Breonna’s parents are out of town so she is staying at my place for a couple days, so we went for a drive and just drove until we found some place she wanted to eat. She chose Olive Garden:
The food was bad, but she had fun, so that is all that matters. Took the back way home (and I realize full well that the “normal way” is what most of you would consider back roads), and as we were approaching a bridge we saw something on it. Slowed down, and it was a turtle in the middle of the bridge.
That is no place for a turtle, and not wanting it to get run over, I pulled the car over to the side, stopped, and got out to move it. There’s a lot of snapping turtles in these here parts, so I went up and looked at it, and it had an almost flat shell that was all od green with no coloring, and a big nub on the end of it’s nose, so I didn’t know what it was but knew it was not a snapping turtle. Regardless, I know who I am and have 50 years of experience injuring myself in the most peculiar manner possible, and figured “bled out from a bite from a snapping turtle” was right on brand.
So I went back to the car, found some gloves, then remembered that I had a big pair of silicon oven mitts from the time I took a lasagne to the chambers house when Bob died, and forgot to bring them back in. So I put them on, went up to the turtle walking as quietly as possible so as not to spook it, leaned over to pick it up, and as soon as I so much as brushed it the fucker took off like a rocket.
It ran on the yellow line all the way to the end of the bridge and stopped, which was good, because at least he got winded before I did. I then picked up the turtle, walked him into the woods, set him down, and walked back to the car where Breanna was hysterical. “That was a fast turtle,” she said, and we giggled the rest of the way home.
FWIW, the turtle was an Eastern Spiny Softshell- I looked it up when I got back home:
Also, as a quick FYI, there is an appropriate way to pick up turtles so as not to harm them, which for some reason I knew already (because of course I did my head is filled with worthless shit like this but ask me to remember what I went to the kitchen for 20 seconds after I go and I will draw a blank), but should you ever find yourself in this situation, remember to do it this way.
You are very, very smart to have used those mitts. You got off lucky with it not biting you. Softshells a way meaner than snapping turtles. Softshell turtles are murderous bastards.
ngl I love me some endless breadsticks and salad, just don’t expect too much out of the entrees.
(Inhales, preparing to start a calm, reasoned discussion…)
(Exhales and subsides, since everything has been said.)
There’s nothing about using oven mitts at that link.
Sounds like a good day.
That turtle is on his own blog right now, describing the encounter:
“I was minding my own business when this guy with big mitts tried to grab me. Of course I ran as fast as I could but he grabbed me anyway. If I’d had any blue slime I would have doused him with it. Open thread.”
A friend is a gourmet cook and she loves Olive Garden.
Can’t stand it meself.
H’mmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmmmm
Are we on track to discover the first provable Behavioral Genetics sex-linked characteristic?
Man, that’s a whole lot of turtle rules.
I feel lucky to ever see them, most commonly Pacific pond turtles sunning on a snag poking into the river. I ask them why so-called “pond” turtles are living in the main stem of the state’s largest river but they’re silent on the topic. Need to sneak very slowly to get even a little bit close, they plop into the water at any sign of danger. They’re also very particular about their sunning spots and since snags change from year to year, it’s not always possible to see them.
I don’t care either way about the food at Olive Garden. It’s their attitude that bothers me.
My wife and I went… once. They made us wait 30 minutes for a table, but the place was half empty. And then when my wife said she needed more time to decide what she wanted, the waitress very ostentatiously rolled her eyes while walking away.
Emma from Miami
My sister and I have a ritual: mani/pedi and Olive Garden. We order the soup and salad and gorge on the salad and breadsticks. If we’re hungry, we get the grilled salmon or chicken. Much sisterly bonding is had.
Why go to Olive Garden when there’s a perfectly good Applebee’s on the way there?
Never ate at either. The in-laws were yuge Applebee’s customers and I guess it’s the utter predictability from coast to coast that elevates them. Pictures of the food on the menus?
