Jeeze, I haven't given a damn about pizza in thirty five years. Used to (in my teens and college years) live on the stuff. Last night brought back all of the wonder I used to feel for pizza.
We were in Peoria, IL for a pleasant evening of Christmas programming with the grandkids featured. Christopher and Colin Scheer both were fabulous performers in the Lutheran school Christmas program. Afterwards, we went over to Agatucci's Pizza Restaurant on University. In a former life, with the first husband, 25 years ago, I'd eaten at Agatucci's a few times.
MAN ALIVE WAS IT GOOD!
I remembered that it was pretty tasty, but had forgotten just how good. We ordered two large pies, a garden plus olives and a sausage, pepperoni, mushroom for the six of us. The toppings tasted fresh and in balance with the amount of cheese and sauce. All in all, just awesome pizza. Three salads with the house vinegar/oil mix and four beers finished the order. So here is my question...
How come nobody in the Quad Cities can match this crust? It was thin, crispy and tasty by itself. There was no sign of oil dripping from these pizzas and the crusts were cooked all the way across. Condiments on the table include "Tiger sauce", Franks hot sauce, salt and pepper. I seem to recall the commercial bottles of Tiger sauce from 25 years ago, but now there is a yellow sweet/sour kind that is pretty tasty.
The salads were not fancy, but a nice foil for the pizzas. Anyhow, I like Clint's pizza, and who doesn't like Happy Joe's taco pizza? Pinnocchio's in Milan was good, but I haven't been since the new name/owners. If there are pizzas like we ate last night in the Quads, I don't know where. My waistline is glad that Agatucci's is 90 miles away! The kids tell us that Davis Pizza, also in Peoria is very similar. Myself, I'll stick with what I know.
We met Tony Agatucci, one of the owners, as he went to school with the SIL, Chris. Nice to put a personal touch on the experience. If you get to Peoria give Agatucci's Pizza a try. It is worth the trip!
She surprised the Door Nut this morning with a sharp bark followed by a leap and a crunch. The barn always harbors a rat or two under the hay. Sister is going to make short work of the individuals silly enough to venture out when she patrols.
We tend to still think of her as this.
She is not that little puppy any more. She is a veteran of 2 levels of obedience training with Norm Aguirre at K9U in East Moline, IL. She has spent the summer on camping trips and logged more miles than most dogs accrue in a lifetime.
So on Tuesday, think of Sister Eva and wish her a Happy Birthday. I'll probably forget.
I had forgotten how wonderful early spring can be. Horseback riding in the Big River State Forest between Keithsburg and Oquawka, Illinois made for a magical weekend.
It is only our second trip out this year with the horses. The camper is nowhere near correctly packed, the horses are still barefoot, the food supplies lacked many things, Mike had no clean T shirts and I forgot to pack shampoo. I made a trip to Fisher's market in Oquawka and we made do.
The weekends best thing, the memory that is stuck in my mind is simply the fresh, green brilliance of the pine needles.
My eyes were mesmerized by the green color of the pine trees in the forest. Seems that the trees, or most of the pines at least, shed ALL of their needles last year or over the winter. There was a 2" carpet of umber color pine needles everywhere in the pine woods. Each and every pine tree carried the most vibrant, verdant green needle bundles I've ever seen. We rode for about 2 hours both Saturday and Sunday and I am still amazed and thrilled with the pure, true greenness of the woods.
I am quite sure that as soon as the rest of the forest wakes up to warmer, longer days that the competing variety of greens will dim the brilliance of the long pine needles. This must stand as my little bit of reverence for a color I've not noticed before. WOW!
Darn, I was hoping I'd feel better after that. Rats. The family (minus Izzi) did indeed go on our cruise at Christmas time. I will attempt to get a few pictures up here soon. We traveled on the Costa Atlantica to the Western Caribbean.
The itinerary was: Sea day Key West Jamaica Grand Cayman Cozumel Sea day
Of course we came home on the 26th of December and the midwest was under a new blanket of snow. Just meant that we drove home from Chicago instead of flying. All three families managed to travel home without major delay.
The food, with the exception of desserts, was absolutely fabulous. I gained six pounds. Dammit. Anyhow, I'm back on the exercise, portion control routine.
As the economy continues to spiral...sorta downward, most of us are contemplating repairs when offered the choice. If you have the choice to fix a door, as opposed to replacing the door, we can fix them most of the time.
