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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Throwback Thursday: The Playoff Picture at the O.K. Chorale

Husband and I have a different perspective on the Packers and their post-season. He’s a Packer fan in a way, but he looks at their success from a slightly different angle because he works in television.
Television news in a major NFL market is a whole different, well, ball game from working at a station with no football to cover. For him, an extended post-season is both a blessing and a curse. It means more work, and it means more work. More work means overtime, and more work means overtime. An extended season can also mean travel…unless the Pack manage to earn home field advantage.

Who cares? I hear you wail. To answer that question, I share the transcript of an Actual Conversation at the O.K. Chorale. The script is the type that gets repeated annually. This one is funny because the Super Bowl was in Arizona the year I first blogged the topic, just like the one coming up in early 2015.

Me: It’ll be great if they keep winning and get home field advantage through the playoffs.
Husband: No, no, n-n-n-n-n-no!
Me: What? I thought you’d like it because you wouldn’t have to travel!
Husband: I don’t want to work outside on the sidelines in the freezing cold!
Me: Okay, then you want (insert NFL team in southern U.S.) to win so that you can work a game in (insert warm locale), instead?
Husband: No, No, n-n-n-n-n-n-no!
Me (confused): Huh?
Husband: I have this fear that the news director is going to look at us engineers and say, ‘Erbert, Gerbert, load up the satellite truck and drive it down to (insert southern NFL market). and when they win? Turn right.’ I could be on the road for three weeks! (editor’s note: he said “IF they win.” I changed it.)
Me: Then you should cheer for the Packers to keep winning. They’ll earn home field advantage, and you won’t have to travel.
Husband: (speechless, waving arms in air)
Me: I suppose it’s a lose-lose situation for you.
Husband: Yes! Yes! Yes!

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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.)

tuba

Tailgating may not extend beyond the parking space.

crowd

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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Throwback Thursday – Packers and their fans

You know you’re a Green Bay Packers fan if:

  • Your favorite starting quarterback has a streak of incomplete passes – 3 in all.
  • You buy Christmas gifts at the Packer Pro Shop for out-of-state relatives.
  • You imagine the visiting teams saying, “We came, we saw, we lost” on their way out of Lambeau.
  • Your favorite field goal kicker is considered in a slump if he misses. That’s misses one field goal.
  • Your weekly superstitions continue, even though you know the team doesn’t need your help.
  • You have a cheesehead that sports the words “NFL Owner.”
  • Your decorative ceramic seagull wears a Barbie-doll size cheesehead.
  • Instead of rushing into laundry to prepare for game day, you just take out another piece of Packer-wear because you own enough to last through the playoffs — and indeed, the Super Bowl.
Readers, I’m looking at encore posts for a Throwback Thursday theme. Feel free to join me on your own blogs – or just stopping by to check on my Thursday posts. Regular readers might even say, “Hey, I read this the first time!” 

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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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Pink and more meaningless Pink

My coworker had a great word on the back of her pink t-shirt: Survivor. She is one year out from finishing her radiation therapy for her own breast cancer. We all wore matching pink shirts to show her what she already knew: we cared. We cared a lot.

The NFL’s breast cancer awareness month scatters random pink all over the field. I just can’t quite buy it, though. Something doesn’t feel right. I have questions, and I haven’t found the answers.

How much did all this pink gear cost? All for awareness? Come on, people, awareness is the lowest form of knowledge. Awareness is saying, “Look! Over here! Pay attention to me! Me! Me! Me!” Awareness is knowing it’s raining, but not caring because you’re inside a dry, warm home. Awareness is realizing the game on television is tied, but not really needing to know because you’re busy updating your Facebook status about what you just had for lunch. Awareness on its own, folks, isn’t worth much.

How much is the NFL donating, and where? To whom? I’m having a hard time finding a real answer to this. I’m finding statements like “Auction Proceeds!” and “Net Profit!” I’m not finding a true commitment to providing mammograms for diagnosis or payment for expensive anti-cancer drugs. I’m not finding real information in the form of names (organizations) or numbers (amount of actual donations, even donation goals).

As I’m watching Aaron Rodgers drape a bright pink towel around his neck, something doesn’t feel right. My coworkers t-shirt was much more meaningful.

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Saturday! In the Market!

I bought a lot of peppers on Wednesday. Thursday was dill pickle day. I hope the pickles work out this time. I’m close to giving up on dills, at least from my recipe books. I might go to a commercial mix instead.

All set to pickle! And more!

All set to pickle! And more!

I had already brought in a meager harvest from the backyard.

Peppers (4 kinds), beans, and two more heads of garlic

Peppers (4 kinds), beans, and two more heads of garlic

I mentioned pickles earlier. I’d be a little, no, more than a little bit bummed if I didn’t have a way to use at least some of the fresh dill that’s growing in the backyard.

Dill, not popcorn.

Dill, not popcorn.

The brine didn’t smell the greatest, so I really don’t know if it worked. Fresh dill and fresh garlic – I hope it all came together. I will have to wait two weeks and then open a jar. Suspense, suspense.

Meanwhile, the Saturday market came by. We took time to listen to some good live music – and I do mean good quality. My fair city plays host to its second annual Mile of Music, and one of the headliners was performing, for free, at the downtown farmers’ market (Hillary Reynolds Band). A little bit down the road we saw one of the lesser known but still awesome bands (Holy Sheboygan) singing and dancing and making people smile. Then we slipped into a coffeehouse and listened to a group of brass players jamming, just jamming.

Oh, the market. We brought home all this – plus corn.

Saturday Market! Fresh food and fun.

Saturday Market! Fresh food and fun.

My parsnips are not quite ready yet, so we bought some. I also picked up beans, green and yellow, in honor of Packers preseason starting tonight. Packer beans!

There’s my work for the rest of the weekend. Watch Brewers and Packers and prep vegetables for freezing. Ah, summer in Wisconsin.

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