@Anoniminous: Absofuckinglutely NOT. I’ll eat the salad, soup and breadsticks, but eating their entrees is not something I will do. I learned pasta from a woman from Milan whose husband was from Sicily. Not touching that stuff at OG.
@natem: I like their salad dressing and buy it at the grocery store; it has an excellent level of garlic.
Emma from Miami
@geg6: The secret of eating at Olive Garden: don’t eat Italian.
Olive Garden is to Italian food as McDonald’s is to Scottish cuisine.
@Emma from Miami:
Like I said, soup, salad and breadsticks. That’s all I need if I’m forced to go there. Which I guess I need to since my BILs keep giving John and I gift cards for OG.
ETA: Just remembered that Bahama Breeze is also part of those gift cards. I can get some fish tacos instead.
“I’ll have the Royale with
You’re a Good Egg for moving the turtle out of harm’s way!
If it’s any consolation, the turtle was incredibly motivated to beat feet asap.
Imagine if something a thousand times your size appeared in the sky and bent down towards you, and you had no idea what it wanted with you. You’d probably reach Mach 1 getting outta there.
I saw this story and my first thought was “Oh no, not John Cole!”
” The food was bad, but she had fun, so that is all that matters. ”
I thought the whole idea of Olive Garden was to gorge yourself to explosion on low grade fake Italian grub. That’s why I go.
Bottom line of the post for me is that Cole is truly the nexus of synchronicity. Mass quantities of bad Italian food, then wrangling turtle with oven mitts used to deliver mass quantities of (hopefully better) Italian food.
Clearly the spirit of Tunch still directing Cole’s fate.
A few weeks ago I stopped to rescue a 10-12 inch round turtle who had started crossing a 3 lane busy road. Luckily there was a second lane in my direction so vehicles could go around. Used 2 of linked turtle rules: gentle pick up and 180 turn to send it back towards the pond it came from. Like to think it’s been living it’s best life ever since.
I hate seeing the rare flattened road kill turtle.
this is the full-service blog I came for. OG is horrible, but delicious in a way you regret later. Well, that can happen many ways
“Try the McClootie. Sticks to your ribs. And to everything else.”
@Morzer: IIRC, Cole has been repeatedly warned by alert and concerned BJ commenters to stay away from parks and museums with life-size dinosaur statues that an accident-prone person could crawl into and die.
Emma from Miami
@geg6: In our neighborhood OG it’s families and retirees. You know what I can’t eat since I visited Italy? Pizza. The glorious thing called pizza in Italy has nothing to do with the burned-cheese-and-half-cooked tomato sauce stuff in the US.
Very cool looking turtle, but I don’t trust anything with Spiny in the name!
Once when I was leaving work there was a little box turtle crossing the road out of the lab. I picked him up (he didn’t try to run), took him into the trees in the direction he was heading, and put him down. It did not occur to me to rotate him. I’m sorry I picked you up the wrong way, little box turtle!
@germy: I think we can now close this thread.
I want to marry this post from John.
@Benw: How long before a very large box turtle writes in to the blog swearing vengeance? You must admit, that would be the ultimate BJ moment.
@WaterGirl: You are just going to trigger a round of legislative panic in red states if you go around saying things like this.
@Morzer: And it was a papier mache dinosaur, too. Somehow, that made it even sadder for me. A stegosaurus.
It’s like getting knifed by Barney.
This was years ago, when their commercials first started appearing. My wife was curious.
I teased her about it for a while after our visit. Every time we’d see an Olive Garden commercial, I’d say “Hey, that looks good! Want to give them a try?”
@NotMax: Ye gods. First time I’ve seen suet used for anything but a bird feeder.
@Elizabelle: That does make the story even more on-brand for Cole though.
Well the intertubes say your turtle is as aggressive as snappers! Having encountered big snappers in our backyard pond in Ohio I cobgratulate you on the oven mits. Kevlar, good idea! Although our Ohio snappers had massive jaws that meant business. If the bite didn’t get you the huge leeches and assorted residents would – or they would have polished off the remaining bits.
