Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting ready to leave for Hawaii, it was my goal to eat the fridge clean. I pretty much succeeded, which left me with no bread (for peanut butter toast) and little milk for cereal. So for breakfast I had a bowl of thick-cut oatmeal with raisons, brown sugar and butter and a cup of coffee (using the rest of the milk up.)

I usually bring my lunch to work, and using what leftovers I had, I made myself some fish tacos. Normally I enjoy my fish and my tacos separate, but this actually worked out pretty well. I used two corn tortillas, about 3 oz. cooked salmon, less than 1 oz. of blue cheese, some romaine lettuce, and about 2 oz. home canned salsa. I ate that with about ½ bag Fritos and a Recess cup I had stashed in my desk. I also had an orange and some water.

Believe it or not, the combo of salsa, salmon and blue cheese was not unpleasant. The corn tortillas, bought at a Mexican grocery store, had a flowery aroma and a tender texture.

For dinner, I met my good friend KH, who would also be caring for the cats while we were away, at the Fitchburg Great Dane Pub. I had the Velvet Hammer Bock which was, for me, the perfect drinking beer. Dark in color, malty and slightly complex.

I was trying to come up with something very Wisconsin to have on my final night as I prepared to leave on my week-long tropical island vacation. I settled Wisconsin style Cheddar Mac, “A creamy blend of Wisconsin cheddar and our famous Pilsner, tossed with rigatoni noodles and topped with buttery toasted sourdough crumbs. Finished with a wedge of hand-selected seasonal cheddar. Served with a thick, chewy pretzel.” The cheese wedged into the center surprised me-at first I thought it was butter. I couldn’t taste the beer, but the tubular pasta was cooked perfectly and skated atop a thin layer of white cheddar sauce. The pretzel breadstick was a great addition. I also had a side salad with good milky ranch.

Maybe it was a slightly unconscious to order macaroni, as I hear “mac salad” is an essential part of the ubiquitous Hawaiian plate lunch. We shall see.

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