Yesterday, we did something new…we went to Eckert’s and picked asparagus!
I was really curious about this whole process. I had no idea how asparagus grew (I figured either in single stems like grass, or in bunches like celery…they grow singly). I also had no idea how you harvest them…do you cut them, or just pull them out of the ground? (They give you a flat spade-like tool with a straight edge that you angle next to the asparagus, and then give it a push through).
It ended up being a beautiful day to be out at the farm…we had a break in the weather, it wasn’t even that muddy, and we really enjoyed the tractor ride (plus our driver was really, really nice!).
I’m so glad we got to have this new experience, and I’m really looking forward to enjoying the, um, fruits of our labor, if you will, when we have our first-ever Markel Family Spargelparty…stay tuned for details!
Time for a look at our annual three-day-long Thanksgiving celebration, beginning with a beautiful sunrise on Wednesday morning, which gave me encouragement to bake nine pies, prep two different kinds of stuffing, and make the cranberry sauce.
On Thanksgiving Day, we had fun watching the Macy’s Parade and playing Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo, picking our favorite dogs at the National Dog Show, and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Of course, there was dinner to attend to, as well. I thought the table looked extra pretty this year…maybe that’s because we had guests to set it for!
The menu was a mix of old and new. I made our traditional stuffing to go with the turkey, but also a new recipe for everything bagel stuffing. I also tried a new roasted winter vegetable dish to go alongside our usual green beans with almonds. Of course we also had mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and cranberry sauce:
It made a very pretty plate!
For dessert, all of the pies. Sadly, the pie I was most looking forward to trying, cranberry custard, didn’t set right, so even though it looked pretty, it didn’t come out right at all. I guess that’s the risk you run when you try a new recipe on a holiday!
This morning started with one of our favorite traditions of pie for breakfast.
I was very happy to get to go see Moose march in our town’s Santa Parade for the first time since 2019, and for the first time with the high school marching band! We honestly weren’t planning on staying for the whole thing since his group was near the beginning, but it was fun as well as short, so we ended up seeing it all!
I enjoyed having a place to wear one of my new Erstwilder Christmas brooches:
Turkey sandwiches for lunch are another great thing about the day after Thanksgiving!
And more pie:
We built the annual addition to our Lego winter village:
And had turkey soup for dinner:
After dinner, some of us went back downtown for the tree lighting and community sing:
And more pie for dessert when we got back home:
There you have it. It was a mostly normal holiday, and it was good to do things that felt familiar again!
I always love trying out a local restaurant. Way back before the pandemic hit (can you remember a time pre-pandemic?!?), I read about C and C Food for Your Soul in our local paper, and I knew that a restaurant that advertised fresh-made comfort food was a place I wanted to try. And then time lost all meaning, and for a while, I forgot that there were places outside of our house. But Ryan recently happened upon the restaurant’s Facebook page, and I finally remembered that I really wanted to try it out, so on Sunday, he picked up lunch. I got the mojo burger and fries and he had the meatloaf with mac & cheese and deep-fried corn on the cob (yes, you read that right).
The burger was excellent. It had the best qualities of both a smash burger and a thick burger…crispy edges, but still pink inside. It was served on Texas toast, which was different for me, and I really liked the pairing. I also enjoyed that the burger was topped with different lettuces, which was a nice change from the usual piece of iceberg (not my favorite member of the lettuce family). Ryan equally enjoyed his meal…he said the meatloaf was wonderfully BBQ-y, and the piece was big enough for two meals (helpful information when we place an order for a meal for the whole family in the future!). He also loved the sides, especially the corn on the cob. I’ve been told the staff at the restaurant is also excellent, and very friendly…I’m looking forward to going in there myself eventually!
I’m really glad that this relatively new place is hanging on through the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to trying out more items on the menu (I’m really interested in their desserts!), and seeing what other specials they have in the future!
Tonight, we had our “Farewell to Summer” dinner, which was also a Beast Feast, because we wanted to celebrate the awesome job David Sandusky of Beast Craft BBQ did on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl this summer!
In keeping with the St. Louis theme, I made a gooey butter cake for dessert, only I overbaked it, rendering it not gooey. It still tasted good, though, so that was something.
It’s been a while since I tried something new at Beast Craft BBQ, but I’m back with one of my favorite items on the menu yet!
I am a sucker for fried, or tobacco, onions. Not onion rings (although I do like those, too), or the gross ones in the can, but fresh, fried onions that are thinly sliced and breaded and hot and get tangled together when you try to pull one out of the pile. Pretty much anytime I go anywhere that has good fried onions on a sandwich, I comment that I would buy a box of just those, and Beast made my dreams come true. Perfect as a starter or a side dish to share (I mean, if you can…I can’t!), their fried onions are topped with cotija cheese, cilantro, and their awesome fry sauce. They’re crunchy and salty and have just a bit of a kick from the sauce. It’s seriously the perfect side dish! (Or lunch, as the case may be.)
In case you’ve missed it, David Sandusky, the genius behind Beast Craft BBQ, has been competing on BBQ Brawl on the Food Network. Next week is the final episode, which means he’s in the final four, and I can’t wait to see what happens, and what kind of amazing dish he comes up with next!
Beast Craft BBQ currently has a delicious winter special on the menu…buttermilk fried chicken!
This item is a staple on the menu at Beast Southern Kitchen & BBQ, and I’m happy that they’ve temporarily brought it over to the original Belleville location. It’s not your basic fried chicken, because it’s dusted with creole spices, which give it a delicious kick. The breading was perfectly crunchy…it didn’t get soggy on its journey from the restaurant to our house. And I love that they put a piece of white bread under the chicken to catch the spices and the drippings. The plate comes with four pieces of chicken, plus two sides, and of course if you’re smart one of those should be Beast’s amazing sprouts with pork belly, but there are plenty of other options, too (we especially love the bacon mac). I love seeing the new ideas the Beast family comes up with at all of their locations (check out their sandwich pop-up in the Grove, a perfect example of how they’re rolling with the punches and thinking creatively to make the best of a rough time for restaurants!), and I can’t wait to see what hits the menu next!