We didn’t swim in the pond…..
BTW The Spiney Soft Turtle is sleek, unlike snappers.
And…there were those huge Alligator Snapping Turtles in Arkansas, a state like Australia, where moving things were dangerous. In Arkansas the hominids were among them back in the dawn of time.
“I’ll have the quarter-pounder McHaggis, the Firth of Forth fries, and a Loch Ness shake.”
Sadder turtle crossing the road story. When we first moved to Florida, my mentor teacher buddy told of stopping to help a big soft shell across a busy road. Having deposited it safely on the side of the road to which it had been headed, he pulled away while glancing in his mirror to make sure it stayed out of danger. Almost immediately, a ratty old pickup pulled over, a guy jumped out of the passenger side and grabbed the turtle and threw it in the back. “Dinner” was the one word answer my buddy gave me when I asked why they did that.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@NotMax: one of the worst meals of my life– ‘one of’ only because I’m making allowances for middle/high school cafeterias– was at an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh. And before anyone feels the needs to say it, you will not be the first person to say: “Why the fuck did you even walk into an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh?”
In cases like this, my motto is Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! And it probably doesn’t hurt to offer up a few human sacrifices. Well, doesn’t hurt me, I mean….
“DON’T gesture with your hands while holding a turtle.”
Words to live by. Maybe even better than the standard advice to avoid making important financial decisions right after awaking from sedation.
I saw a man do this in Michigan once and it really made my day. I did not know why he was standing in the middle of the road with his arms out, but I figured it was important and when he bent down to get the turtle I understood. He just carried it barehanded to the side of the road and pointed it towards the trees. The lady at the stop sign to my right applauded.
That is one good-looking reptile.
We had an Eastern ratsnake at our house yesterday. When we first saw it, the snake was draped across a pile of mulch so we could see just how long – 4 feet – it was. Most of the time snakes hurry away when they see you, but this one sauntered away (so to speak), first going under a shrub then across our driveway over a period of several minutes. It was pretty cool.
“I don’t see anything I like. Just bring me an alligator pear salad.”
@Emma from Miami: Ever eaten pizza in New Haven?
Mike in NC
The closest Olive Garden to us is about an hour away. Good!
“What’re you all laughing at? I swear to Chelone I really was flying.”
That is the good stuff. And if you want weird and often overpriced pizza, Korea is the place to be.
@Anoniminous: I had to separate your long hmmm because it was breaking the margins on phones.
@germy: Lacking a wife, I sometimes tease my sister about Golden Corral. She was once seated facing the buffet, and got to watch as a customer used the serving spoons to take a taste of each dish…
Which reminds me, I recently heard a poll of things Americans think won’t ever go back to the way they were pre-pandemic. Buffets were #1 on the list; #2 was bowling, or at least the part where you stick your fingers into a ball, then use the same fingers to eat your chicken strips and fries.
Great A’Tuin is NOT amused.
“You murdered my father. Prepare to die!”
Emma from Miami
@HinTN: No. But I won’t risk disillusion. Thin crust with a little dusting of cheese and a pileup of minced fresh vegetables (we saw them being delivered) and a generous sprinkle of the local olive oil. Sweet Jesus, what an amazing lunch.
@Morzer: I’d leave the internet for like a whole month
“I was setting up a great joke, but Rabbi Katz chickened out and didn’t follow me in with the parrot.”
@trollhattan: Many years ago I made a Plum Pudding that was nearly identical. Plums = raisins and dried currants. It included lots of shredded carrots as well. It was marinated in brandy and / or whiskey and served with a concoction called hard sauce that was butter, sugar, spices, and a touch of brandy. You could slice this sugar and butter “sauce”. It was heavenly if your digestion was young and robust.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist
Sounds as if it was owned by the same family running the Chinese restaurant I was taken to by locals in Aberdeen in 1974.
