The Grubb Shack offers a full menu. Pete had a double bacon cheeseburger and he’ll never do that again. It was a huge sandwich! I ate the cheeseburger with grilled onions and onion rings. Looking forward to trying breakfast and seeing their business grow.
5885 East State Highway 294, Slocum, TX
Venue: A tiny town diner worth stopping and enjoying a meal at. You might be tempted to drive by, but it is a solid eatery with a variety of offerings. We stopped in on December 21 and learned the Grubb Shack had only been open for 6 weeks.
Atmosphere: Casual, relaxed eatery with 3 booths and 3 tables with room to add a bit more seating.
A flat screen tv is mounted to one wall if you wish to view it.
Food Fare: The Grubb Shack offers a full menu. Eggs, chorizo, pork chops, waffles, pancakes, biscuits & gravy, bacon, sausage, plus breakfast combos. Also, burgers, salads, tater tots, fries, onion rings, and weekly specials. Pies, pumpkin rolls, fried pies, fried donuts, and the classic buttermilk pie are available to go in the mornings before they run out. Pete had a double bacon cheeseburger and he’ll never do that again. It was a huge sandwich but he can say he did a double! I ate the cheeseburger with grilled onions and onion rings and enjoyed both. My single burger was a good size sandwich. I finished the onion rings and took part of the burger home. Both the fries and onion rings were nice and crispy. There is bottled pop and water, and fountain iced tea available.
Recommendations: Plan to stop in if you’re driving on Texas Highway 294. If you are looking for a field trip, just plan a drive and grab a bite. Grubb Shack is only 16 miles from Palestine, TX; 8 miles from Elkhart, TX; and 12 miles from Grapeland, TX. You will be able to relax and enjoy your meal as there is no WiFi nor cell reception. You will actually have to talk to each other. Miracle and her mom, Tiffany, are doing a fabulous job with the Grubb Shack. Dad claims it is the best food for a 50 mile radius, and we would agree with his statement.
Service: Service was relaxed and good. Keep in mind it is a two woman show. Food was cooked when ordered.
Return Rating: Definitely! Looking forward to trying breakfast and seeing their business grow.
This recipe made 6 small loaves . . . Beware those large bargain bags of marked down overripe bananas! That’s how this all started.
Here is a Banana Bread recipe that is easy to make for gifting . . .
or keeping to eat yourself.
Since it makes a big batch, you can give some and keep some!
This recipe brings back childhood memories and tastes. My Grandma used to bake this in Pringle’s cans and wrap it in repurposed orange Bunny Bread bags. I remember pulling the long refrigerator door handle to get the cold bread out. What a taste treat! I’ve taken my Grandma’s original recipe and tweaked it. One major tweak was a serious reduction of the sugar. Another tweak is to bake in conventional baking pans. I do not recommend baking in Pringle cans. This recipe revision turned out great and I hope it will earn a spot in your favorite recipe collection!
Cindy’s Banana Bread
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 2 overfilled cups smashed, over ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cup flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Mix all the ingredients. Put into greased and floured pans of choice. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of baking pans you use. Bake till nicely brown and done.
To finely chop the walnuts, I used an antique Nut Meat Grinder. I’ll be sharing another post on Forgotten Kitchen Gadgets soon and including this nut grinder in it. Of course, you can used pecans, black walnuts, or your nut of choice in this recipe.
The small loaf pans are nice to bake the bread in for gift giving or even portion control. This recipe made 6 small loaves with the pans filled 2/3. I made a seventh pan with the little bit of leftover batter that was our sample loaf.
Using small loaf pans makes multiple gifts but you do have more pans to clean. Here are a few pointers for cleaning those pans.
- Avoid letting the residue harden. Clean the pans while warm but not too hot to handle.
- If your pan has seams, clean the corners and any seams well. A toothpick will help scrap the gunk out.
- After washing, immediately dry your pans.
- After drying, place them upside down on the stovetop to take advantage of the heat from the cooling oven to finish the drying process.
You can also use muffin tins to bake this bread. I used a large size muffin pan that I found at a thrift store. Don’t you just love those kind of finds! Use whatever size muffin tins you prefer. My second batch made 12 large muffins and 3 small loaves.
We didn’t plan to make banana bread for Christmas gifts but it just may be a new tradition for us. Beware those large bargain bags of marked down overripe bananas! That’s how this all started.
