Our Gastronomic Visit to Old Friends, Jane & Bill Miller, Navasota, Texas

Jan. 23, 2015

Arrived here safe and sound and Allison & Eric (two of the 4 children) got here a couple hours later followed by Bert (#3 child) and we all had a great time catching up. Have taken some pictures of the wonderful food and also, a few people pictures – everyone is fine here.
??????????????????????????????? Bill, Allison & Roy
Jan 24 Eric and JaneEric and Miss Jane
Jan 23 Bert, Roy, EricBert, Roy & Eric – doing what we did ALL weekend.

Food started being put out almost immediately – baked Chicken Wings, Mexican style with Blue Cheese and Guacamole; followed by Charro Bean Soup with a dollop of Bill’s Guacamole. Next course: King Ranch Casserole and finishing with a slice of Sour Cherry Pie with Blue Bell ice cream. Burp!
Jan 23 Charro Bean w cilantro

Saturday, we started the feasting with –
Jan 24 Grits, Sausage Bluegerry BreakfastGrits, Sage Sausage, Cheddar Thyme biscuits and a Blueberry ‘coffee’ cake. Of course, everything with very tasty.

Managed to walk around Navasota to work a little of the food off (but, Navasota is not a large town!) – Stopped in an Antigue shop and found a project for Roy when we get off the road. “You Are My Sunshine” was the first song I learned to sing as a 5 year old and this is what I found on the wall of the shop –
???????????????????????????????a project for Roy!

I don’t think we were home long before Jane & Bill did more magic in their kitchen – today in addition to their skills, daughter Allison performed her magic with a Tasting board. She is working on tastes for a show coming up featuring products carried in her store (H.E.B.), where she is the Deli Mgr. and our Cheese Monger extraordinaire. She made a beautiful presentation and wouldn’t you know when I tried to look at the pictures I took, the camera card was still in the laptop – no pictures of what she had worked so cleverly on.

Dinner was Braised Short Ribs with Carrots and Olives, Crème Fraiche mashed potatoes, rib jus drizzled over. A butter lettuce salad with blue cheese, walnuts and a Champagne vinaigrette.

Rogue Valley Salad*****
Jane made this salad Jan. 24, 2015 while we visited – served with Braised Short Ribs and Crème Fraiche mashed potatoes.

Dressing:
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1 T. Dijon
1 T. honey
1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup walnut oil
Whisk together the first 5 ingred. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil.

Salad:
1 head butter lettuce
2 Pears, peeled, cored and sliced
2/3 cup blue cheese
2/3 cup candied nuts or toasted nuts
4 servings
Jan 24 Short Rib Dinner

And then, there was Allison’s (Bill & Jane’s ‘girl child’) plate which was larger than she!
???????????????????????????????She finished the entire plate of food! (and, she is a little thing)

By this time we were ready to crawl from the table, but Jane had a different idea for us… Pots de Crème with White Chocolate Whipped Cream.
???????????????????????????????

It is now Sunday morning and after 2 nights of late night debauchery, we are all moving quite slowly…but, Miss Jane is in the kitchen again putting together a brunch which will probably outdo previous offerings.  (While she is whipping up the brunch, here I sit with a cup of coffee and enjoying the leftovers of my Pots de Crème from Sat. night!)

Sunday Brunch with Bloody Bulls and Champagne:
???????????????????????????????Bacon, Ambrosia Salad and Butterscotch Sticky Buns (with a splash of Scotch!)

Here’s the recipe from Food & Wine, Jan. 2010 –
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/butterscotch-sticky-buns

To walk all this off in anticipation of the next culinary extravaganza, we headed to the fairgrounds where their son, Bert, was judging a Brisket Cook Off – Bloody Marys and Chili cook offs had been held that morning and the day before. I have never in my life seen so many “good ole boys” in one place in my life. I would have loved to have taken all of their pictures, but I was afraid they might think I was making fun. The whiskers, bow legs and cowboy gear – clean and sparkling plus the grubbiest ever (the folks who had been cooking all weekend) – everything was just a hoot! Wish we could have tasted some of the brisket.

Home to more food –
???????????????????????????????1st course – homemade potato chips, Feta & Dill dip and Three Onion Dip (this one I couldn’t stop eating).

Here’s the recipe from Bon Appetitt, Sept. 2014
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Three-Onion-Dip-51245410
Note: Jane passed along her modifications: 2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce plus she uses 3 anchovies.
???????????????????????????????Stuffed Mushrooms – so tasty.

And then, the entrée – a robust, rustic Sausage Ziti Casserole which was also so good with just the right amount of heat and seasoning to entice a body to overeat again.
???????????????????????????????Adding to the goodness was Jane’s garlic bread topped with my contribution – Guimi’s Butter Rouille. Guimi is a friend from Port Angeles, WA and here is her recipe

Guimi’s Butter Rouille*****

New friends treated us to a wonderful Paella dinner last evening – Gary & Guimi entertained us royally with a Shellfish/Chicken/Sausage/kitchen sink dish cooked in their gazebo while the rest of us relaxed with good wine and ‘hearty’ Bloody Marys.  Finished the evening with a rum cake and port. Happy campers all! Our thanks to them for a wonderful evening – the first of many get togethers, I’m sure.

It should not surprise anyone that I came away with a recipe! Guimi makes the tastiest Butter Rouille which we all were ‘slathering with abandonment’ (like that? J ) on our bread rounds. A perfect match for the Paella!

3 cloves garlic
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup mayo
Ground pepper
1/3 tsp saffron which has been soaked in 1 T. hot water

————————-

That ended the gluttony of the weekend and Monday morning saw us all groaning when Miss Jan listed off what she’d like to make for us for Breakfast. We ended up with a slice of Sour Cherry pie with our coffee and then headed to our ‘temporary’ home in Sulphur, Louisiana.

Monday’s dinner was a quick one as Jane sent us on our way with leftover Ziti casserole.
???????????????????????????????

She also sent home a couple of leftover short ribs which will top a Cracker pizza Tuesday. And then it is diet food time for a while. If you are ever near Navasota, Texas – drop in on the Miller’s, I’m sure they will feed you just as well as they do us every time we visit!!

Thanks for another wonderful visit, Bill & Jane.

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