“Dunno what this is but it can’t possibly fall under any conceivable definition of food.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Emma from Miami: I was getting styled at the Hair Barn one time, and mentioned to the young coiffeuse that I was leaving for Europe in a few days. She said she’d never really wanted to go, especially since her sister had spent a week in Italy and couldn’t eat anything. “We picked her up at the airport, and she was like, ‘take me to Taco Bell, take me to Pizza Hut now!'”
@Morzer: So many questions. Never mind how did the guy get INTO the mouth of the stegosaurus statue………..how did he even drop his cellphone in there in the FIRST place? A Tyrannosaurus, I could see but………………..? The game’s afoot, Watson!
@NotMax: Yeah, but you gotta love the McHaggis. ETA: late to the party again….
Emma from Miami
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: being among barbarians deadens the soul.
@Emma from Miami: That sounds more like a taco than pizza.
Restaurant rule for travelers: Bypass any establishment with the words Golden, Station or Depot in its name.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
OTOH one of the best Italian meals I ever had was at a little town called Bedford in the middle of England. I couldn’t believe it. Seems there was a POW camp there in WWII and after the war some of the prisoners decided to stay. You never know!
@NotMax: There’s no sauna at the Golden Shower?
@Emma from Miami: I was in Italy many decades ago, and had some local pizza. I remember not being impressed at all, as it was basically focaccio bread with herbs, tomato, and cheese. Much preferred the US variety!
Maybe there’s a big regional difference. (It was too long ago, so I don’t remember exactly which city we were in.)
“Is this the Parma ham of which I’ve heard tell?”
“We call it Benito ham. Gets its unique texture from hanging upside-down outdoors.”
@Emma from Miami: Well, if you’re ever there, Modern Apizza (http://modernapizza.com/) is the place to eat. Sally’s ain’t bad neither.
@Emma from Miami: In Bologna the owner brought an incredibly thin, incredibly simple pizza a few minutes after we sat down. It was tomato sauce applied so it was see through plus olive oil. That was it. I still remember the vibrant flavor thirty years later. I have no idea how he achieved such a miracle.
Doesn’t look as bad as I feared.
@Ken: well, I would say it was your odds of a good meal in Edinburgh was better at an Italian restaurant then a average Scots restaurant (Haggis, need I say more.).
Chacal Charles Caltrop
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: travel is so broadening, as Mr. Lewis used to say….
@Dan B: It’s all in the wrist.
We have turtles in a pond at work and because they’re not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, they wander off fairly often and are at risk of getting squashed by vehicles and the like. This morning, saw one apparently trying to get in to the physics building, not realizing that you need a keycard because the door was locked. Anyway, I picked it up and carried it back to the pond. Ours don’t bite, but they do occasionally piss in fear when carried, so one does have to be a bit careful.
I like haggis. There, I’ve said it. Would skip the fish at the chipper when we stooped in during pub crawls and order haggis ‘n’ chips.
Tempted (slightly) to order the canned version through Amazon but deep down know it could never measure up to fresh.
I tried to pick up a snapping turtle one time, also to get it off a bridge. I was picking it up from the back, and that sucker reared up on its back legs and hissed at me, baring it’s teeth. I left it alone.
@dmsilev: Now that would really have been the perfect climax to the story of John Cole: Turtle Savior – “And then the little… critter …. pissed on me!”
Yeah. The “Open thread.” was the — chef’s kiss.
softshells are CUTE! They DO have long necks, though, and can reach around very effectively to bite…always handle one by the back of the shell (and also wash afterwards, because E.coli/Salmonella, etc.) They are also a lot quicker and smarter than your average turtle and can put those feet down when on land. When I was out on the mail route one day, I came across two of them hanging out in the middle of the backroad I was on. One bailed out over the side in a hurry, but the other one was blocked by my car, and had to hoof it along ~ 10 feet of pavement in front of me before getting to a spot where it could drop over into the grass. I can still hear the sound of those little feet slapping away whappity-whap on the concrete. They were pretty big, too, I’d say 8-10 inches in diameter….Made my day…I have always like softshells – my mother raised one from a tiny tot for many years, kept in a turtle bowl next to her chair at her house in FL.
