Outsider Tart Blog

Wisconsin

Posted in News

WISCONSIN

Number 30

The Badger State

America’s Dairyland

Now don’t all get your knickers in a twist.  Yes, this week we’re taking a detour.  We should have headed back East to stop in West Virginia.  For those erudite among us, we could have continued to Washington, D.C., which is not a state but certainly rates as critical US acreage.  If we opt to do D.C., it begs the question if we’re doing US territories or not.  No comment.  But...we would be remiss if we didn’t honor a request from the lovely Heather, who is going back after being here seven plus years.  While she’s headed for Texas, turns out she’s originally from Wisconsin, the Cheese Head capital of the universe.  We toyed with our usual approach, finding local recipes and turning them up a notch or two, deftly interpreting them with British groceries.  But then we thought...nah.  Why on earth, would we get so fancy?  It’s Wisconsin.  It’s cheese.  It’s simple.  Clear as day what we have to do:  a Mac N Cheese smorgasbord.  An assortment of pasta and cheese and meat (sometimes) and veg (other times) and seafood (quite possibly) and, who knows, maybe all three (will they or won’t they?).  We asked Heather if there was anything in particular she wanted.  She demurred.  So we hope to send her off in style.  Come help us bid farewell and toast Heather’s new chapter with an ice cold Pabst and/or a good old-fashioned Lone Star longneck.  Heather...this one’s for you!

CHEESEHEAD DRINKS 

Pabst Blue Ribbon (Wisconsin)

Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale (Wisconsin)

Lone Star (Texas)

Old-Fashioned, the Wisconsin way:  recipes from either Marge, Hazel or Blanche

Death’s Door made w/ Wisconsin London-style gin

CHEESEHEAD MAC n CHEESE SMORGASBORD

Jacket Mac

Eggplant Parm Mac

MnC Pizza

Caliente Mac

Asiago Leek Mac

Pulled Pork Mac

Chica Mac w/ fried pork rinds

Pepperoni Pizza Mac

MnC Burger

Surf n Turf Mac

Side salad type thing which we’ll get to eventually

And for Brunch this weekend...our Full English Mac

CHEESEHEAD DESSERT

Cherry Pie – no cheese...promise

Beeramisu – had to get cheese in there somewhere

 

Washington

Posted in News

WASHINGTON (STATE)

Number 42

The Evergreen State

 

Apparently Washingtonians get miffed when “state” is added as a clarification lest others think people are referring to Washington, D.C. (the District of Columbia which has never really made much sense plus any research yields conflicting accounts of the how and why).  As one who attended Washington University in St. Louis and was forever clarifying things starting with “W” maybe we can all agree with Washington in the name, it’s anyone’s guess.

 

For us, Washington is all about Seattle.  At that, it’s about Pike’s Place Market and Macrina Bakery.  Years ago Other David’s sister, Elena, gave us the Macrina cookbook.  Ironically she doesn’t really cook nor bake so it was an odd gift coming from her but lovely just the same.  It came about the time we moved to London so timing was perfect to bake away one recipe at a time.  Everything was fantastic.  About a year later OD’s job took him to the Pacific Northwest so we made a trip of it and a pilgrimage to Macrina was pretty much first on our list.  Suffice to say we were knocking on the door as it opened (jet lag’ll do that to you).  We pretty much got one of everything and went back to our hotel and gorged ourselves.  Energizing for a trip to Pike’s Place is more like it which, of course, was second on our list.  Third was a hamburger dive conveniently located near another branch of Macrina.  Pike’s Place is quite possibly one of the first permanent Farmer’s Market structures operating as was intended since 1912.  The Market itself started a few years earlier on the streets as you’d expect, but politicos saw the need for a more permanent home:

 

“The Market is yours. I dedicate it to you and may it prove of benefit to you and your children. It is for you to protect, defend, and uphold and it is for you to see that those who occupy it treat you fairly. … This is one of the greatest days in the history of Seattle.”

 

Council support for community and small business?  Sound familiar?  I thought....Sorry for the digression, but when something so simple is lost, it tends to get my goat.  Other than Pike’s Place being a truly fabulous foodie haven, it was there we discovered our cocoa.  In a vast vaulted arch cum spice shop, we bought a bag of the darkest mahogany powder.  It felt like we were buying Eye of Newt for a boiling kettle of whoknowswhat.  Back in London, we managed to survive a few palpitations at Heathrow Customs given no bag of powder should really be stowed regardless of color.  Richmond was home at the time and the bag sat on the table until its source was determined through a good bit of e-sleuthing.  And so it became our cocoa of choice for all chocolate recipes.