I won't mince words. There are well known companies in the Quad Cities and probably the rest of the country for that matter, who are telling people that if you have a broken spring, you need a new door.
THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Since these companies have chosen NOT to repair springs, nor to carry springs in their inventory, they are technically telling you the truth. THEY cannot repair your garage doors. Insist on the whole truth.
Find a door company where the employees actually know how doors work. Strafford Door knows. 309-762-6085.
Mike and I are both totally, completely, madly in love with this little bit of doggy. MAN! I'd forgotten just how cute and endearing itty bitty critters can be.
Of course, the greyhound, Albert, hates her. His nose is out of joint big time. He is slowly learning to ignore her. We are giving him lots of attention so that he doesn't feel displaced. (Kind of a pain...)
Dan Goranson is taking these pictures. His series of shots are here -
Are we really paying the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. to spend time wasting their efforts trying to repeal the health care bill?
The senate won't even call the repeal bill and the president will exercise the veto. My daddy would have called it pissin' in the wind. I don't get it.
I hope like hell that they are not drawing a tax funded paycheck.
This country has enough problems and challenges that we CANNOT afford this kind of waste. I guess that if they are working on their own dimes, it is OK... But they're NOT.
Understand that I know that the new plan is nowhere near perfect. We cannot have the same health care the senators and representatives have. They have single payer health care. God forbid we should be exposed to that!
That single payer deally is from satan. Just ask 'em. BTW - ask 'em to give it up. Not likely.
Evidently I have joined the ranks. I know that I'm an "old folk" when I catch myself saying things like, "What the h@ll are they thinking?" when I see so many young women having children alone.
1. Don't they know that children do, grow, perform and just are better when they have 2 parents who love them?
2. Raising children is HARD, if you want to do it well. (I, myself, was not tough or brave enough to have kids.)
3. Your first child is the END of your childhood. Ask any mom.
4. Someday, sooner rather than later, the fathers of all these babies are gonna be called to pay their share.
5. The finest thing about parents I think I've ever heard is this: The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. The best thing a mother can do for her children is to love their father.
6. I am among the fortunate; my mother and father loved each other, and us.
It is pretty. The Door Guy is going goose hunting this afternoon. The Northern geese have finally started to arrive.
I put the greyhound's (Albert) coat on and let him outside a couple minutes ago. Evidently the electric fence is off since I have a yard full of horses. Albert bounced up to Star (new horse here) barking like crazy and she took off in the other direction. Foo Foo (the DG's grey horse) watched Star run, lowered her head and took right off after Albert. You could almost read her little horsey mind, "The new horse might be dumb enough to run from your skinny ass, but I'm not! Take some of these hooves!"
Albert, of course, was immediately on the front porch barking to get in, away from the big, bad horse.
Sunday morning television is full of the inability of the Congress to do ANYTHING worthwhile. I thought that we elected these people to work FOR us. It truly seems that they are too busy fighting each other to do what is best for the people of this country. I am TRULY sick of the partisanship. The politicians seem to think that the American people are too dumb to realize that wars and social programs have to be paid for. I think we would all survive if the same tax laws from the Clinton years were back in place.
Not that we don't need to cut spending, I'm just sayin'.
The door guy hauled himself out of bed at an ungodly early, dark hour on Saturday morning. He met the Darling husband, Dan G. at the farm on Rock River near Moline. I'm going to try to let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Photo by Dan Goranson
For those of you who are observant, the door guy has wet paws; the dog has dry paws. This is NOT how it is supposed to work...
We did have an absolutely fabulous dinner featuring one of these dead fellas. Mike and I, along with the Darling couple, Dan and Kimberly ate like royalty Saturday night on roast goose with grapes, seared brussel sprouts w/ bacon, herb salad, latkes and a spicy, fruity glaze sauce for the goose. Oh yeah, Amish sour dough, pumpkin challah to soak up the juices. Sometimes I hurt my own arm pattin' myself on the back, but damn, it was good food!
An aside, I rendered the goose fat instead of throwing it away, and then fried the latkes in the goose fat. MAN-O-MAN yum.
I am Lisa. My hubby, the door guru and I work hard so that we can play harder. Much of what we call play is called work to others. Variety is the spice of life. We live pretty focused lives, but we
try hard to grin as much as possible every day. Please join our grinfest here when you can!