@Emma from Miami:
Pizza was largely perfected in America. It only has a loose family connection to what they do in Italy.
ETA: Had a co-worker who complained about all the terrible food he had to endure while on vacation in Italy. He was upset that he could not get something good like meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
I’ve never been to Olive Garden, but strangely enough, the Red Lobster near here used to be quite good.
Emma from Miami
@Morzer: nope. definitely pizza. fresh tomatoes, not tomato sauce.
Modern was my place.
Have you seen the documentary about New Haven pizza? They flashed a picture of my favorite pizzaiolo, Billy from Modern, although it’s under different management now.
Out of fashion now, however beef suet traditionally had a myriad of uses in the kitchen.
@Emma from Miami: Whether or not it’s authentically Italian, pizza at Sally’s or Modern in New Haven is delicious. You won’t be disappointed.
Emma from Miami
You say tomayto I say tomahto… I say Italian pizza is better.
Emma from Miami
@zhena gogolia: In the discover this city list, then.
The best pizza I have ever had was in NYC, back when individual pizzas first became a thing, at Nick and Eddie’s: Smoked duck and wild mushroom.
This is me and my buddy over at Hamilton, IL many moons ago. The snapper wanted some of me!
Fun fact: The only thing containing olives at The Olive Garden is the salad, and it contains exactly two of them.
@Morzer: That is known in the trade as a “death by misadventure”
One of the tourists on a budget weekend trip to Paris from Great Britain (this is in an old movie) spends nearly every waking hour inside a place named Britannia Bar. “Only place in this city you can get a decent pint.”
Back in the 1990s I was with my then-partner in a truck on a dirt road in rural Louisiana. A turtle or tortoise (not sure which) was in the middle of the road- not safe. Being a kind guy, my ex got out and lifted the turtle (tortoise?) by the edge of the road to move it to safety. He did not turn it end over end, just lifted by the edges of the shell toward the rear of the animal. It turned out the reptile had an unexpected mode of defense- backwards projectile urination. The volume was amazing for such a small animal. When he returned to the truck he was drenched, and the smell was really bad. His only remark: “if you laugh at this I will never forgive you”. (I didn’t laugh.)
@NotMax: Of course, you’re aware that the best dish ever invented in Scotland is chicken tikka masala.
@Brachiator: “Pizza was largely perfected in America.”
I don’t know much about the history of pizza. But unless you are in a good Italian restaurant, recently the US perfecting has gone south.
I can melt a pound of low grade cheese on soggy bread and sprinkle some sauce on it at home. Though, I never get around to doing that.
@zhena gogolia: I ate at Frank Pepe in Warwick but I think it’s a New Haven joynt.
she’s not cooking !
Yeah, that’s one of the families.
“Ach, needs more oatmeal.”
@Morzer: The first time we went to Seoul, I had a pizza craving(actually cheese), we went to Itaewon and had lunch at Pizza Hut.
@zhena gogolia: They had the longest damn paddles I’ve ever seen!!
Papa Del’s, Champaign, IL.
I wonder what was going on. Had a large group made a reservation? Did they have some problem in the kitchen?
But after 10 minutes max, someone should have apologized to you, offered you drinks, appetizers, something.
No excuse for stuff like this. This is where I would have a quiet word with the manager.
Here is a cute little comic that also explains what you should do if you find a turtle crossing the road: https://www.birdandmoon.com/comic/found-a-turtle-crossing-the-road/
First of all, turtles are faster than we think.
Second of all, you are good people, Cole?
J R in WV
While our newer puppies were just getting used to our farm (they were born and raised on a goat dairy, so used to the countryside) in late fall they were digging up hibernating box turtles. The early ones, I took a mile up to the head of the hollow and released. Later on, they brought one home that was a little injured on a hind leg, and it was cold enough I didn’t think the injured turtle could successfully dig in for the winter.
