Sunday, December 19, 2010

Good Enough To Eat

That's a weird and possibly disfunctional little saying when you think about it.
If you can't eat it, it's not good enough?
Well, maybe, take that fine art, monster truck rallies, and the second Golden Age of Television.
It's a saying I grew up with, but never thought much about until my cousin Jackie, craft master and Dish Taste Tester, reminisced about the Candy Christmas Trees she used to make while her grandkids were growing up.

"It looks good enough to eat."
--Several Members of My Family

I needed a project for a video class I was taking in a van down by the river, and Jackie seemed happy to resurrect the ritual while taking an assist with the tree.
We never got to Final Cut Pro voice overs in this class (or lighting or tripods or stabilzers or uploading video or how to use the software or figuring out who was in or teaching the class) so I threw it against the wall to see what stuck--now I'm hungry for pasta--and here it is.
Making A Candy Christmas Tree
with Jackie, Phil2, Bob & Jeanna

Monday, November 01, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust

All the Jack-o-lanterns have been washed down the river (except the ones at my house which have a tendency to rot)

All the scarecrow ghosts have taken their vows (looks like a shot gun wedding)

All the mechanical pink dinosaurs have eaten their fill (I think this one's bulimic)

The witches have haggled their last Farmer's Market eye of newt and the birds are flying south (they're actually flying north, stupid birds)

What are you looking at, toss out the pumpkins and bring on the turkeys (live ones work best)

One final brrraaa hhaaa haaaa until next year.

A Post Script for Mary R. and John I. who's thinking of 50 Ways To Leave Halloween.
⚈Throw Jack in the falls, Paul
⚈Marry the dead, Fred
⚈Eat all the gourds, George
⚈Cast your last spell, Mel
⚈Fly the right way, Jay
⚈No evil eye, Guy
Just listen to me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Favorite Costume

Although I've been taking Halloween photos on State Stree for a few years now, this costume might be my favorite. It was pretty touching for a college kid ensemble. Do you know what it is? (The file name doesn't tell the whole tale. Pun.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Favorite Halloween Gross Out Candy

One of my favorite gross out candies this year was a tray of Sushi Eyeballs with green apple dipping sauce.
I was surprised how popular they were in a crowd that turned noses up at a severed foot wrapped up like a steak (A Butcher's Choice Tender Cuts Chuck's Foot to be exact).
The green eyeball sauce was a little sour and a little bland adding nothing to the taste, but I loved the presentation.

The eyeballs were palatable enough for larger gummi candy, and I remember thinking I could watch a movie quite happily with a few Sushi Eyeballs and a bowl of popcorn.
Good for you product sold at Walgreens and made in China.

And thanks to Dish taste testers Karen and Bug for trying them. No complaints from either who munched away during a college football game, despite what you might gather from this photo. Check out the lady and the kid in the background.
The sauce was very sticky, so have some wipes handy and a place to toss the whole mess when you're finished.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ritter Halloween e-Card and Candy Raffle

Although the Off Color Things My Italian Family Said Contest on the Dish Facebook page is over, there's still plenty of Halloween fun left.
Because the ad agency rep sent me this link on a Monday morning when I'm procrastinating and the sun is trying to peek back out after a weekend of rain (and I'm still verklempt from great Packer and Steelers games and a Farvrah beat down), I will play their little game and share this Halloween e-card thingy you can use with your webcam or digital photo with you.
Good timing, Vincenzo The Viral Factory Seeding Manager. Seeding Manager, love it.

Have fun and look for some of my favorite photos from Freakfests Past this week.
If you want to see the contests results and be there for the next one, sign up for the Candy Dish Curtain Facebook page, "We Friend Everyone."

Friday, October 08, 2010

Brilliant! Blood Slide Candy

When I followed the link from Sweet Obsessed to Waylou to forkable I found the brilliant mind and steady hand behind these Dexter inspired candy blood slides. Naturally I asked to do a shout out. Funny story, these were originally inspired by Martha Stewart lollipops.

Shout—you are the goddess of creepy candy Andrea Newberry—Out. You know, I find the edible serial killer trophies more elegant than creepy. Andrea made them last year and is a bloody treasure trove of macabre treats. She told me today that she's working on a "rotten and bloody lasagna" recipe for this Halloween.

