Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Feb 8, 2006 at 10:40am

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.

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Older Comments

  1. By Stephanie on February 23, 2006 at 10:52AM

    Awww, thanks Steve! And OK, here's an excerpt from the poem:

    Understand this was not my idea
    it was a bold suggestion by our friend Cory-a
    but now that it's happening it's not that bad
    though the concept did make me mad
    (my comment: so far, not-so-romantic, yes? Somewhat of a recovery in the next stanza:)

    So I guess I should recite a V-day love line
    to reflect my gratitude that you are mine
    so let me say without reservation (my comment - not quite!)
    that you're the love of my life for all of salvation

    So there it is. Some very nice sentiments embedded in overall irritation. Hmmm...

  2. By Eric Abate on February 22, 2006 at 10:40AM

    Does VD mean Valentines Day or some unmentionable desease in your world? Rumor has it that you were hoping for a love sonnet or some other poetic expression of love from the big guy on the 14th, but that he missed the mark to say the least.

    If you are going to blog, give us a glimpse of the shit. Post your VD verses of affection.


    P.S. If I hade a babe like you, I would write you (think a modern day Rilke) every hour on the hour.

  3. By Stephanie on February 8, 2006 at 8:25PM

    Classic Beef Stroganoff
    Stephanie Levy
    Serves 4

    1 lb. steak (whichever you like; I’ve successfully used tenderloin, top loin, London broil), sliced thinly against the grain
    1 Tbsp. oil
    2 Tbsp. oil
    ½ large onion, sliced thinly
    2 Tbsp. flour
    1 14-oz. can beef broth
    salt and pepper
    1/3 c. sour cream
    optional: sautéed mushrooms
    ¾ lb. hot, cooked egg noodles

    Lay steak slices out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute steak slices until lightly browned on both sides, in batches, making sure to not crowd the pan. Remove to a plate as you go. When all the steak is sautéed, add 2 more Tbsp. oil to the pan and sauté the onion, stirring frequently, until wilted, 8 minutes. As the onion sautés, stir up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle flour over the onions and sauté for 2 more minutes. Whisk in beef broth, and any juices that have collected on the plate under the beef slices, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add steak (and sautéed mushrooms, if you like) to the sauce and serve over pasta (or, as in our house, for kids, serve steak and sauce separately).

  4. By Karen from Kenosha on February 8, 2006 at 4:43PM

    Um, I'll work on it. I'd want them to be just like at the KK, small and salty (I hate the big ones at the state fair here, they've got nothin' on the KK's...)

  5. By I would never want to put that on the internet!!! on February 8, 2006 at 3:47PM

    Wow..Check out photo #3 of her KK Christmas party...He's looking a little puffy!
    Now, do you have a fried cheese curd recipe or not?

  6. By california mother fucker on February 8, 2006 at 12:25PM

    You lining your sleeves with beer glasses, and getting busted, was pretty funny too. Michelle had the best fall, total wipe out behind the back bar, Darren Shubring signaling and yelling, she's SAFE! OMG, I laughed then and I'm laughing now thinking of it. Thanks, Mich, for that great fall.

    Are you going to the game? Have a beer and brat for me, it sounds great.

  7. By Double order of cheese curds on February 8, 2006 at 12:19PM

    I think the funniest part of that is 'fell'. Falling at the Kollege Klub takes a certain kind of special person. If you fall at the KK, you know you have lived a full life. Did you know the Badger hockey team is playing an outdoor game at Lambeau this weekend?? That takes me back, back to the back bar.....