Breakfast, lunch, supper, or a midnight snack give you plenty of opportunities to fit bologna in your day. Oh, and remember the cheese!
Yeah, it’s National Bologna Day in the USA!
Did you know this lunch meat/sausage had a designated day? I didn’t until I found it with an online search. I’ve always thought it was spelled “bolognie.”
Two slices of bread, a slice or two of bologna, and your favorite condiments make a great snack or centerpiece for a meal. You can make multiple sandwiches and cut them in triangles for appetizers! Serve it hot or cold — isn’t bologna versatile!
Bologna comes in the flat rounds in a thin or thick cut. You can also buy a ring of bologna and cut hunks off as you want to eat it. A ring of bologna and some cheese make what our family calls a “Peer Picnic” named after a family friend’s dining habits. Cut small round discs off the bologna ring and put on round crackers for a child size snack.
Fry bologna in butter or bacon fat for a hot sandwich. If you fry it on one side only, you’ll make a bologna boat that you can fill with scrambled eggs. My husband enjoyed these bologna boats as a child. We like to use Thrive Life freeze dried foods for a quick meal fix. Using their Scrambled Egg Mix, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese, and sausage crumbles we had a tasty meal in minutes.
School sack lunch or sub sandwich both offer reasons to put bologna to work. Roll it up with other lunch meats and lettuce if your watching carbs. You could also use a soft shell tortilla for your bologna sandwich. Mustard, ketchup, mayo, or Miracle Whip are condiments to compliment bologna. Oh, and remember the cheese!
So, how are you gonna celebrate Bologna Day? Breakfast, lunch, supper, or a midnight snack give you plenty of opportunities to fit bologna in your day.
What is your favorite way to eat bologna?
P.S. If you like soup with your sandwich, take a look at “Start Your Freezer Soup Pot Today.”
Get your donuts earlier . . . before they are sold out. Enjoying them earlier in the day might mean getting them while they are still warm!
World’s Best Donuts
Small Shop with Big Taste
10 Wisconsin St., Grand Marais, MN
Venue: A quaint, local donut shop with a large following. Expect to wait in line during prime tourist times.
Atmosphere: You can go inside and check out the donuts and other goodies or go to the outside walk up window to purchase your treats of choice. There is limited seating inside and out.
Food Fare: Offering donuts of course! Also, turnovers, skizzles and other goodies. We enjoy the plain cake donuts. They have a lighter texture than the cake donuts you are use to. However, you can get them with a variety of sweet toppings. The blueberry turnover we split was delicious!
Recommendations: Get your donuts earlier rather than later in the day before they are sold out. Enjoying them earlier in the day might mean getting them while they are still warm! You can also see if there are any “boo boos” packaged to buy. They are odd shaped but just as tasty. Also, if you like a late night sweet snack, but extra to take with you. The Super America gas station has been known to sell their donuts too. Oh, and be sure to take a tourist picture with the wooden painted people cut outs outside the shop.
Check their website for open days and hours. The shop is closed “off season.”
Service: Always friendly and helpful.
Return Rating: Definitely. We have to get our “World’s Best” fix when on the North Shore!
This end of season rhubarb recipe was an easy dessert to make with items I had on hand. Any complimentary fruits and spices can be used. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.
It’s that time of year when frost is near and the end of rhubarb season is here.
So, I took advantage of those last stalks and made up a microwave cobbler recipe.
Here is the recipe guide I pioneered:
- Freeze dried Pears
- Freeze dried Raspberries
- 2 large tablespoons maple syrup (or to your taste)
- 1 stevia tablet
- Hot water
After harvesting, washing, and cutting the rhubarb, add your additional fruits of choice to your rhubarb. I used Thrive Life freeze dried pears and raspberries. Then add your sweeteners. I used maple syrup and one stevia tablet making sure there is enough water to dissolve the stevia tablet and to microwave the fruit. Also, I had enough water to reconstitute my freeze dried fruits. Next, add spices to taste and microwave on high until the rhubarb is tender
For the topping, melt 5 T of butter in the microwave and mix in enough rye to coat the rye with butter and not have it too dry. Microwave on power 8 for for 3 minutes. Check the browning after 2 minutes has passed. You can microwave more to try and “crisp” up the rye but be careful not to get it too brown.