In a Nutshell (or slide box):
This recipe calls for sugar, corn syrup, red food dye, parchment paper or a baking mat, and a toothpick or skewer to paint on the "blood." You're making candy, spreading it thin, and cutting it with a hot knife. Then you cool it and decorate with red dye.
Andrea had trouble finding a fancy wooden slide box like Dexter Morgan's, but I think this slide kit container works well. She suggests serving with tweezers or latex gloves.
Oh man.
For the step by step on this sweet bio hazard click here.

Andrea also has a Halloween Bootcamp at the Forkable Kitchen in Chicago on October 16 from noon - 3 pm. The Halloween Treats Baking Class includes Crunchy Eyeball Bars, Witches Finger Cookies, Ghosts on a Stick, and the inimitable Blood Slides. The class might be full by the time you read this, but why not check it out here anyway.

More Temptations From forkable

Bloody Cracked Brain Cake
Eye Deal Cannibal Cookies
Marshmallow Ghosts
Mexican Aniseed Shortbread Finger Cookies
Frightening flickr set

The photos, idea, and Blood Slide Sucker recipe belong to and are courtesy of Andrea Newberry and forkable.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

James J. Moves to Midvale

One of my favorite candy stores, James J. Chocolate Shop, moved to their new location at 1310 S. Midlvale Blvd. last week (Monday was Day 5). They were putting up Halloween garland and other  finishing touches when I stopped by to see if they and their peerless gourmet caramel apples were there and accounted for. They were.
You could be standing in front of the new shop and miss it. Or at least I could, but then again I've stood directly in front of a place while asking passersby for directions.
Where Is It?
It's around the corner from Dorn Hardware and  Le Tigre, down from the Chinese restaurant.
Look for Yen Ching restaurant at the end of Midvale Blvd at the top of Nakoma Rd., it's before you turn the corner toward the hardware store. There's also a small sign on Midvale, also hard to miss in all the traffic on that corner by the Beltline.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Be Still My (Gummy) Heart

So you thought I wouldn't eat it, did you? I tried to pass off this Monster Lab Gummy Heart With Candy Fluid on more than one occasion. I think it was a little too Temple of Doom for some of the Dish taste testers—wusses. I bet the Duck Creek Kids would have eaten it.
Bob here was pretty interested.

The first bite was the hardest. It tasted like sour cherry, evil syrup, and plastic. The heart juice, blood sauce, whatever it was, dripped heartily (hardee har har) inside the bag and and stuck to my fingers like an all day sucker. It didn't help the taste that I'd just brushed my teeth.
I was surprised that this was a big ol' solid gummy, thick and daunting, especially after the promise of candy fluid. There was enough detail to give this Halloween treat an A for disgusting believability.

I'll tell you one thing, I have virtually no information about Monster Lab candy except that I can't imagine even the most munched out among us finishing this particular item. I don't believe it's affiliated with Palmer Monster Lab Body Parts. Anyone?
Guess I'll have to forge ahead and try everything in the Monster Lab line being carried by Walgreen's for Halloween. I will literally keep you posted.
A weird note, Gummy Body Parts have gotten difficult to find unless you want to place a 5 ton order with mainland China. When I reviewed them, I got one of the funniest comments. ever. I'll guess this sort of complaint along with its rubbery air freshener taste and the lead and melamine scare is why they're not readily available.
Thanks to Jackie (who downright refused to take a single bite out of the gummy heart) for the use of her camera [top photo] and taking the last photo of me holding the nasty thing.

Bitten Heart photo on bottom by Jackie Clementi

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Beer Truffles and Chocoloate Beef Sticks and Such

Fall is football food and chocolate making weather. Who would have thought you could combine them. Maybe I should have expected this after my first chocolate covered potato chip.
When I heard Ralph was making beer truffles I turned it into an assignment for a class I'm taking in digital video. I was thrilled beyond all that's reasonable when I discovered he'd not only made tantalizing batches of beer and wine truffles, but had enrobed succulent beef sticks in amazing chocolate.
No, I haven't forgotten the thick and almost juicy slabs of bacon dipped in milk chocolate.
As you can see I have a lot to learn about video and even more about what can, has been, or should be slathered in chocolate.
All I can say of the thick and meaty beef sticks is at least I tried it and Jodi from Will Work For Noodles may have an early Christmas present as the cooler weather allows for mailing chocolate.
This is also on The Candy Dish Curtain's Facebook page if the video is misbehaving on Blogger.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Have We Here?

