fed the bunny, watched the second half of the Packers beating the Patriots, and settled back into our routines. Never fear, readers. We didn’t miss any of the game;  we listened to the Green Bay Packers Radio Network on the highway.

I feel tired just reading this! What happened to weekends being restful? I’m glad to go back to school tomorrow and get into my own routine.

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Ah, Multi-tasking Packer Fans

There’s too much on my to-do list to allow a relaxed Sunday afternoon in front of the TV. But when you have green and gold running through your system the way we do at the O.K. Chorale, the game will be on and will be central to our existence for a few hours. We do a little multi-tasking, though, just to keep life from collapsing around us. For example:

  • Make ice cream. Mix the ingredients, turn on the ice cream maker, and then watch the game until it’s done. Note to self: watch the real clock, not the football clock, for timing.
  • Laundry. Turn on the bedroom TV while folding.
  • Bake. I baked angel food cake today – just the thing to go with our Eating the Opponent dish, Norwegian Fruit Soup. Yum.
  • Clean a bathroom. Seriously. Apply cleaning solutions (or vinegar-water mix) during one commercial break. Scrub and rinse during the next break. Not recommended during a Super Bowl when the commercials are part of the entertainment. 
  • Shop online.
  • Blog.

Readers, can you add to the list? As the Packers keep winning, I want to watch every minute. But in reality, life intrudes. What other tasks can be multi-tasked during a Packer game?


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Eating the Opponent Research

We’ve been eating the Opponent for a few years now. For some teams (Chicago, for example) we have a go-to signature dish. Papa Murphy’s makes our favorite Chicago-style pizza, so that one is almost too easy.

It was Philadelphia this week, and we considered the basic Philly cheesesteak on French bread. We’ve had it in the past, and Chuck makes it well. We got adventurous instead and looked up scrapple recipes. It was okay – we all ate our portions, but no one wanted seconds. If we make it again, we’ll look for a different recipe or resource.

Meanwhile, our tradition spurred discussion on Plurk and Facebook. both Amigo and Chuck nixed the idea of having marshmallow Peeps. Friends and family were shocked. No Peeps? Really? Then an old friend from college commented, “Peeps are made in Bethlehem, not Philly!” He did admit, however, that Bethlehem Pennsylvania is part of the greater Philadelphia area. I’d compare it, perhaps, to my hometown being part of the greater Green Bay area – but the greater Green Bay area covers most of the state of Wisconsin!

Next week is Minnesota. We all agree that lutefisk is a no-go. There’s not quite enough Norwegian blood running through our veins to handle the codfish. I’ve been pushing for fruit soup, and Chuck isn’t quite sold. Amigo (he does his own research and does it well) suggested a Minnesota style hotdish from Mr. Food’s Test Kitchen.

Chuck will be traveling for work next week. His destinations include Madison (state high school football) and Minneapolis (Packers vs. Vikings, of course). He can Eat the Opponent while he’s on site. We’ll do the hotdish and fruit soup. I’m ready!

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Coping without an oven

The igniter (a.k.a. pilot light) in my oven gave up the ghost two weeks ago. Chuck did his part as the Engineer in the Family and did an Internet search to help locate the problem. He figured out what was wrong, decided what part it needed, and realized this was something he could not do himself. I give him credit for that. After that, he looked for the name of the appliance repair guy we’ve called in the past.

I handed him a can snuggy – not just any snuggy, mind you, but a souvenir snuggy from the appliance repair dude’ s last visit.

So anyway, we survived almost two full weeks without an oven. How? Well, I cooked supper in the crock pot three times – four times if you count the apple crisp recipe I made in the smaller crock while I cooked lamb stew in the big one. Lamb stew, tomato soup, and finally, chili kept the family tummies satisfied.

We grilled outside a couple of times, too. It’s just the end of autumn, and we can still light up the charcoal despite the chilly wind.

