I've Eaten A Hamdog!Written by Ed Williams
Remember a little while back when I wrote a column about that culinary vision of delight, hamdog? And remember how I told y’all what a hamdog was (a hot dog with a burger patty wrapped around it, deep fried, and then served in a hoagie roll along with bacon, cheese, chili, onions, and topped off with a fried egg)? And remember how I asked one of y’all to please get in contact with Chandler Goff, man who created hamdog? Well, guess what? One of y’all did!
That’s right, someone (who’s asked to remain anonymous) contacted Chandler, he emailed me, and this past weekend I went up to Mulligan’s, Chandler’s bar, to enjoy my first ever hamdog! And believe me, folks, it won’t be my last!
Mulligan’s is a great little neighborhood bar, it’s part of a small shopping center over in Decatur and is a very low keyed place. I arrived there around twelve thirty pm, walked in, and saw some booths, tables, and chairs. It almost reminded me of a small diner, but then I walked up on a platform and entered main bar area. I saw a long bar with plenty of chairs and a couple of pool tables nearby. I could tell that I was gonna like place, and then I noticed someone behind bar, so I walked over and discovered it was Chandler. We shook hands and immediately started talking, and I discovered that Chandler is a really bright, good natured guy. He and bar sort of run each other, if that makes any sense at all.
After a few minutes spent gabbing, Chandler went in back and brought out my hamdog. My mouth gaped open when I saw it - it had to be almost a foot long and six or seven inches high. What really set it off was that fried egg sitting up on top of it. Chandler included a lot of fries with it, and I was glad that I had picked water to drink as it was obvious that I was going to need every bit of room my stomach possessed to conquer it. And conquer it I did - I ate every single bite and did so using just my hands, I didn’t have to resort to cutting it up with a knife or anything. It was pure heaven, fries were great, and for desert Chandler served up a fried Twinkie - I kid y’all not, a fried Twinkie (a regular Twinkie rolled into crushed up Captain Crunch crumbs, fried, and then topped off with chocolate and cherry sauce). It was so good that it made my tongue wiggle around like a fishing lure about to be dropped into a dark part of a pond.
Holiday Cookie ExchangeWritten by Chris, WebAdmin.
With Christmas holidays coming up, many cooks will be looking at lots of baking and preparations for parties and get-togethers not to mention big day itself. How can you reduce stress and still put out a variety of tasty treats for family and friends? Try a cookie exchange.
The general idea of a cookie exchange is a group of friends each bake a batch of cookies to be shared amongst group. Each member concentrates on and only has to purchase ingredients for one recipe but still gets a variety of goodies to offer at their own home. You need ground rules and everyone has different ideas so it is a good idea to discuss details in advance so everyone knows their role.
For some parties there is a strict rule about cookies being homemade. At others gathering is more important so if a member feels a time crunch at last minute they can choose to buy something from bakery. Store bought bagged cookies would be taboo but bakery, homemade-like would be okay.
First, agree on a timeline. Make sure each member can make commitment and ask that they each set aside baking time at least a few days before scheduled exchange (that way they have time to bake and time to fix it if something goes wrong). Another reason you might want to bake cookies early is they "cure" a bit. Fresh cookies don't really transport well and tend to crumble badly during exchange.
Ask your members to send you their recipes so you can make copies for others and ensure that no two are making same cookies (don't forget, variety is key!). They don't all have to bake cookies either, bars and macaroons work really well too. It is a nice idea if they include a few lines about why they chose this recipe or any memories they have of making or eating these cookies. Sharing details of how recipe was once grandma's or how you set fire to kitchen one time while baking them is half fun of party! Create a booklet of recipes and memories for each member to keep. If you have a digital camera you could even take pics at party of cookies and members to include in booklets.