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Borrego Springs, CA

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nurse Ratchet and a Spiedie Fest

I headed off for Fargo yesterday morning to pick up my brother, Kurt, at the airport.  He flew in from Mesa, AZ, to be my traveling companion on my fall trip down to Arizona.  His plane was actually early in arriving, but I still managed to get there with time to spare.  I did notice while waiting that I was about the only one not electronically connected to something.  I guess I’m sort of a dinosaur.  I never even thought to bring my new I-pad with me.  I just people watched while I waited for his flight to arrive.

While we were in Fargo, I had to make one more stop at the Sponge candy store and the Bread Smith store.  Who knows when I’ll have a chance to pick up these favorite things again?  I also needed a loaf of crusty Italian bread for a Spiedie Fest that I was planning.

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‘Nurse Ratchet’ arrived without his Red Cross hat this time, and wore a ball cap instead.  Winking smile  This morning, I gave him the royal tour of the refuge and asked him to pose on the bridge over the Otter Tail River for the obligatory blog photo.  Coming from triple digit temperatures in AZ, he is suffering a bit (and not silently) about the cold windy weather here.

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If some of you are wondering what a Spiedie is, I’m going to tell you.  It’s a regional dish that comes from Binghamton, NY.  I lived near there for 18 years and always enjoyed Spiedies.  John and Bridget had never heard of them, so I told them I would fix some before I left.  Time was running out, so tonight was the night.

77 Tamarac NWR 201410There is a special sauce that you make, and marinade the meat in it for a couple of days.  This time I used boneless, skinless chicken thigh chunks.   Originally lamb was used, but any kind of meat can be used. It is put on skewers and grilled, and always served on a crusty slice of Italian bread.  You just put the slice of bread in your hand and wrap it around the Spiedie and pull the skewer out.  No condiments are added.  It is delicious.  (Can you see the remnants of my ‘Mohawk’ hair cut?)

_MG_0778Of course, no Spiedie dinner would be complete without salt potatoes to accompany it.  I asked Brenda to fix those.  You boil new potatoes in a ton of salty water, squish them down on your plate, and drizzle with melted ‘real’ butter.  We had to eat pretty fast as you can see we are quite bundled up and a cold wind was blowing.  Emma’s nose was working overtime, and she was a willing crumb picker for any dropped morsels.

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Recently arrived volunteers, Ward and Pat, provided fresh made Cole slaw and brownies alamode for desert.  We sure didn’t have to worry about the ice cream melting.  Good friends, good food, and rousing conversation… a great time!

Tomorrow, everything gets packed away for our departure on Monday morning.  I hope it’s a little warmer outside for that work.  I’m ready to move on, but will miss my good friends here on the refuge.

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As for Nurse Ratchet and me, we have agreed that I will do the cooking, and he will do the dishes.  Hey!  I haven’t had a dishwasher in eight years.  No more dishpan hands for me!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

34 comments:

  1. Happy Travels Judy! Looks like you had quite a send-off, and I bet you can't wait to start flying south. Have a great trip with "Nurse Dishpan"!

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  2. Let the fun trip begin! Are you going to share your sponge candy with your bro, or is he going to have to hunt around the MH for it??? :c)

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  3. Hi Judy: I'm so very behind on reading and posting blogs; but, I caught this one and realize your Summer is almost over. I'd never heard of Spiedies so had to Google them. There are so many recipes and the history of that delicacy is fun to learn. I could almost taste them when I went back over the photos after having learned a little about them. Thanks for sharing; I'll certainly try my hand at them soon.

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  4. Great end of summer send-off party !!!!! Menu sounded delish ..... Hope the trip southwest is tons of fun and great sites along the way..... Your traveling brother looks great and ready to go .... It will be fun sharing the trip with both of you !!! Safe travels......

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  5. It's going to be quite a change for you to have a companion on your trip. Enjoy and safe travels.

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  6. One last final feast before take off. Sure sounds good. Have a wonderful journey south. Time to get out of the cold. I always want my phone with me because I have the Kindle app on it and I read books while I wait - usually when Jim is in the hardware or auto stores.

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  7. I can't wait to hear about your exciting adventures... with the nurse!
    Have fun and be safe!

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  8. Those looks like something my mother used to make. Haven't thought of them in years! Safe travels friend. Hope you have lots of laughs with your brother.

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  9. I love to try "local" delicacies. . .speedies sound like a great one to try. . .

    Can't wait to read about all your travels west adventures. . .

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  10. Safe travels and hope to hear of your adventures as you travel west with your brother.
    Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  11. Looks like lots of fun. Safe travels, I'm glad you have a traveling companion!!

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  12. Judy, now is the time to make some of those dishes that you have been putting off. You know the ones that require about a dozen mixing bowls and pots to cook which you never make because you don't want to wash all those dishes. Go for it.

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  13. My son-in-law is from Vestal, NY and introduced us to Speedies. He said his good friend from High School was Steve Bell. Any relation to you?

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  14. Yup, half of the country is sitting in a frying pan of high heat and you guys are wearing jackets and whining about the cold. Go figure!

    Safe travels to you and Nurse Ratchet (in the ball cap... leave the Red Cross hat for someone else!) :- )

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  15. Hmmm. Traveling with a brother. I haven't done that since I was a teenager. I sure hope you and Kurt have a lot of fun traveling together.

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  16. Are you going to share your special sauce recipe?
    We're heading south too. Sitting here with the air conditioner on.
    Teri
    markteri.blogspot.com

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  17. Sounds delicious and not a ton of dishes to wash.
    Glad Nurse Ratchet arrived without any issues. Not sure if I have ever heard of a plane arriving early. Amazing.

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  18. Great pics of friends, food, and fun. You need to publish the complete recipe. Safe travels....jc

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  19. Your food sounds delicious and Nurse "R" looks a bit top heavy with his mustache being the "longhorn" style.

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  20. Glad to see the nurse again. Love the picture of you two at the end. That send off dinner looks delicious. Hope you have safe travels tomorrow. Will be looking forward to where you go. We just moved from lows in the low 40's to highs in the upper 80's. Whew. I'll take the 40's at least I can put on a heavy coat. There is only so much I can take off to get cool. Will Kurt drive??

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  21. Aahhhh, the pleasure of being back on the road! And someone to share the joy with....priceless.

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  22. A dishwasher and heading to warmer climates.............you are one lucky lady!!! Safe travels as you journey to the southwest!!

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  23. Saying goodbye to the place you called home for a few months must be hard. Of course saying goodbye to friends is even harder. Fond memories, of this time, will always be with you. Enjoy your time with your bro, what a great opportunity to be with him! Safe travels!!!

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  24. The food sounds great but yes were's the recipe for the sauce or is it a secret?

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  25. Safe travels! Seems like you just got here and I have not been through the refuge all summer. Good that you have a great traveling companion that does dishes:)

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  26. Give up the secret sauce recipe please. Looks delicious. Glad you and your brother are going to have some fun times together traveling. It is definitely time to depart out of that freezing cold weather.

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  27. Yummy!!!! Glad that you have someone to travel with. My son will help me drive to my next gig. He actually will drive the MH and I will drive my car. It's only about an hour away.

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  28. Did you get a chance to order the spiedie sauce online.

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  29. What a wonderful last dinner. Yep, you're gonna miss those friends! And the refuge. But onward!

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  30. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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