Ralph Pierce of Gem City Candy told me he was making beer truffles last Wednesday so I took a short road trip to Boo on a lovely fall day. I needed a quick video for class and he was very generous with his time,  and as always, sweet samples.

I loved, loved, loved the beer truffles. More on that later.
Do you know what's pictured above?
The item on top has become all the rage, but I've never seen it so completely covered in luscious chocolate. The unique treat pictured on the bottom is most likely new to you, even if you do live in Wisconsin.
Stay tuned for my attempts at digital video and iMovie at Gem City.

NOTE: Erika from Tummy Treasure got it on the first try. Leave it to a ched to recognize the ever popular chocolate covered bacon (why?) and the more elusive beef stick dipped in chocolate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halloween Is Coming

Signs of Halloween have been in the stores for some time now and it might be the only holiday I don't mind rearing its severed head in July.
Please do not hesitate to send me your photos and you just might get something grossly edible in the mail from the Dish.

 Today's photo is from one of our best taste testers, Jackie. She didn't seem too interested in this yummy gummy heart with candy fluid. I don't see why. Maybe it didn't go with her Cobb salad (but the week is still young).

Jackie used to decorate her Christmas tree with all kinds of fanciful and delicious candy and I'm not going to stop bugging her until she starts again. Not just a cherry Nibs here or there, but needle to needle sugar. Notice we have some of my fav treats, Nerds, Dum Dums, and what looks like Laffy Taffy in this lovely cobweb boot.

This is one of the aforementioned grossly edible items I was talking about. No takers yet, but it's been tempting me lately. If you would like to try one or more of the many Monster Lab items I'll be featuring, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Qué Lástima

I was excited when my cousin told me about a new candy shop on the west side. We took it as a good omen that the new store shared its name with her mom and my godmother. Unfortunately Dulceria Lucy is one more upside down question mark at the end of the sentence, "What happened to all the good candy stores?"
I'd rather have a bag of Sour Patch Kids than something made with tamarind, unless it's fresh from a talented candy maker's kitchen. Let's face it, most, if not all of this type of candy (small store with shabby shelves of unfamiliar candy) is imported, and much of it is old and unsold for a reason. Something hard or chewy and vaguely stale and spicy is much worse than an old Aero bar.
After a quick tour through the odd little dulceria, I don't think it's time for an education on why I should love hard candy rolled in chili or ignore articles about lead poisoning and Mexican candy
We have many area chocolate makers such as James J (moving near Dorn Hardware on Midvale in October), Candinas (which sadly did not fly on the Square), the Chocolate Caper, and Gail Ambrosius.

But no more Badger Candy Kitchen, Twee & Luliloo (they didn't cut it with their name, location, selection or unused space), Ben Franklin's isn't what it used to be, and there's nothing but iffy offerings at grocery stores (some gas stations and the Cracker Barrel have to fill that gap).
Where are the magical rows of Chum Gum, wax bottles, wax harmonicas, hot dog gum, sugary blue bubble gum—oh the sparkling playful gumballs—candy lipsticks, free floating candy button strips, jars of giant pretzel rods, Jolly Ranchers, or Turkish Taffy and their siren's call from the slanted shelves of the mom and pop grocers of the sixties.
That's not to say you can't find some great candy, although pricey, in town. But I can only think of one place that has more than chocolate which I'd call a good candy store, and that's James J Chocolate Shop. Their gourmet apples are expensive, but worth it, and should be available by the time they move in October—but it's really their hard candy I love. Their Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pillows are to die for.
So my trip to Dulceria Lucy's was a bust, but I'm finally going to the Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery tomorrow and cupcakes being all the rage, have renewed expectations.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Slapping The Taste Out Your Mouth

I went to the Taste of Madison Sunday and my suspicions were confirmed: People aren't fighting traffic for the food, but for the music. They certainly aren't braving the abominable parking for Caramel Apple Nachos.
Is the Taste of Madison becoming Irish Fest?
No, and the parking is a lot worse. But there's been a marked shift in the quality of music vs the quality of food since I flung black bottom pie for the Memorial Union in the eighties.
Sure, there will be calories, but sound beat smell. And with four free music stages, the line up, crowd size, and diversity has become impressive. I also like the free Pepsi samples.