So I took him to our Vet clinic. We’ve been seeing Dr B since we first moved to Charleston, he’s probably in his 70s now… when I went back into the medical part of the clinic, Dr B got up, grinned and said “You brought me a turtle!” He looked at the injured hind leg, said it wasn’t bad, and that his wife had a big compost pile in their back yard that attracted lots of turtles, told me he would take it home where it would be happy all winter since the compost pile was warm.
Years ago driving up to Beckley on I-77/64 I saw a snapping turtle the size of a spare tire, a big one from a truck. I thought about trying to take it off the four lane, but it was probably too heavy, and also dangerous… was F’in huge.
When I went to Olive Garden, I used to order the all you can eat soup and salad.
2 chicken and gnocchi
1 pasta fagiolie
Couple of breaksticks later
I am ready to go home.
Always take the entree home.,
Adjust your expectations, people. Not every place has authentic [insert ethnic food] available the drop of a hat. And I know we’re keen mock Fitzgerald, but his advice from Nick’s dad in Gatsby is good: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone” he told me “just remember that all the people in the world haven’t had the advantages as you’ve had.”
And then there were the Turtle Races at the Possum Trot in Danville.
@raven: My wife worked there for a while. There was/is? also Garcia’s Flying Tomato Brothers for a quick slice, the first place I ever went to that sold by the slice
Edited to add that a quick google shows they just celebrated 50 years in the biz.
Amazingly enough, there are not one but two perfectly respectable pizza joints in the northern suburbs of Austin—Niki’s in Cedar Park and Saccone’s in Leander. Saccone’s has the balls to cover the walls of their dining area with old Jersey license plates, but they can back it up.
@cope: Ralph and Joe, the Flying Tomato Brothers! and the hot air balloon. They were buddies with a brother and sister duo that owned a pizza place here in Athens when I moved here. Da Vinci’s was quote good.
Good on you, JC, and for showing the young’un what a kind and caring mind looks like in action. Even better to let her pick the place to eat and not give her shit about it.
I can tell you the names of people I haven’t seen or heard from in years, I can sing you lyrics from songs that haven’t been heard by anyone in decades, I can tell you what MrsFromOhio said to the children when they were little, but I will be Gaia-damned if I can remember where the hell I left my Gaia-damned phone when I’m trying to leave the house.
@cope: And then there was Irving Azzoff
One summer afternoon on my way home from work I had to stop for a guy trying to help an enormous turtle cross the street. The turtle was the size of a child’s sand box and the guy had stopped traffic so it could go from a pond on one side of the road to a pond on the other side of the road. Fortunately it was a side road through a housing development so the speed limit was about 35.
Lots of variations on this basic story. We have to thank the ancient Greeks as well as the Italians.
The rest is history. Or something like that.
Pizza is street food. It is still easy to find good pizza most places. And I tend to prefer dedicated pizza joints over an Italian restaurant that also does pizza.
@raven, I got tired of waiting for that book on hold from the library and just went ahead and bought one, “You Don’t Belong Here” by Elizabeth Becker. It’s pretty good, got me looking some things up from that era. Thanks for the recommendation.
@BruceFromOhio: The stuff about Francis’ mom having a relationship with Adlai Stevenson and being with him when he dropped dead was pretty interesting. I met a guy in and antique shop in Panama City that said he was at 881 and remembered Catherine LeRoy.
Purists will mope and whine but it’s high time to phase out coal-fired ovens, also too.
@raven: That’s cool about Azoff. Used to head to Danville after the bars closed in Champaign.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: one of my volleyball teammates took a trip to Paris while stationed in Europe with the Air Force. when asked “how was the food?” the response was met with stunned silence. “I ate at the Burger King by the hotel.”
@cope: Danville or Westville?
@cope: Have you seen the Champaign pages on the Great Hollywood Hangover”
Did you know “Chef Ra”?