Put your fruit mixture in a small casserole dish and add the rye topping. Your topping can remain on top or you can choose to mix it in. Microwave on power 8 for 3 minutes. Check your dessert and decide if it should be microwaved a bit more.
This was an easy dessert to make with items I had on hand. Any complimentary fruits and spices can be used. You could use oatmeal instead of rye and choose to make more or less of the topping to suit your needs. You could even combine rye and oats. This would be a great recipe if you happen to have rhubarb in your freezer from your summer harvest!
Enjoy your dessert with your favorite toppings. Whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce. Also, nuts would be a nice addition either cooked in or as a topping. Have fun customizing your own microwave cobbler. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You get to eat the results and can improve your personal recipe next time around!
Just remember to write your recipe down.
The fries were perfect — the best crispy fries we’ve ever had! Both burgers were fantastic! Bob knows how to prepare quality, tasty food.
14860 TX 59, Athens, TX
In our travels we were hungry for a good burger and not a typical fast food option. Headed north towards Athens, Texas, I began googling for burger choices. I found the Burger Barn and my phone map had this foodstand located near Crossroads, TX. Wrong! We didn’t see the small red building with white trim. So, we were disappointed and kept driving north on TX 59.
The good news is the we stumbled upon the Burger Barn! We weren’t looking for it anymore but Pete noticed it as we drove past the Shady Oaks General Store at the intersection of TX 59 and 753. So, we turned around.
Venue: One man show burger stand.
Atmosphere: Lots of fresh air and outside seating at the picnic table to the side.
Food Fare: A variety of burgers, grilled chicken, BLT and a few other sandwich choices. Fries, onion rings, tater tots, chicken rings and potato chips are also on the menu along with bottled soda pop. Pete ordered the Mexican Burger with an extra patty and I got the Bacon Cheese Burger. We split a large french fry. The fries were perfect — the best crispy fries we’ve ever had! Both burgers were fantastic! Bob knows how to prepare quality, tasty food. The customer before us ordered a patty melt and wanted mustard on it. Bob let the guy know how he makes it for complimentary flavors but said he could make it per the request.
Recommendations: Note the Burger Barn hours and plan to stop for lunch. Try the french fries cooked crispy. Look for The Shady Oaks General Store at the intersection of TX 59 and 753 and off to the East side you’ll find The Burger Barn. It is 8 miles south of downtown Athens on TX 59.
Service: Bob had a dry humor, let us know the order took a bit longer because of the crispy fries, and delivered hot, quality food.
Return Rating: Definitely! This is the type of place we love. It will be a regular stop when we head north.
. . . is great for parties, tailgating, holidays, or just because you want to make comfort cookies on a rainy day. This recipe has been one of my cookie “staples” over the years.
Do you like a good oatmeal cookie?
If you do, here is an easy recipe that you can customize to your taste.
This recipe has been one of my cookie “staples” over the years. I loved it so much that I clipped it off a Cub Foods grocery pamphlet, taped it to a recipe card, and put a plastic sleeve over it. Do you write notes on the back of your recipe cards? I do to note any changes I make.
This makes 6 dozen small cookies using a teaspoon to drop the dough. While I’m sharing the picture of the original, I will also type it below so you can read it.
Use your imagination with CHEWY OATMEAL COOKIES PLUS — Cream together 1 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla. Combine 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt; add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Beat in 2 1/2 to 3 cups rolled oats. Choose your own “plus” to add — 2 to 3 Tbsp. peanut butter — chopped nuts — chocolate, mint, peanut butter or butterscotch chips — raisins. Drop 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.
As usual, I tweaked the recipe to use what I had on hand and to suit me. Here are the ingredients I used for this batch of cookies:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp powdered vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Einkorn flour
Slightly less than 1 tsp. baking soda
Omitted by mistake – 1 tsp baking powder
No salt added
3 cups rolled rye
1 cup dark chocolate chips
These cookies turned out great, even though I forgot the baking powder, and are chewy with the rolled rye. Of course, the dark chocolate is a taste treat when you bite into the cookie. When removing them from the baking sheet straight out of the oven, they were a bit fragile. They “set” once they are cool and aren’t as fragile. They were flatter than usual.
I later made a second batch of these cookies with the rolled rye and included the baking powder. My husband likes the no baking powder version better. This batch was plumper.
