Category Archives: Family

Memory Monday – Grandpa’s Refrigerator

My family is back after being away on a short vacation. No one felt like cooking (and we honestly need to make a grocery run) so for supper, I ordered us a pepperoni pizza from our local Casey’s General Store.

A cold beer to go with the pizza sounded good too so I stepped in the walk-in cooler to see what they had.  Before I could look around to find a favorite my eyes fixed on some packaging that took me back to my grandparent’s basement.

In their basement on the east wall next to a deep freezer was a refrigerator.  There were only a few things I ever remember being in it.  Grape, Orange, and Strawberry Crush, Pepsi, 7-Up, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

That familiar red, white, and blue packaging was the first thing I saw in the beer cooler and sent me on a brief walk down memory lane.  I knew it would be the perfect beer to go with my pizza.  It was.  It looked and tasted just like I remembered.

PBR was the first beer I ever tasted.  My grandpa would let my cousins and I each have a sip out of his can.  I realize that this isn’t “politically correct” in today’s society… but I don’t think it was out of the norm back then.  It was a grandpa bonding with his boys.

Sadly, I never did get to actually enjoy a beer with my grandpa when I I legally could… but I did enjoy a few PBR’s with memories of him tonight.

Is there a certain beer, pop, soda, or drink that reminds you of your grandpa?

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Tony Tries It: Watermelon With Taco Seasoning

It’s time for another entry in my Tony Tries It series… where I try something new and let you know what I think.  This time I’m trying a unique blend of flavors I would never have come up with on my own; watermelon, lime, and taco seasoning.

I first came across this combination from Jeni Eats, one of my favorite food bloggers.  Last summer she shared a picture of it on Instagram and I was intrigued.  My family wasn’t.  Even with their skepticism, I knew it was something I wanted to sample.

Trying it last Summer never worked out but when a local grocery store recently had watermelons for $1.88 each I knew it would be the perfect opportunity.

I bought two watermelons.  Mostly, because of the great deal… but partly because my youngest (the biggest fruit fan I know) was disturbed by the thought of me “ruining a perfectly good watermelon”.

She reluctantly agreed to the taste test with me… as did my oldest daughter.  My wife wanted no part in it.  I think she had flashbacks of our Jolly Rancher Soda taste test.

The ingredients for this Tony Tries It were easy to put together.  I sliced the watermelon saving back pieces from the center.  I’ve always found them to be the sweetest.  Next, I cut a lime into wedges and put some Hy-Vee taco seasoning into a custard cup.

We also put some fine sea salt into a custard cup since my oldest had read salt on watermelon really enhanced the sweetness of the fruit.

It was time to see what we all thought of watermelon with taco seasoning.  We each put a watermelon wedge on our plate, sprinkled it with lime juice, and then a few pinches of taco seasoning. Before taking that first bite we ceremoniously “clinked” them together and said “cheers”.

I’ll admit that the first bite was a little odd and confusing.  My brain was trying to process having this unique flavor and texture combination for the first time.

The second bite was a little better and by the third bite, I could understand why someone might enjoy eating their watermelon with lime and taco seasoning.  It wasn’t bad… but it was interesting.

My youngest daughter did not like it at all.  My oldest thought it was just “OK” but not better than plain watermelon.

We decided to move on to other watermelon flavor combinations. Next was plain sea salt and watermelon.  None of us really cared too much for that.

Then it was on to watermelon, sea salt, and lime.  The lime helped make it a little more enjoyable but it still wasn’t a favorite of any of us taste testers.  I’m wondering how it would be with a little tequila misted on top.  Could be like a watermelon margarita.  Might be worth trying some time. 😉

Our last flavor combination was fresh lime and watermelon.  This was pretty good.  The lime added a crisp, brightness to each bite.  It was my youngest’s favorite of any of the combinations we tried.

In the end, we all agreed that you really can’t get much better than a cold piece of plain sweet watermelon.  That said if I was ever at a party and watermelon with taco seasoning was being served, I wouldn’t turn it down.

What about you? Have you tried watermelon with taco seasoning? What flavor combinations do you enjoy that others might find odd?

 

You can read more in the Tony Tries It Series! Here are some other topics I’ve covered:

Fresh Face Mask

Shooting A Machine Gun

Skittles Art

Microwaving Sweet Corn

Geocaching

Kayaking

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Reheating Pizza

Pizza Waffles

Tator Tot Waffles

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Memory Monday – Oat Burgers

It’s a long 4th of July weekend… one of the biggest grilling weekends of the year!  I’ve already fired up my new grill for ribeyes this weekend and burgers are on the menu for tomorrow.

The burgers I’ll be throwing on the grill came pre-formed from the meat locker.

 

When I was a kid my mom made all the burger patties we ate by hand.  We didn’t use a meat locker to process beef back then so no pre-formed patties for us.  Processing meat was a family affair. You can read about it here.

My mom didn’t just use hamburger to make the patties.  She added other things to the meat.  I couldn’t tell you everything that was added but I do know Quaker Quick Oats were part of the mix.

To some, this might sound like an odd ingredient but it didn’t phase me as a kid.  I loved those hamburgers (still do) and I never could tell that there were oats in the burgers.  They were moist, juicy, and meaty.

My wife thought it was strange when I suggested we try adding oats to our burgers when we were first married.  She trusted me, found a recipe that included them, and we enjoyed our burgers that way for years… until we started getting pre-formed burgers from the locker.

If you’ve never added oats to your burgers you should give it a try. Here’s a recipe similar to the one we’ve used.

Have you used oats in your burgers before? What’s a food you make that others might think has an unusual ingredient?

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