@raven: She did a lot of memorable things, as I’m reading it! I really like how Becker goes into the background on the region, and the various leaders as she tells the story of LeRoy, Webb, and FitzGerald. Really well-written and informative without getting judgemental.
Stevenson was younger than me when he passed, and that gave me pause! Thanks again.
@raven: East on I-74 to Danville, home of the Van Dyke brothers.
@cope: Westville is just south of Danville and had a bar that was always open. The town had a coal mine and a GM plant so there was lot’s of second shift action.
@BruceFromOhio: The only thing that got me was the way she lauded LBJ’s phony fucking Silver Star at the beginning. I almost couldn’t read it.
@raven: There was a place just off 74 we used to go to. And I will be checking out the Hollywood Hangover stuff, thanks.
@Morzer: At least it might be a distraction for them; perhaps it would slow down their efforts to stop people from voting!
@Ken: Funny! I was catching up on Suits this weekend and in one episode two of the partners went bowling.
I watched them and wonder “would I go bowling again?” My initial answer to myself was a shake of the head.
@cope: I worked at Garcia’s many moons ago, way back when Ralph would pull out the coke on weekend nights after the store closed.
I always liked Joe, but I thought Ralph was kind of a dick.
edit: I see that I am chatting away with myself on an abandoned thread.
@Emma from Miami: Funny, my memories of pizza in Italy were horrible. American pizza can be much better. It often isn’t, but I know how to make excellent pizza. Italy had Burnt crusts and tomato paste not sauce and not enough cheese. I got the impression it wasn’t considered real Italian, just something American tourists asked for.
of course that was decades ago.
Just One More Canuck
@John Revolta: death by thagomizer
@jl: dough is easy to mix. One of the tricks to good pizza is to use skim milk cheese. Regular cheese has too much oil when melted and the crust turns out soggy.
Another issue is vegetables. Fresh veggies have a lot of water in them and can make a pizza soggy if you use too many. Try using somewhat dehydrated veggies, and don’t over do how many you use. You can chop and then let them dry some in the fridge.
@Morzer: I’m looking at the photo of the statue. How … why … huh
@Emma from Miami: I recommend fake pizza. I recently saw a “recipe” for making pizza at home with a tortilla as the base. I decided it was too much trouble, what with everything spilling off as you try to shove it in the oven, so I made a pizza quesadilla with diced red onion, goat cheese, mozzarella and parmesan, and a tomato sauce I made with home-roasted tomatoes/garlic. It was so good, I’m having it again tonight.
@WaterGirl: I checked.
J R in WV
LBJ’s phony silver star!! that must have ruined it for you, right up front!
@WaterGirl: Do you remember the Little Cesar’s Pizza place on Green near 1st? The guy who ran it in the mid 70s was Tony Curtis’ brother.
Edited to add that my grandmother used to say she talked to herself because she was the only sane one left.
@WaterGirl: I lived on Garcia’s when I was at UI, but Papa Del’s was a treat. The closest I’ve gotten to that style of pizza out here in California is Patxi’s. It’s a chain based in Sausalito, but they are all over the West.
There was a story going around that one of the “Garcia Brothers” had gotten out of going to Vietnam by starving himself to be underweight and developing diabetes or something. I don’t remember which one.
@cope: I’m trying to get your time frame. I was there from 69-84.
@raven: ‘72 until about ‘77.
I worked at Barnett’s Liquor store from about ‘74 until ‘77.
@cope: Wowzer, I was part of the Record Service and hung out at Chin’s. I have a number of pics on Champaign, Part 2 especially at the bottom of the page.
@raven: My major hangouts were Murphy’s, Alley Cat and Whitt’s End ( until I was 86ed). Oh and Deluxe Cafe especially on Friday Fish Sandwich Day.
Edited to add also White Horse Inn.
@cope: My wife’s softball team was sponsored by the Alley Cat. I worked nights at the post office and we drank at the De Luxe in the mornings.