This group of country western fans spread out from the New Q stage on Wisconsin Avenue to perching like pigeons along the Capitol steps and railings. If anything is going to jam my radar, it's "new" country, but the local band, Madison County, was not without their charm and have a rabid fan base. I'd see them again on purpose rather than just on the way back to the car because it was raining.
I was surprised that most of my photos will go on the Curtain rather than here considering the Taste of Madison colorfully maps out 92 food booths, but no. Let's look at some of the food anyway, shall we?

From the first booth as you come up State, these Gotham Bagel sandwiches seemed made to travel in the crowd and mild rain, but weren't tempting or unique enough to try.

This is the Athens Gryros stand which means I could have hopped on my bike and gotten the same thing at the Shell station down the street. Not to say I'm not a fan, look at their menu. The Shell station, seriously. The spanakopita is good, if not a little bland. My favorite is the combo gyro platter with fries, souvlaki, and extra pita—good for three plus meals. They literally shove as much food as they can into a large take out container which barely closes.

I should call this photo from the Daisy Cafe booth "Late to the Party" since the Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery opened in May of 2009. But then again, I never did trust good buzz. They are on the top of my list of things on which to dish.

If you're going to eat fries why not add gravy?
But not much of the food really caught my eye or olfactory system, although I thought if they did a kind of Kanook fries with gravy thing, and did it well, that would be the most popular booth on the square. I believe a Capital Brewery stand near North Hamilton was the most crowded, not to say that a few of the food booths didn't have healthy lines.

"Yo, where's das Brat und Brau?"

Although the pet ban has kicked in, at least one of our well intentioned pals got through on a technicality. I only saw one non-working dog, a nervous little Chihuahua (is there any other kind) looking for a Teddywedger as I made my only food purchase of the day, six bags of popcorn at Clary's.

You have to give it to Clary's for their staying power on upper State, especially being such a tiny shop.
These bags got eaten up quickly by family members and a homeless guy who likes the white corn with a little salt and half butter in the middle.
I don't care for Clary's cheese corn, but knowing that the RR1 outlet in Montfort has some of the best cheese popcorn around and that I'm due to fill up some empty buckets, didn't really care. Especially since the Clary's caramel corn was delicious without being sugary and balances crunch and chew quite well. The Badger corn managed to be distinctively cherry and vanilla without being either too sweet or overwhelming.
In sum, go for the promise of food, stay for the free Pepsi samples and music, leave with several bags of Clary's popcorn.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

More Stuff I Found At The Gas Station

Gas stations and hardware stores can be a treasure trove of found candy, especially of the hard to find or novelty kind. One of the best "foodie" gas stations in the area is the Shell Trader Gus, known by the locals as Where The Guy Who Makes The Best Gyros From the Parthanon Downtown Is Now.
It's a long, grammatically questionable, but accurate title.
Their regular candy rows are pretty standard with the occasional kind of interesting point of purchase selection below the check-out counter. But there are several pockets of Greek sweets, and I thought it time to try something besides baklava.

I'm guessing from the looks—certainly not the taste—it's supposed to be Turkish Delight. (I'd link that, but so many people who write and sell candy think that taking photos with the wrapper on is the way to go: Here's a link to some nice Google Search Images of the gooey stuff.)
And here's someone who knows better and has an excellent archived post about Turkish Delight.
I'd only tasted the Cadbury made Fry's Turkish Delight, like it very much, but know it's not the real deal. Still I sometimes pull an Edmund and crave the stuff.
The hard plastic tub I got at Trader Gus is called "KOYΛOY" and I can't find any information on it. Everything but the numbers on the thin tear away label is in Greek and the candy tastes like hard lumps of old powdered sugar.
All the flavors have the same taste, stale, and it's fairly nasty stuff that if I were a little less mature would say tastes like ass. But I won't.
Someone tweeted me with a suggestion about where to get the good stuff, and I'll look into that later.
Right now it's time to check out the Taste of Madison and see how many people listened to the new "No Dogs Allowed At Madison Festivals" ordinance.
Burn down the mission and throw in this tub of KOYΛOY's Turkish Delight.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blood Pops Revisited

A post on's Facebook page today prompted me to dig out these photos of Dish taste testers. I know there are gums and such which promise lots of bloody good fun, but my favorite is the Harry Potter Blood Pop.