 

Typically the Washington climate is damp, rainy and fresh in that after-the-storm sort of way.  As such, the cuisine can have some unusual and richer combinations to help keep the chill at bay.  But because here we are having a good run of summer, we thought we’d focus on a more Farmer’s Market type menu loaded with fresh veg and lighter fare.  Rest assured, all recipes are still from The Evergreen State.  Let the record show it was OD who came up with this idea.  He who doesn’t eat veg other than potato.  Which he usually accompanies with a side of potato.  And, perhaps, mac’n cheese.  And a biscuit.  We’ll try and curb the carbs, but for this week, here is what we’re up to:

 

FOR WETTING WASHINGTONIAN WHISTLES

The Redskin (until they change the name of the team, this one’s still in play)

Creamsicle

Seattle Slush

Lemon Drop

Peach Fuzz

Pacific Eclipse

Gimlet Fizz

Evergreenerita

Cascade Punch

Champagne Shrub

Washington Apple

Pike’s Place Sipper

 

FOR WHETTING WASHINGTONIAN PIE HOLES

Cauliflower Steak w/ Kale Pesto

Francisco’s Sweet Potato Empanada

Honeyed Goat Cheese

Butternut Lasagna

Hot Sausage and Peppers and Onions and Tomatoes

Courgette Ragu

Green Chili Pork

All-day Beans

Green Potato Salad

Bacon Mac

Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

Virginia

Posted in News

VIRGINIA

Number 10

Old Dominion

 

In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as

the first permanent New World English colony.

 

We’re still recuperating a bit from July 4th.  When researching Virginia cuisine we kinda had a déjà vu moment.  That happens a lot these days holiday or no holiday.  And then we remembered having done a Virginia wine tasting a while ago.  After rummaging through information both old and new, we opted for a wine tasting menu redux sans wine.  Wine tasting, no wine?  WTF?  Well, turns out we really didn’t like the guy.  When he was here that evening, he directed customers to a competitor to buy the wine (I know this because I was standing in the room at the time) and then never thanked us for an evening organized to promote not only Virginia wines but, as it happened, the wines in his cellar.  So yeah, WTF.  The wines themselves were good but, to our palate, nothing to write home about.  But the food was yummy and we managed to find a few new temptations that whet our whistles.  So after the fireworks...after the lock on the shop door froze forcing its’ replacement...after the fridge evaporator going on the fritz and barely functioning on heavily borrowed time...after exhaustively attempting to re-invent the physics of baking to accommodate a customer who thought we should be able to bake a cake from scratch and frost it in an hour (mind you at this point the fridge was on its last breath making quicker cooling impossible)...after attempting, too, to redefine quantum physics and the space-time continuum when said customer came to collect the cake yet managed to somehow think the cake was “late” regardless of the fact it was done prior to the agreed upon time and sitting on the counter waiting for him the very second he entered the door...after weighing the purported consequences of his threat to post a negative customer service review on TripAdvisor (“I don’t think you realize what a powerful tool it is”)...after we paused a moment to consider who is girlfriend is since he went out of his way to tell us about her and her position...after pondering whether or not we were indeed condescending to him as he claimed...after wondering why he hadn’t parked in the loading zone a stone’s throw from the shop as we suggested rather somewhere across the street causing him to fret over getting a parking ticket (which presumably meant he didn’t pay the meter but no telling because he didn’t park where we could keep an eye on his car – again – as was suggested)...and after not really giving a rat’s ass because we did all we could to accommodate a last-minute order without receiving any kind of gratitude yet were made to stand in the firing line...after all that...we opted for a menu gimme.  A little less research, but no less delicious.  Thank you.  You’re welcome.  How very kind.        

 

VIRGINIA SIPS

Virginia Slammer

Dominion Punch

Debutante Punch

Prohibition Lemonade

Just Peachy

Lover’s Lane

 

VIRGNIA EATS

Deviled Ham and Eggs

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes

Peanut Pork Chili w/ Apple

Tuffy’s Competition Ribs

Piedmont Burger w/ Bacon Mayo

The Richmond Original – July is National Hot Dog Month

Virginia Ham Biscuits

Virginia Waldorf Salad w/ Smoked Turkey

Robert E. Lee Cake

Diner Peanut Pie

 

4th of July

Posted in News

JULY 4th

INDEPENDENCE DAY

 

We became a Union 238 years ago, July 4th 1776.

 

It’s tradition to stop and celebrate our independence from Britain (sorry folks) and our individual freedoms (to the extent we can).  Let’s be honest.  It’s also an excuse for a party.  And so we stop our tour.  Pull off the road.  Gather up a few favorites.  And have a BBQ.  It’s a holiday weekend back home and so we, too, take five to change gears.  We thought about taking a real holiday, say a quick trip to Padstow to wave across the pond or someplace else on the British Coast, but then thought better of it.  Mostly because we wanted to have a BBQ instead.  Lots of burgers.  Lots of hot dogs.  Lots of ribs.  Lots of salads.  Maybe even some buttery, slobbery corn on the cob.  And yes, this will all be served on the 4th.  And the 5th.  Just ‘cause we can.

 

Happy 4th Everyone!

 

INDEPENDENCE SPIRITS

Let Freedom Ring

Stars and Stripes

American Pie

Red, White and Blue

Firecracker

All American

Prohibition Lemonade

Summer Smash Up

Yankee Doodle Dandy

 

INDEPENDENCE BBQ

Burger Bar (Wake Forest, Texan, Utah)

Hot Doggity Dogs (Arizona Flat, Mississippi Chili)

BBQ Chicken

BBQ Kielbasa

Racks of Ribs

Maine Lobster Rolls

Ham and Cabbage Slaw

Carolina Slaw

Salmon Potato Salad

Cajun Potato Salad

Macaroni Salad

Baked Beans

Grilled Corn Cob

Fried Pies

RWB Concretes

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