Monday, October 26, 2009

Paen to Max

Max (Maxine) is my 4 year old boxer. I got Max from an animal shelter. My guess is that Max made it to the shelter because she was too much for the original owners. My vet proclaimed Max the bipolar boxer.

Be aware that MAx's name was carefully chosen before I got her. My previous dog was a very loving Doberman, Steffi. Steffi was at first declared to be Boris, named after Boris Becker, the famous German tennis player. Subsequent examination proved him to be her, so Steffi she became. Kind of like Walter/Wendy Carlos.

When people come to visit, I always have Max outside. If they misguidedly say they want to meet her, I acquiesce. Then they are gleefully attacked, with love.

Max is a perfect lady in the house with me, and I wouldn't trade her for anything.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Olfactory Nostalgia

Serendipity has forcefully struck again!

I belong to a group of rabid Nebraska Cornhusker fans who meet at a local sports bar to watch football, quaff our favorite beverages, and nosh a bit.

Our fearless leader, Chuck Elles, asked if anyone could think of Nebraska food tastes that could be incorporated into the bar's fare. My mind drifted back youthward for inspiration. Eureka! Runzas! Runzas are soft, filled baked sandwiches that originated in Lincoln during the late 40's. I remember getting them from the original stand. This kind of dates me. Runzas are stuffed with ground beef, onions, cabbage, and of course, double secret spices. Whenever I return to Nebraska, an immediate Runza Hut stop is mandatory. The menu has expanded considerably over time, but I am a purist and always get the genuine article.

There is a Runza web site ( but unfortunately they are legally prohibited from shipping the sandwiches. Rats!! In spite of this gloomy bit of information, I continued to browse the site. Heavens to murgatroid, they bake and CAN and DO ship Miller and Paine recipe cinnamon rolls. M&P was a department store with a cafeteria and bake shop. As an aside, the cafeteria served the all time greatest chicken pot pie. Might be a toughie to ship. Anyways and which, the rolls are a dietician's worst nightmare. Have to be 1000 calories or more each, and they aren't all that big. Lots of butter and sugar. But delicious.

I ordered 4 dozen (minimum allotment), and they arrived per advertisement within 3 days. As a scientific experiment, I presented samples to my 2 sisters who both were able to identify their precise identity with no problem, even though it's been a few years (decades?) since any of us had tasted them. My younger sister recalled that she and I usually had the rolls at Grandma's after I abducted sis following Sunday school so we (mainly me) could escape going to Church. Grandma Harriet was easy.

My last gustatory memory is the kolache. There are middle European enclaves throughout the US that thankfully have preserved the art of kolache baking. Kolaches are flatish pastries that can be either savory or sweet, although my experience with them was always the sweet variety. I found a recipe for cream cheese kolache cookies, which satisfy the urge. Mine are apricot or prune filled, the flavors I remember. You need a stand mixer or the arms of a blacksmith to crank out the dough. I've got the mixer. No doubt my golf game would improve if I opted for manual preparation.

I'm sure everyone has fond childhood memories of food. Feel free to share!




Miller and Paine rolls