Guest blogger Lisa took some great Blood Pop photos last year.
I'll be looking over Halloween candy soon and the grosser the better.
If you're a linkaphobe like me, these are some of the more interesting items the links below turned up:
Googly Eyes, Bubble Gum Camel Balls, Gummy Maggots, Lick Your Wounds (almost got those last year), Zit Poppers, Gummy Flesh Fries, Spermies, Scab-a-roni, Crime Scene Candy Kit, Larvets, Garlic Mints (Vampire Repelling), Candy Blood Bags, Organ Harvest, Werewolf Hair, Spider Sacks, Barf Bags (gag candy, get it?), and Eyes of Terror Bubble Gum.

Good Gross Candy Links
Blair Candy
Holy Taco

Houston Press
Off Beat Treats 
Oriental Trading Company Article

Friday, August 27, 2010

Penny Candy That Costs A Dime

Caramel Apple PopsHere's where exhaustion and hunger can lead: Ten for a dollar Caramel Apple Pops at the Kelly's Market on Highway M. There's a new kid behind the counter who gave me a well delivered "Candy blog, you say?" as we danced together in the neon glow of the Mobil gas station delighting in Tootsie's price points.

Row of Caramel Apple PopsThey might look (and open) like profalactics on a stick, but they taste a lot better. Of course I bought ten—I almost dragged the cardboard display to the counter and dumped out the lot of them. I hadn't eaten and both the Middleton Copps and Gyro place were closed, which is why I was shopping for dinner at the gas station. I might still buy them all and get the kid's name and photo.

Green Caramel Apple Pops
They come in the classic Green Apple flavor along with Red Macintosh and Golden Delicious. Watch out, they stick to everything, not just thoughtlessly placed napkins, but Corelle plates even before you've gotten them wet, uh, started to eat them, um, sucked on them—can't win here, giving up.

You can't taste the various apples until you've worked off the outer candy a bit, at which point setting it down anywhere acts like an adhesive tantamount to super glue.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kiss This

Not one to do a lot of toadying, I like the idea of chocolate hanging off my body instead of permanently glued to my arse, so I'm going to post a little something about Hershey's Kiss Jewelry.

Silver Kiss Jewelry PendantI like the looks of it and think it would make a good gift for someone's Sweet Sixteen. See the Hershey's website linked above for more info.

We used to draw up posters and cover them with candy for a girl's sixteenth birthday in high school. Then we'd put them (the posters, not our friends) on their locker for people to sign. There wasn't much more than a Smarties or two left at the end of the day. I'm not sure what the guys did besides eat our candy. There's no subtext in that. I'm sure it involved Old Milwaukee and Mad Dog 20/20.

Thanks to the Now and Zen Group for the pendant image

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Like Butter

Irish StrudelI tend to buzz around sugar more often than something fried and phallic dipped in butter, but being one of the many questionable "Irish" food offerings at this year's Irish Fest, take a look at this:

TwistsFried Bread Steeped in Butter

The Twists (Brit slang for "girl" which I find ironic), were available in Cinnamon, Lemon, Plain and Salt by the time we got there. I'm willing to bet there were some stuffed with cheese that sold out.
Why not, the Big Kitchen Banger Platter was served with nine, yes nine sausages, the beef was glazed with Guinness, and there was ale in the pancakes.
All six of us had Koepsell's popcorn, my nephew Joey had a questionably Irish corned beef on marble rye, and I had a veggie egg roll.
Not only was Mader's boldly flying faded Irish colors in the Cultural Village, but the sign that screamed "Irish Egg Rolls" boasted that they were made with corned beef cabbage and, drum roll...cheese.
If you've ever been to or considered the idea of Irish Fest, you'll know it's not about the food, but the endless rhapsody of lovely Irish music. More about this and Milwaukee's Irish Fest on Behind The Cheddar Curtain this week.
Follow The Dish on Facebook for an early look.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Root Beer and Ice Cream Stands

I recently came back from Wausau, Wis., where curling is a PE elective. (I laugh, but I'd be out there sweeping the ice if I were more coordinated, plus the Wiscsonsin State Curling Association is here in Madison.)

A&W Onion Rings

What we don't have are the inordinate amount of soft serve ice cream shacks which dot the Wausau landscape. We don't even have an A&W here anymore, and considering it was our high school hangout in the seventies and our neighborhood hangout in the sixties—yes, I'm that old—it's a shame.

My wild eyed cousin put salt in my chocolate shake long before I developed a taste for sweet and sour at our neighborhood A&W. It had a Bookmobile parked on the corner and fittingly became the place for seniors before it retired and became a rib joint.

