After long nights partying with little sleep and living on caffeine…Steve and Lisa invited us to join them in a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.
What is the Lake of the Ozarks you ask? It is really the river valley of the Osage river that has been flooded when the Bagnell dam was built. It looks like some kind of crazed caterpillar. It has over 1100 miles of shoreline and the main goal of everyone along that shoreline is to party like madmen.
Steve’s house is directly opposite from Augie Busch’s house..yep..that’s the guy who owns the Anheuser-Busch brewery. Augie likes to party like a madman too. In fact, very few people on the lake seem to want to do anything on the lake other than party.
If you are not partying on the lake…you are eating… You name it…you can eat it. There are bars and restaurants right on the waterfront…not just drive throughs but boat throughs. Nothing like pulling your boat or jet ski up and some bikini clad lass runs out and asks “Can I help you?” She proceeds to fill your tanks and bring you food. Now that is service.
The most quirky place we ate on the lake was The Dummy. We are not talking about great food. Some homedone bbq and lots of food service stuff, but the best thing was deep fried creamed corn fritters. They looked like they came out of the litter box, but damn good tasting. The juke box was half rock, half country and half Jimmy Buffet (yeah yeah yeah...if you know Buffet music...then you know how that math works…)
The best place we ate on the lake was Kay’s Home Cooking. All you can eat breakfast for $6.95. Best. Idea. Ever. And it is not a buffet. There is a real live sassy waitress bringing you as much food as you can pack down your gullet. The list included, but was not limited to: pancakes, French toast, omelets, gravy and biscuits, sausage (link and patties), home fries, eggs any way you want them…I am sure I am forgetting something…but you get the idea. Steve, Lisa, Annie, Tony and I sat down and ate for about an hour straight. After swimming and riding the jet skis, you can build up a big appetite.
Most of the time though, we cooked at the house. First night, I made Baked Chicken ala Tony with green beans and boiled red potatoes. We went shopping at Wal-mart. I usually don’t shop there, but when in Rome… I opted for frozen French style green beans, even though there were very nice fresh beans available. I was just being lazy; I didn’t want to snap beans before dinner.
After getting back to the kitchen, I took the chickens out of their plastic only to discover they were still frozen on the inside. Plus, the chickens looked like they had been beaten to death with a baseball bat. The spine had been separated from the ribs and the skin was torn in places. I had planned on doing beer can chicken on the grill, but the condition of my battle weary chickens convinced me to bake them instead. I improvised a quick brine from soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and some Italian herb blend that were in the cupboard. Then I went to watch Braveheart with everyone else.
Before Mel could bare his bottom, the chickens were on their way to the oven. I patted them dry, sprinkled them with more soy sauce, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne and put them into a 375 degree oven. An hour and 20 mins. later…dinner!!
The rest of the time we ate lake food… grilled steaks, pina coladas, lunchmeat sandwiches…low maintenance…but tasty.
The last thing I will mention about my vacation will be gooey butter cake. Those of you from St. Louis will know exactly what I am talking about… We encountered them because Debbie, my friend from work, grew up in St. Louis. Here is her list of must haves:
- Maul’s BBQ sauce
- St. Louis Style Italian Dressing
- Gooey Butter Cake
I was able to fulfill her wishes with a quick trip to Schnuck’s, a local grocery chain. Of, course, I had to get one for us to try. It was not bad…a lil’ bland for my tastes, but in my opinion: if ain’t chocolate cake, it ain’t tasty cake. If you ever go to St. Louis, get one…otherwise the experience will not be complete.
So that is it for me and my vacation…
Next time: sniff sniff… Is that my blog burning?