Monday, March 27, 2017

Texarkana Eggfest 2017

Judy and I drove up to Texarkana to cook at the Texarkana Eggfest on March 25th and had a good time.

But before the Eggfest, we drove to Lewisville, Arkansas, about 35 miles east of Texarkana, and stayed the weekend with our Egghead friends, Charlotte and Richard Harris.  Their home overlooks a private lake that only a select few even know about.  It is full of fish year round, ducks in season, and alligators pretty much anytime they want.  It is also home to some wood ducks and other rare feathered critters.  Very private...

Before we even left to drive up there, numerous weather reports ranged from heavy rain, high winds, possible large hail and tornado's were expected with the arrival of the front on Friday night.  And it was expected to arrive right while the pre-eggfest Meet & Greet was going on.  And it did....  But, only with rain and wind, no hail or tornado's.

The storm proceeded eastward and knocked the power out sometime during the night at the house, but was back on within four hours.  (I really don't know how those power guys can get the power back on so quickly while a storm is still in progress.  But I sure appreciate it.)

Saturday turned out beautiful, and the Eggfest went on as scheduled.  People started showing up hungry and looking for something to eat about 9:00 am, so us Cooks had to be cooking by 8:00 am.

Actually, in spite of the weather the night before, everything turned out really nice.

Although by Eggfest standards these days, it was kinda small with only about 15 Cook Teams cooking and serving an estimated 200 Tasters (my estimate) that drifted in and out throughout the day.

As usual, many came to 'just sample' the food and stayed all day.  Some returning three and four times to 'taste' the latest food off the different Cook's Eggs.  And there was a wide range of treats to select from, all of it good and most of it absolutely delicious.

We cooked our famous Magnum Loads and received a lot of comments about them being the best treat there.  The reason is probably due to there being 3 layers of sausage wrapped in bacon.

Yes, it's good...

Of course, we Cooks stayed busy until we ran out of food to serve.  I'm pretty sure no one went away hungry.  And I know for a fact that many went away amazed at what can be cooked on a Big Green Egg, and how it makes food taste so delicious.  I know because the last I heard, 30 Big Green Eggs were purchased, and others returned later to buy one.  And even more asked questions about recipes and just general information about the Egg.

I suspect many will add a Big Green Egg to their wish list.

Thanks to Charlotte and Richard for putting us up for the weekend, and feeding us breakfast.  It was fun.

Thanks also to the management and staff at Dot's Ace Hardware for really going all out to make it an enjoyable Eggfest for everyone.  The Cook's Gift Bags were very nice and much appreciated.

Finally, there was a photography/video crew taking lots of photos and videos, and conducting interviews with Cooks and Tasters alike.  I think they plan to make a video that can be shared with those who could not be there, or just to play in the store for customers who wonder what Eggheads do for fun.

With those guys doing all the camera work, I didn't even break out my camera, allowing me to have fun just cooking and tasting other Cook's treats.

Here's what their version turned out:  Texarkana Eggfest Video

It was a good weekend.  Now we prepare for the Athens Eggfest in two weeks.

I love being an Egghead.....

Sunday, March 19, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

We pulled off another fun St. Patrick's Day by wearing our 'green' to the H.E.B. Super Market where we got lots of smiles and comments, then to our favorite Mexican restaurant where we probably looked a little out of place, but who cares...  Then to Lowe's where one of the checkout ladies insisted on having her picture taken with us.

Meanwhile, I had been cooking a corned beef brisket flat in the sous vide for 48 hours to sear and cut up with some cabbage for a traditional Irish Dinner.  I also baked some Irish Soda Bread to go with it, and naturally, I had to make me some Irish Coffee.

It was a fun day, and I made videos to prove it.

Here's the dinner video: Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

And here's the Irish Soda Bread video: Irish Soda Bread

It's fun being Irish.

Sunday, March 05, 2017


Sushi has always been one of those foods that just never appealed to me. And it was really my fault that it didn't appeal to me. I never tried it, nor did I even care to see what it was other than some rice and raw fish wrapped in seaweed.

Well, my ignorance and unwillingness to to even try it or learn more about it was totally unfair to what I now know to be a delightfully delicious food that can be a welcome change of pace to the foods I have eaten all of my life.

Granted, I haven't tried all the many variations of sushi and probably never will. There are many recipes that take culinary genius to a new level. I'm probably going to remain a novice at it so I'll likely stick with the sushi that has ingredients I'm somewhat familiar with, albeit prepared very close to a stove of some kind.

Our favorite grocery stores H.E.B. and Kroger have sushi counters where you can purchase a wide range of sushi that is freshly prepared before your eyes. The sushi chefs even encourage you to taste some of their products, freely offering samples to try. So for no investment in time or money, you can experience the flavor of sushi right there in the store. I urge you to do just that the next time you are in a grocery with a sushi bar.

That being said, I'm one who likes to take a food idea and run in a different direction with it. So I decided to see how I could combine the Magic of the Big Green Egg with sushi. Yes, I know it's a stretch but the old adage, 'nothing ventured, nothing gained" kept urging me to try. So we did....

And, I made some video's of what we (Judy got involved as well) decided to try. Although it is not exactly 'Sushi,' or even close to being sushi, our creations were sushi inspired. Here's some of what we came up with:

BLT Sushi Roll

Sushi Breakfast - Chicken Ranch Style

Meanwhile, I'm learning how to make the sushi rice (it's not regular rice at all), probably the main ingredient in sushi, and how to add other ingredients including smoked salmon, fruits and vegetables that enhance the overall flavors of the sushi roll.

I'll probably practice using my chop sticks too, and maybe learn a few Japanese words along the way.

It's all fun anyway, so why not make it tasty by learning something new?