Sunday, December 2, 2007

02 December 2007

We had a spontaneous adventure yesterday. Against our better judgement, we decided to go up to the Premium Outlet Malls in Dawsonville, Georgia. We never buy anything when we go there, but it still allures us from time to time. Afterwards, we tool the "path less taken" back toward Canton. It was a nice drive, so I wanted more. I had another genius suggestion: perhaps driving up to the Harrah's Casino in Cherokee, NC! We went up there a few years ago with Shafel and Shelly, so we had pleasant memories from that roadtrip. Low and behold, we discovered that it was the company that we enjoyed that time around! The casino is on a Cherokee Indian reservation, and they own and operate the venture. We had to park a half mile away, and there were buses of tourists around. We entered the casino and realized they still allow smoking inside. First blow. We made our way to the ATM machine and tried to orient ourselves. Between the really bad lighting and heavy cigarette smoke, I had the sudden urge to drink – heavily! But as we strolled through the casino, I began to have a strange feeling. I did not see anyone with beer or cocktails. That's when it hit me: Cherokee is DRY!!!!!! I panicked of course! We made our way to the hotel to check out the lounges and restaurants, but no luck. Jim pointed out that the restaurant photos only showed people drinking ice tea! Needless to say, we did not hang around long! However, I did win $275 right before we left on the draw poker machine. Wow, just enough to pay for the gas up to Cherokee and my $140 speeding ticket in Murphy, NC! I was going 77 in a 55, but he only cited me for 70 mph so I could mail in the fine. After we left Cherokee, we began our long track back to Canton. We looked for BBQ restaurants all the way back, around a 2 1/2 hour drive! Of course, we did not find one. We decided to drive all the way back to Alpharetta and eat at the "Swallow at the Hollow." Jim called, and they said they served until 10 pm. We got there around 9:40, but the snotty little hostess informed us they were "sold out for the night!" They have live music on Saturdays, so the place was packed. She didn't bother to mention that when Jim called her just 15 minutes before. So, we went across the street to Greenwoods and had very heavy Southernesque cuisine with mile-high pies for desert. What a day! So, today I had to get the bad taste from yesterday out of my mouth. Redemption was key. Therefore, I decided to go French comfort f0od and prepare a classic Coq Au Vin (chicken in red wine). It is an earthy, wonderful dish, but it takes a few hours to cook it correctly. I served it over buttered egg noodles tonight. If you ever have the time and want to try to cook this dish, Julia Child has a great recipe. You can find it on "the internets." Here is a short movie of my red wine sauce during the final reduction and a photo of the finished dish.

Bon appetît ya'll,

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