I was so inspired by the rash of ice cream shacks in Wausau and the charm of the A&W in Portage (taking the long way to Wausau), that I decided to have a last summer fling and seek out the best drive-in, drive-through, sit-down, take-out ice cream snack shack near or far. I'm hoping there's some lovely Guinness flavored ice cream at Irish Fest this weekend.

"There's an A&W in Port Orchard [Wash.] my kid wants to take me to because it's one of the originals. They make everything there, including their root beer. He says it's like drinking fizzy silk and the head is incredible." --Jodi

I'd long since given up on shout if from the rooftops soft serve (with the exception of the ice cream in the UW Hospital cafeteria - I leave no stone unturned) until I discovered a Wausau Briq's.

Hot Fudge Brownie Briq Mountain

Young Bug here is holding a Hot Fudge Brownie Briq Mountain (3.45/3.39). The fudge was so hot it toasted our fingers through the cup.

Banana Cream Pie Sundae

Bug is holding a Banana Cream Pie Graham Cracker Pie Crust Sundae (3.45/3.95) in this photo. I got a small Zebra soft cone (1.60), a good size, delicious, and 96% fat free. Leave me alone, I'm trying to eat healthier. No feedback on the Brownie Sundae yet, but Bug swears by the Banana Cream. They also have a 1 lb. cone, a variety of Sundaes, Smoothies, Flurries, Slushes, Floats, Whips, Shakes, Malts, Banana Splits, and six packs of Cookie Coolers and Lattes.

"My vote is for CHESTER'S in Plymouth...Best hamburgers and grilled breast of chicken around! Not to mention deep fried cheese curds..." --Sandy

A few people have mentioned the A&W in Edgerton, which one of my cousins (the one who put salt in my milkshake when I was four) thinks is the first one in Wisconsin. I don't have proof either way, so it might be time to dust off some archives at the State Historical Society (or the State Hysterical Society if you've ever heard the pigeons—what an exciting life I lead).

One of the most interesting things about the A&W website is their timeline. It lets you arrow through the first A&W root beer stand in 1919 to 2002 when they were taken over by Yum! Brands, Inc. ("Root beer stand" as in "Why should I give you a nickel for the root beer stand when you throw away milkshakes?" What were we, made of salted chocolate milkshakes.)

A&W Root beer

"...edgerton still has the drive up stalls and the staff bring the food on trays that attach to your window. are there many of those left yet?" --Kandy

This is why you see the Yum! Brand A&W fast food pairings. Somehow the combination of tacos and root beer floats isn't the same as a Flinstone tray on your car window. But I'm always thrilled into taking snapshots like a tourist when I come across an old tyme root beer or ice cream stand. I don't think I've seen an ice cream hut outside of a beach or the Merimac Ferry and applaud Wausau for their many ice cream stands, and every town, medium, small or large for their classic drive-ins and root beer stands.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Time In

SoCo time outI'm so sick of Brent

What's Been Going On

• I've taken some computer classes to catch my stride in the PC world
• Got my first laptop
• Started a blog for my mother called Evelyn's Corner
• Am updating my website and adding dog photos
• Am not crazy about the new AP spelling of "Web site" (website)
• My favorite neighbor moved away and many new ones moved in

SoCo nappingMy Favorite Neighbor

• Speaking of cankles, I started eating better and working out the very day I finished summer school. I lost almost six pounds in the last six days, and believe me, the way I've been hunched over a computer, Mickey D's and Cheese Nips, it's progress scale
• The YMCA gave me an offer I couldn't refuse to help counter all the new products I'll be trying
• I got both my parents (85) and Unky Ray (87) to go to the Belleville Olson Fourth of July and Birthday Food, Fun, and Beer Fest this year

Unky Ray in at the Belleville FarmUnky Ray up to no good in Belleville

• I had my first snowball fight in July

Snowballs in JulyBrian, Wanda, and a very pregnant Vicki

• It's Bart, Brent, Buck, I mean Brett déjà vu all over again. ESPN radio is saying "he transcends sports" as I type. Not being one to say "I told you so," I'll just show you this photo I took at my only visit to Lambeau

Brent FavreFrom my cousin's seats on the 50-yard line

• I got a new scanner yesterday so expect some new old photos

And, there's a new candy store in town called "Lucy's" that I can't wait to try

candy sucker