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Recipe for a Wonderful, Unexpected Vacation

by Jo Ann Miller (The Grandmother)

The following is a new recipe that I found over the weekend:

Gather a bunch of family (Your own mixture will work))
Mix together one State Mock Trial Competition for one day. (Almost any activity to bring you together)
The following cannot be changed:
Add at least 2 members not willing to go home after one day.
Mix in a spirit of adventure.
Stir up enthusiasm for finding an unbeaten path.
Results: A wonderful weekend.

All of this started with two grandsons participating in Mock Trial at Waco High. The team advanced to the State finals in Dallas. The Miller family, minus a few who had other things to do, went to Big D for the finals. By Friday Night we had all arrived and some of us found the way to Pappadeaux for a Mardi Gras dinner. (We choose to go there often when in “the city.”) Mardi Gras celebration was in full swing. Lots of beads and lots of people. After a l-o-n-g wait we had crawfish etouffe, bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp stuffed with jalapena served over dirty rice, and  different desserts–turtle cheesecake and key lime pie.

To bed late and up early for the trial. Shivering we drove downtown, parked at the old Dallas County Court House and walked the George Allen Court House. Grandsons performed well and placed eighth in the state. Good work, David and Matthew, aka Buckeye Pawpaw.

Next stop–the free parking at Neiman-Marcus’s valet lot and a visit to the Zodiak Room for a early lunch. We were treated to delicious chicken broth with a tiny cheese biscuit*, beautiful popovers with strawberry butter, shrimp and corn chowder, sliced chicken sandwich on ciabata and tiny shell pasta with a light alfredo sauce. Yum. Granddaughter tried on hats in Millinery, and then we were ready to head home.

BUT WAIT! Two of us wanted to delay that. And we did. We started searching at Waxahachie where we encountered a Mardi Gras parade and caught beads and doubloons, for a bed and breakfast. The Mother (the Final Decider) nixed the regular type hotel. All the way to Hillsboro we searched via cell phone,and took  a chance on finding a B&B at Whitney and Meridian. No luck. Undeterred the Grandmother suggested Glen Rose. Viola. Not a B&B but a hotel with a warmer atmosphere and better rates than the big city hotel.
So Glen Rose it was on a Saturday Night. We could have gone to a rodeo, but chose instead to go to the Texas Beer Garden and The Green Pickle. We had a surprisingly good Bleu Cheese Hamburger and, of course, fried pickles. And, of course, we drank beer and sat shivering in the Garden to hear some country music.That wasn’t all! Next day we giggled our way through the Fossil Rim Wildlife Preserve where we fed emus, zebras, many different types of deer and giraffees.

Hopeful that we could have a light supper at Red Caboose Winery in Clifton, we stopped. Alas, no food, but a nice glass of one of their great reds and a close and delightful encounter with a Wire-haired Pointing Griffon named Bear Hug. We fell in love with him. And after that–home.

Thanks to the small towns in Central Texas for exciting adventures. There may not be a Mardi Gras Parade or a rodeo, but I would bet that with a little research, you will find great adventures  not too far away.

*Helen Corbitt’s** Cheese Biscuit Recipe:

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup grated sharp cheese
3/4 cup milk

Sift flour, baking powder, and slat together; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir grated cheese into mixture. Ad all milk and mix to smooth dough. Turn out on lightly floured board. Knead lightly. Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake  in very hot oven at 450 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes.
Note: For small biscuits cut with doughnut hole cutter.
**Helen Corbitt  was in charge of food service at Neiman Marcus for a number of years.

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