Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Hot Brown: A Louisville Legend

I was sitting here contemplating my next topic to write a few words about when my stomach reminded me of an idea I had while on our trip to Louisville. One thing that probably rivals my love of the leaf is my love of food. If you ask me or the lovely wife about any trip we take we always describe our dining experiences first. Our itinerary is usually geared around where we want to eat. The Louisville trip was really no different; we stopped at one of our favorite chain restaurants P.F. Changs for dinner on Friday night. P.F. Chang’s serves some of the best Chinese food I have ever had. We have eaten at their Knoxville, Lexington, and Louisville locations. All were very good but we preferred the Louisville location. The meal was excellent just as expected.

As I mentioned in an earlier post we stayed at historic Brown Hotel, which is home to a dish called The Hot Brown. The Hot Brown is a legendary dish created at the Brown Hotel in the 1920’s. I have to admit, that I had already eaten a number of hot browns at other restaurants and was not really expecting a profound amount of difference in the quality of style. However I do value the historic significance of this being the birthplace of the dish, so I ordered one. I wish I ordered ten, the dish was unbelievably good. Like I said I already had a predetermine idea of what made a great hot brown, and this one blew them all away. The cheese sauce was to die for, the turkey was freshly roasted, and the bacon was perfectly crisp. I quickly decided that I could never eat a Hot Brown from anywhere else ever again. (Unless the lovely wife makes it, she is the best cook in the world.) Louisville has many things to offer a visitor, but I feel that if you are going to be in The Derby City, you owe it to yourself to spend an evening at The Brown Hotel and enjoy a legendary dish, The Hot Brown.

Here is a link to check out for more information on The Hot Brown and the recipe.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Money Found In Your Pocket: Found Cigars In My Storage Building

The feeling of joy a person gets when they find unexpected money in their pocket is one that we all can relate to and love. I had a similar experience at my storage building a couple of weeks ago. I was going through some of my boxes looking for old uniforms, when much to my surprise I found a canister from Cuesta-Rey Milano cigars. Immediately my cigar senses and I began a more in depth inspection of my new found treasure. The tube had been in a box for at least four years, at best guess. I think I bought the four cigar sampler while on vacation, to start my new cigar hobby way back then. I gave the can a gently shake, and there was definitely something in there. I took a minute to prepare myself for the moment of truth, opening the top. I felt bad that I had allowed these little guys to suffer a fate such as this, especially now with my passion for cigars and cigar smoking. I popped off the plastic lid. I slowly looked inside the container, expecting to see the broken down remains of premium cigars, wasted. However, they were Alive, the little guys somehow were intact and in pretty good shape.

I quickly put the top back on the canister and headed to the house. I took the two cigars out a put them in the humidor to start the healing process. I directed my attention back to this miracle canister that I had found. The can itself was a cardboard tube with a metal top and bottom, with the top having a plastic cover. The inside was lined with a thin cedar material and once housed four cigars. The item that performed the miracle that saved the cigars was the Humi-System package. I have to admit that my experiences will products from Humidipak, the folk that developed this item, is very limited. I had read a few articles about their stuff and visited their website, but that was it. However, now I am a believer. Of course I don’t advocate using them for a long term solution but they will adequately handle any special humidification needs you may have. Travel is probably the best use of this product. Another great tip for use of humidipaks, I got from Mike down at Leaf and Ale, was on how to deal with storing flavored cigars with your non-flavored smokes. His advice was “You can get a nice freezer Ziploc with a Humidipak or water pillow that can be recharged with distilled water for humidification and keep the flavored cigars separate from the others.” This is especially handy if you only have one humidor. I sure that there are millions of uses for this product and would love to hear any tips, of tricks.

I will definitely be posting about how the Cuesta-Rey’s smoke. It may be awhile before I smoke them, they are in stable condition right now and I am optimistic about their full recovery. Unfortunately, I can not locate the other two cigars; I like to think that I smoked them and enjoyed them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quick Update: Good News About My Sister

I want to first say that I apologize for the abscence of activity here at the blog. This fact should change in the next couple of days, due to things around here kind of settling down. I should be back on schedule and believe me I have a lot of things to discuss.

I wanted to give a quick update about my sister, she did get to come home as I had metioned in the last post, but she did not get to stay there very long. She went back in last Monday and has since then underwent a surgery to repair two tears in her colon. The good news is she came through the operation fine and is recovering very well. The other good news is that the doctors have finally pin pointed her overall problem, Crohn's Disease. They think this has been the case for awhile and unfortunatly it was never detected. Now that they have an idea of what is wrong they have been instructing my sister on how to deal with it.

My nephew is already carrying on the family tradition of eating and sleeping. He is doing great and I am sure, ready for mommy to be back at home. I want to thank everbody who has prayed for my sister and nephew, we all greatly appreciate it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thirty Days: She is Finally Home

What seems to have been a long and drawn out nightmare of a dream is finally coming to an end. My sister returned home from the hospital today. I spoke with her just after she got home and see sounded like she felt better, and was relieved to be home. My nephew of course was the true reason she was glad to finally get out of the hospital. I reminded her that she needs to take things slow and utilize the people around her for a little while, and that things would eventually get back to normal. I can't remember what my life was like before our boy came along, and soon my sister's memories of this experience will dull with time. I have to say that this was welcomed news on a beautiful winter Friday. With that being said and the sunshine shinning, I think I will head out and have a quick smoke.

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