This Chewy Oatmeal Cookie Plus is great for parties, tailgating, holidays, or just because you want to make comfort cookies on a rainy day. Customize your own batch and enjoy! Dark chocolate is my favorite add, what is your favorite add?
Don’t let the outside rule your decision to give it a try. Both the chicken pot pie and peach cobbler were fabulous with a capital “F.”
We were driving toward Illinois and were hungry. We wanted to eat at a buffet before we reached West Memphis. After surfing the net for a buffet choice, we decided to try Natty’s.
Venue: Truck stop café with buffet. One review on their Facebook page said, “The building looks like something out of Harlem circa 1969, but the food is decent. The parking lot for trucks is rougher than a corncob but a decent place to park.“ Don’t let the outside rule your decision to give it a try.
Atmosphere: Casual country diner with table or booth seating.
Food Fare: Natty’s offers American comfort food. Choose the buffet or order off the menu. The food was delicious even though some cold items could have been colder and some hot items warmer. Both the chicken pot pie and peach cobbler were fabulous with a capital “F.” I almost wish that was all I ate for dinner. The fried chicken was delicious. Desserts were saran wrapped and the bundt cake slice I had was good.
Recommendations: If you like fried catfish, give it a try. It wasn’t on the buffet but a friendly trucker ordered it off the menu and gave my husband a sample from her plate. He wants to go back sometime for the fish.
Service: Service was very good.
Return Rating: Definitely.
Quaint bakery shop with the old tin ceiling. We enjoyed the pecan nuggets and the chocolate chip pecan cookies.
Eilenberger’s Bakery Since 1898
512 N. John St., Palestine, Texas
Venue: Small town bakery begun in 1898.
Atmosphere: Quaint bakery shop with the old tin ceiling. Welcoming to stop in and browse. There is plenty of seating to enjoy your selections or you can get them to go. A number of antiques related to the business are on display. On the walls are photographs depicting the community at different points in time.
Offerings: Candies, cookies and other goodies.
Recommendations: Be sure to get several of a variety of items to sample. We enjoyed the pecan nuggets and the chocolate chip pecan cookies. Both would be do agains on a return trip. Be sure to take a catalog with you or check out their selections online at eilenbergerbakery.com.
Service: Friendly, helpful service. We enjoyed chatting with the employee about the history of the business and building. There is even a Texas Historical Commission placque for the bakery. Under the placque is an “Oil City Ironworks, Corsicana, Texas” embossing.
Return Rating: Definitely would love to!
The beauty of using the FFM (Foley Food Mill) is that you get the pulp without having to peel your fruit before cooking it. While you can buy new Foley Food Mills, our experience had been that the older ones work better. We always keep an eye out for them.
There are a few tried and true kitchen gadgets that earn their keep on your shelf.
The Foley Food Mill is definitely a must have for making jams, applesauce, and puréed foods.
We recently put ours to good use when we purchased a half bushel box of over ripe Freestone peaches. We gleaned the ones we could eat over the next few days and prepped the rest for cooking. We washed, cut off bad spots, took out the pits and cut the peaches into chunks. We didn’t have to cut in small pieces with using the Foley Food Mill (FFM). We then cooked the peaches till tender. These peaches had a lot of liquid so we took out extra while cooking the peaches. We added it later to the pulp before making the peach jam.
To make the pulp you run the cooked peaches through the food mill by turning the handle. The handle cranks the blade which smushes the contents through the sieve holes. The pulp is what comes through the sieve holes leaving the fruit skin or peels in the food mill bowl. Occasionally you need to crank the handle backwards which scraps the peels off the sieve surface. You can remove the peels from the bowl before adding more cooked peaches to begin the process again. Continue until all your cooked fruit is turned into pulp. If you are running cooked apples through the mill, the peels and seeds get caught in the food mill bowl. Thus, you only clean, quarter and cook the apples. The Foley Food Mill is a fantastic time saver!
The beauty of using the FFM is that you get the pulp without having to peel your fruit before cooking it. Once you have the pulp, you can go on to making your sauce or jam.
We made peach jam with our pulp. It turned out great and was almost a peach butter without all the extra work. Of course cinnamon was added to it! We used different sugars for each batch. We tried turbinado, coconut sugar, brown sugar, and white sugar. We liked the coconut sugar the best. It was a fuller, richer, molassessy taste. We also used the pulp to put in our protein shakes.
