The whole beer/burger thing got me thinking about the good ol’ Kollege Klub, or KK, in Madison, WI. Ate, drank, flirted, fought, laughed, cried, kissed, sang, yelled, stole, danced on tables, spoke Portuguese, fell, cooked, served drinks dressed as a French maid, and even poured alcohol directly into people’s mouths, as they lay in a dentist’s chair, in a short stint as Dr. Shots, all at the KK. Whew. Quite the place. And it’s still fun to raise hell there when Cami, our friend Michelle, and I get together for Homecoming every few years, because the place never changes. Even our preternaturally preserved boss (we all three worked there), Bruce Meier, still rules the roost, flirting with the girls, talking shit with the guys – the only difference is now his sons don’t come in for french fries, they come in for beer (that blew us away last time and made us feel real old, which attending homecoming celebrations anywhere has a tendency to do). Good fried cheese curds, I could go for some right now. Mmmm…
Snap back to reality here, my short stint as Picture Person went well this morning. Fourth grade is such a terrific age – they’re sharp and funny but still basically polite and interested. Good combination. Despite the ability to serve drinks dressed as a French maid and smoothly pour upside down shots into the mouths of rowdy, drunk frat guys, I’d be as intimidated as hell talking art in front of a group of jaded 8th graders, eek. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I’m sure when I was screaming at the KK with Cami, Michelle, Polly, and my other Gamma Phi Beta sorority sisters, I didn’t think I could talk art to a group of 4th graders. As if that was even anywhere on my radar – ha! I never guessed I’d be so adaptable. Bring it on!
Speaking of adaptable, I’ve gotten pretty good at squeezing some variety out of the VERY few ingredients that appeal to all members of this family. Here’s the list:
chicken (but only roasted)
I’ve already outlined the whole roasted chicken/rice thing. Tonight I’m using steak and pasta, by making optional stroganoff. As in, for those who will eat stroganoff, there will be sauce, and for those who don’t, plain steak and plain pasta. It works. You’ll see on other Wednesdays my attempts to mix those ingredients up. Optional cobb salad, chicken noodle soup, optional steak tacos, etc. So stay tuned… (I’ll post recipe for optional stroganoff in comments, below.)
Oh, and if you’re interested in the life and times of a current (and adorable and fun, we would happily have been friends with this girl!) Badger, KK bartender, and Gamma Phi Beta sorority sister, check out this photo blog I stumbled on looking for a link to the KK. You really think you want your kids to go to college? Think again… Gulp. Just ‘cuz I lived it and loved it doesn’t mean I want Nathan to! At least not when I see it in pictures. Go Badgers. Eeek.
Nathan’s home now and I’m doing one of my favorite things – making dinner while he does his homework in the kitchen. A would be here doing hers too, but she’s got play practice until 6 pm, so she’ll join us in a bit. It’s actually still (sort of) light out at 5 pm, ah, another sign of impending spring in Minnesota. I may be a l..o..n..g way from my life in Madtown (thank god! When I look at these pictures, and as fun as it was, oh my, thank god…), but I still crave spring the way I did in college. A beer, on the terrace, in the sun? Oh! That sounds so fab. Then again a glass of champagne, in my kitchen, with my family, that’s damn fab too. And so much more moderate, ha.
Stroganoff was a hit, both with sauce and without (I guess it’s not really stroganoff without sauce, but you know what I mean). I like a simple stroganoff, no bells and whistles, basically the beef, onion, stock, salt and pepper, and sour cream. Delicious. The beef is sliced, salted, and allowed to rest for bit. Then quickly browned and removed to a plate, leaving behind flavorful, crispy drippings in the pan, the key to the yummy sauce. The whole things comes together in about 30 minutes, definitely doable on a weeknight. It’s a classic.