Thursday, May 15, 2008

Old Guys Opener

Well, eventually it had to come to this. When your nightcap of choice is a shot of Pepto Bismo and instead of a glass of beer when you wake up you chug an Alka-Seltzer you know that your youth isn't fleeting, it has fled. Ah, the good old days when drugs were for recreation, not survival. Seems to me they were cheaper then too. Well, we might not be able to rock, but we can still cook.

Rico brought up all of the fixings for our eggs in a bag omelets. These are always a fan favorite. Just throw a couple of eggs into a Ziploc bag along with whatever else you might fancy: onions, chopped garlic, grated cheese, chopped up sausage, anything at all. Then you just squish everything together and squeeze out all of the air.

Rico Showing Off His Creation

Of course Cubby seemed proud of his as well.

Cubby Showing His With Gus Looking On

Actually, I am not sure what Gus is looking at, or what all Cubby was showing.

And then, when you have everything all squished up you simply pop the bag into boiling water and let it boil away for about 14 minutes.

Boiling Away

Then, believe it or not, you take out the bag, open it, and roll a perfect omelet out onto your plate.

Just The Way You Made It

Another unusual offering was venison haggis. Haggis is, basically, all of the internal organs of a sheep including the lungs which, sadly, are no longer legal in the United States. You chop everything up and mix it with oatmeal and then, traditionally, stuff it into the sheep's stomach. Sadly, real stomach's are getting hard to get so we used a Sears stomach. And we used venison parts instead of sheep parts.

Bruce, who also made five gallons of a mighty fine beer, Bruce & Jon's Lumberjack Lager, was the one responsible for the conception and preparation of the Haggis. And, I regret, I did not get a picture of his keg of beer.

Yummy, Sheep Parts

Everything Stuffed Into A Simulated Stomach

Bruce also whipped up a mighty fine batch of greens and pork hocks that really hit the spot.

Greens Right Out Of The Pot

A nice little repast:

Beer And Greens

We had a lovely evening so supper on the deck seemed like a grand idea.

Jerry, Cubby, And Chris Chowing Down

Chris just came up on Saturday so he rounded out our crew to an even eight this year.

A Beautiful Sunset

All of my so-called buddies, except for Bruce, always give me static about my football jersey because it has "BIMBO" across the front. Well, if it didn't have "BIMBO" across the front I probably wouldn't have bought it. But it was a touching tribute when Jon unveiled a special cake he had made for the opener.

A Touching Tribute

Oh, the only reason Bruce doesn't give me static about my jersey is because he had me buy one for him.

We had a great time, as usual. We had a lot more good stuff to eat too. I brought corned beef and pastrami from Katz's and Rico's wife Sandy sent up some homemade sauerkraut. We bought some Swiss cheese and rye bread on the way up and made dynamite grilled Reubens. I also made a nice Spanish style fish stew and we had smoked venison, pickled Northern Pike, pickled turkey gizzards, smoked oysters and octopus and all sorts of other goodies to nibble on.

Oh, and we never did go fishing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Politics As Usual, Just A Bit Later Than Usual

I don't know why this strikes me as being so funny, or sad, but it does. The normal closing time for bars in Minnesota is 2:00 A.M. There have been attempts in the past to get them to stay open later but they have always been shot down. The rallying cry by those against keeping them open later has been "Nothing good happens after two."

Well, I couldn't help but be amused where a special dispensation has been granted to allow the bars to remain open until 4:00 A.M. during the Republican convention.

GOP Bar Hours

Beer taps, wine corkscrews and martini shakers should get an extra workout during the Republican National Convention, thanks to state legislation that pushes bar closing time out by two hours.

The Minnesota Legislature approved a compromise bill Thursday that would let local governments in the seven-county Twin Cities area allow liquor dispensing until 4 a.m. during the convention’s run.

The current cutoff time for bars is 2 a.m.

Aren't you glad your Republican delegates to the National Convention are so serious about their responsibilities that bars have to be kept open an extra two hours to let them unwind? I am betting there will be more than one DUI.

I personally think super delegates should be able to drink until 6:00 A.M. Oh, wait, I don't think Republicans have super delegates.

Opener Time

Ah yes, it is that time of year once again. Mother's Day and the Minnesota Fishing Opener. And, as always, I head back to my native state of Minnesota to celebrate, well, not Mother's Day.

We always head up to my buddy Jerry's cabin for this week-end and the size of the crowd can vary but there is usually a core group that shows up. This year we had most of them although they kind of trickled in and out.

The first stop on the way to the cabin is traditionally The Firehouse in Hinckley. This place has really changed over the years. Originally it was just a fairly small municipal on/off sale, although the bar area was always fairly large and really hasn't changed all that much. For comparison purposes, this is what the place looked like just last year.

The Firehouse In 2007

As you can see, there have been some significant changes.

This Year's Version

The bar, thankfully, hasn't changed that much and I was happy to see my favorite bartender was still there and busily at work.

Mary Settin' Up

The early crew that came up from Minneapolis hooked up and had a morning eye-opener to get us primed for what is always an arduous week-end.

The Early Crew, Jerry, Cubby, Gus, and Barman

After stocking up on liquor and groceries we hit our next stop on the way. By the time we hit this place we are almost at the cabin.

The Blue Max

We were a bit nervous because The Blue Max had closed and we weren't sure if it would be open for the opener. Luckily the new owners had it up and running with just days to spare.

Whew, That Was Close

The early crew from Minneapolis was the first one here as well.

Early Crew Having A Cold One

We weren't there very long though before Bruce and Jon who came down from Up North joined us.

Bruce And Jon

Together at last we posed for a group picture at, where else, the bar.

Group Photo, Everyone Smile

A bit later Rico, the last of the group to join us today, showed up.

Rico, On The Left

While I was in Puerto Vallarta I asked if anyone wanted me to buy them a Chivas shirt but got no takers other than Bruce. It takes someone who is comfortable with their manhood to wear a shirt with Bimbo plastered across the front.

Manly Bimbos

As usual we caused a bit of a ruckus in the bar, but nothing too serious. I think they like us. They should, we spend enough. Throughout our stay Holly, the new bartender, gamely kept up with our prodigious demands.

Good Job, Holly

From here we headed to the cabin where we made grilled Reubens. I brought corned beef and pastrami from Katz's in New York and Rico brought up sauerkraut that his wife Sandy had made. Needless to say, they hit the spot.