Then there’s the stove top and the microwave oven – stove still worked, as did the broiler. Those parts have their own ignition switches.

So anyway, we managed. Now that we have a working oven again, I baked cookies! Oatmeal raisin cookies never tasted so good. When those are gone, I’ll honor the season by making pumpkin cookies. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy meatloaf followed by baked mac and cheese and all the other dishes I craved during the oven outage.

Good thing it’s fixed. I’m planning a Minnesota Hotdish in a few weeks – recipe courtesy of Mr. Food’s Kitchen. Look out, Vikings! But first, Da Bears. We had pizza last time. Chi-town style hot dogs, maybe? Or bear claw pastry for breakfast? We’ll find something delicious and suitable for toasting Aaron Rodgers’ continued good health.

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October comes to a close

The last outdoor market

The last outdoor market!

We didn’t do much stocking up this time. Today’s market, the final outdoor market of the downtown season, was more about watching little kids in their Halloween costumes trick-or-treating at the various vendors, picking up a few things for tonight’s supper, and just enjoying the fresh air one more time.

I did buy apples for my lunches, lettuce for several days of salads, and kettle corn just for fun. We picked up a little cheese and honey just because we could, and Chuck picked out Moroccan squash soup and curried chicken salad from the little deli we like so much.

But on the way home, we stopped at the corner meat market, where the head butcher has joined the Eating the Opponent project. He looked at the Packers schedule (at New Orleans on Sunday Night Football) and decided to put Andouille sausage on sale. We had gumbo for supper tonight. Look out, Drew Brees, we’ve got the neighborhood butcher on our side!

So on we go – out of the summer, and into the fall, and eventually, on to the cruel world we call Wisconsin Winter. Our family, at least, will be well fed.

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Eating the Opponent – Miami

We made Cuban sandwiches a few seasons back. We joked about buying tuna not certified “dolphin safe.” I was ready to go with the Cuban again, but then I found something else.

And I have a staff meeting on Thursday after school.

How do these two go together? You might be surprised – or not. If I have supper in the crock pot on a staff meeting day, we’ll have something better than pizza delivery for supper. And this week, my friends, our Miami recipe works very well in a slow cooker.

Ropa Vieja, it’s called, and that translates literally as “Old Clothes.” When it’s done simmering for hours and hours, the end result resembles threads of old cloth. It’s much more descriptive than “beef simmered until it shreds.” Some recipes suggested serving on tortillas, but at least one said that it would not be authentic Cuban or Miami style on tortillas. Rice is the preferred side.

And so it goes – eating the opponent plus a staff meeting yields a good meal.

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Eating the Opponent and more

Garden: progress is good. Tomatoes are in, whether green or slightly red, to ripen indoors. I pruned several plants and pulled several more. Peppers? Most will be frozen. I didn’t pull the plants yet because there are still tiny peppers on most of them! The straw bales may insulate the roots – will that be enough for another week?

Kitchen: Lots of plans, nothing really accomplished. Dear Sweet “Chuck” cooked all weekend. He’s amazingly awesome when it comes to the kitchen.

Planning ahead: I’m thinking Ropa Vieja for Eating the Opponent: Miami. It can be made in a crock pot and served over rice. Works for me!

It was a day full of close football games. I had to wait until all the OTs were over to record the totals in our weekly picks. Results: Buttercup the bunny is tied with Chuck for the lead with 8. I am one game behind them with 7 correct predictions, and Amigo trails with 4. All that is before Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. Last Thursday? We all picked Green Bay, of course.

Pantry: I read an article titled 16 Indestructible Foods that would Outlast the Apocalypse. I don’t have corn syrup and Ramen noodles, and I don’t plan to buy any, but those are the exceptions. We have most of the rest. However, I’m still voting for Mary Burke for governor. I have no desire to experience any more Walker Apocalypse.

Oh, and laundry. All is clean, dry, and folded. Let the week begin!

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