We use canning wax to seal the jam. Melt canning wax and pour at least 1/4 inch of wax on top of the still warm to hot jam filled jars. Let cool completely before placing lids on jars. As you know from reading my posts, Pete doesn’t always follow directions. The recipe that we used for this jam came with the package of fruit pectin. But, Pete used it more as a guide. Thus the wiggle room on the temp of the jam for wax sealing.
For the backstory during our jam making, be sure to check out my blog about Managing when Your AC is Being Repaired. We bought the box of over rip peaches because it was such a deal compared to buying a small bag of peaches. However, upon returning home with the over ripes, we discovered the AC was broken. We persevered and got the peaches worked up over several days even without AC. We did the work in the evening knowing it would be cooling down a bit at night.
A couple of last thoughts for you about the Foley Food Mill. The bottom screw comes undone to separate the bowl from the crank/blade combo. This makes for easier cleaning. While you can buy new Foley Food Mills, our experience had been that the older ones work better. We always keep an eye out for them and keep a few on hand to give to folks we know. You can be on the look out for them at antique stores and garage sales and often get them for a couple of bucks. Happy hunting and jam making!
Be sure to try the Pass Arounds — they are worth it. The fried potatoes are totally a taste experience. Watch out for the throwed rolls . . . The Roll Throwers accuracy is impressive!
Want a fun place to eat where you not only feed your stomach but get an “experience” too?
Try Lambert’s Café also known as “Home of Throwed Rolls.”
Venue: Fun, memorabilia decorated restaurant with booth dining. Table seating is also available. Definitely tourist oriented as they can accommodate lots of folks at once. They have a nice gift shop too. The parking lot is suitable for buses, semi’s, RV’s, trucks, and cars. We have only visited the Sikeston, Missouri location but there are two other locations: Ozark, MO and Foley, AL.
Atmosphere: Casual country feel. It can be noisy if you are dining at peak times. Watch out for the throwed rolls as they can be tossed clear across the dining room. The Roll Throwers accuracy is impressive!
Food Fare: American comfort food that is tasty and fills you up. We’ve tried the chicken salad, jowls and beans and chicken tenders. We were always pleased with our selections. The beverage cups are ginormous so if you are a heavy drinker, you’ll be satisfied.
Recommendations: Be sure to try the Pass Arounds — they are worth it. The fried potatoes are totally a taste experience. We thought of the Macaroni & Tomatoes as goulash and it was tasty. Servers walk around with the Pass Arounds and dish out what you want to try. Of course, be sure to catch a roll. Plan to pay with cash or check.
Service: We experienced great service during both of our visits.
Return Rating: Definitely when traveling through and hungry enough to do it justice.
Grilled Cheese is a comfort food, childhood menu staple, and . . . lots can be done to give this icon a “make-over.”
Remember having grilled cheese sandwiches as a kid? Well, April 12 is Grilled Cheese Day and you can create a custom build version.
My mom always bought Sunbeam white bread. Growing up my grilled cheese sandwich was made from white bread, margarine either spread on the outside sides of the sandwich or premelted on the griddle, and Kraft American Cheese slice singles. Oh, and once it was cooked, I topped it with grape jelly—yuuuum! We also called this sandwich a “cheese toastie.” I still remember the old griddle, probably aluminum, with its stuck on discoloration from years of pancakes and cheese toasties.
Grilled Cheese is a comfort food, childhood menu staple, and is offered on many restaurant menus. Lots can be done to give this icon a “make-over.” Change up bread and cheese choices to create custom sandwiches. Rye bread and Swiss cheese, sourdough bread and vegetable Monterey Jack Cheese, and whole wheat bread and your choice of two cheeses are a few combos to get your creative ideas going. Be sure to use real butter instead of margarine and real cheese instead of processed. Another change is the add on’s you can put in or on your grilled cheese. Anyone for bacon? Add a little pizza sauce and/or pepperoni for a pizza cheese toastie. Add some sauerkraut to the rye & Swiss toastie along with some mayo. Think about your favorite sandwich and what flavors you want on your own custom build. Oooh, Texas Toast Bread would be a great building block for a grilled cheese. What ideas do you have?
Note: Photo retrieved on April 12, 2018 from: https://www.google.com/amp/s/nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-grilled-cheese-sandwich-day-april-12/%3famp