@cope: Some Deluxe shots, bunch of my friends at the bar.
I’ve been to Red Lobster, a couple times a couple decades ago, when I lived in Pennsylvania. Not chosen by me! First time I was curious, second time quite reluctant but with a group.
I now keep fairly kosher, especially at home [which is the best place for lobster anyway] but if I want lobster ~ Red Lobster is not available here in Maine. Just can’t compete with decent seafood ;-)
I’ve actually had lots of excellent food in Scotland. Avoiding most of the really touristy places ~ tended to eat fish or vegetarian, as a way of keeping somewhat kosher. However, best lamb I ever had was on a trip before the trying to keep somewhat kosher, at a small hotel restaurant in Innerleithen. Late March, so perfect timing.
Had meals on a couple trips at a wonderful little Turkish restaurant in Inverness ~ and amazing fish [with fresh veg/potatoes] meals in Thurso, Mallaig, Kirkwall, Leverburgh, and Stromness [two coastal towns, three island, so fish was a reasonable and obvious choice].
@raven: Very cool, thanks. I was generally shooting pool in the back when I went there.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: Pizza Hut and Domino’s are very much present in Seoul. Last time I tried Pizza Hut, it was horrifyingly greasy, while Domino’s seems to regard salt as a mandatory double topping. Sad! Bigly!
@cope: I do not remember that. But there have been a zillion restaurants on that corner over the years, so I know the corner, at least.
@cope: I bet I bought liquor from you!
@Origuy: Papa Dels was always way better than Garcia’s. And Papa Dels eventually started selling by the slice at lunchtime, though the quality is/was hit and miss because they never throw out the pizza that gets old.
At least at Garcia’s we threw it away when it got too old.
Garcia’s went WAY down hill. The sauce was originally x number of humongous cans of crushed tomatoes and an equal number of humongous cans of tomato sauce. The mozzarella cheese was really high quality, as were all the ingredients. We made the sauce in a huge vat and mixed it with a gigantic electric beater of some kind.
Then they went with 1/2 the tomato stuff and replaced the other half of the volume with water and added beet powder. It was disgusting and the cheese would turn purple-ish from the beet powder when it sat too long.
And they went to some kind of fake cheese.
After all these years, Papa Dels still uses the same ingredients.
Maybe at an “average” Scottish restaurant, but there are wonderful restaurants everywhere in Scotland; you just have to know how to find them. The Michelin guide is always reliable. And personally I love haggis because it’s just like my grandma’s kishke. (But avoid haggis that’s been frozen and prepackaged).
@cope: Those were all my places! Except Whitt’s End. The name sounds familiar but I can’t picture it.
I’m certain we would have crossed paths.
I think this is one of my favorite blogpost titles, evah. One of them.
Jesus wept, Cole. Sometimes you are the funniest man on the webs.
“bled out from a bite from a snapping turtle” was right on brand.
You’d think that because I’m a political junkie and need validation from people who even if crazy are at least my kind of crazy, I’d come here for intelligent political discourse. This post made me realize that one of the things that really draws me is news of how JC most recently has gotten himself into the most fascinatingly bizarre situations. I’m pleased and amazed he escaped physically unscathed. This time. He probably could institute an entertainment cover charge. I guess I can settle for the pet and culinary adventures in between.
This was a good deed done well. I help tag sea turtles here in The Bahamas, but usually the only danger is going overboard into warm water.
Pet peeve: you mean silicone, with a final E, not silicon. Silicone is a soft rubbery substance containing siloxanes (Si-O-Si bonds sitting in the middle of some complex organic molecules). Silicon, without the final e, is a metal-like substance (technically a semimetal or metalloid, but crystalline silicon is shiny and metal-looking: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon for instance).
If it helps, you probably wouldn’t date a “silicon sister” as she’d be a robot, but the “silicone sister” that Manfred Mann sang about … well, you might not date her either, but at least she’d be a real live person. :-)