Friday, January 31, 2020

Much Better Late than Never!

In recent years we have grown used to and look forward to a visit by Dawn Marie immediately after Christmas.  She would either pop in from Miami or directly from some other location she was visiting in her 200,000 plus annual miles of business related air travel. 

This year was different… Due to happenings and changes in the company she works for, she had to put off our visit until she could catch her breath and find a couple of down days.  In the interim she sent us this photo of her wearing angel wings.

Right at Christmas, she sent us another photo…this one with her Santa hat!  As the operations integration officer with her company, she was still running fast.

Finally, on January 10th, Dawn Marie joined us for a long weekend.  Our neighbor Sherry took these 3 photos of Dawn, yours truly and Laurie.  We thought that this first one came out very nicely...

I like this photo a lot…mainly because I’m obviously the subject of ‘blind adoration’!

I can’t decide if I like the ‘adoration’ photo or this one better…where I was on the receiving end of a bit of lovin’!  More than likely, the ladies both just humored the old guy…

Dawn had flown directly into Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport, about a 45 minute drive from our house.  However she left town via Chattanooga’s airport…about an hour and 20 minutes from home.  It was a short but relaxing visit!

After dropping Dawn off at the airport, Laurie and I decided to take advantage of being in Chattanooga by picking up our dinner to go from Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken.  We’ve eaten a couple of times at their downtown location but this was our first visit to the north side restaurant on Lee Highway.

This turned out to be the backside of the restaurant.  It has character, that’s for sure!  I decided that I should go around to the front to take another photo given how decrepit looking this side was…

So much for a more upscale classy look!  The front of the restaurant is decidedly as down-home and dive shack looking as the back was… Of course this is part of the theme at Champy’s.  Their locations are designed to look like a shack that’s been assembled using whatever was on hand, creating a down-home ‘chicken shack’ atmosphere.  In fairness, those whitish blank walls are the winter season coverings for the outdoor dining area.

So this is what the inside of the Chattanooga north side Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken shack/restaurant looks like.  The first photo shows the inside dining area with all its glitz and miscellaneous décor.  The second picture shows the bar and the indoor/outdoor dining space in its cold weather mode. 

We ordered a bunch of chicken to take out for dinner and extra meals to follow.  By the time I remembered to take a photo, these 2 chicken thighs and one breast were all we had left.  We had ordered Champy’s 12-Piece Family Snack…and here’s where we ran into problems. 

We told our server that we didn’t want any legs…and that she should substitute thighs in their place.  So we should have had 3 breasts, 3 wings and 6 thighs in our take home pack.  Nope!  I was up-charged 30 cents each for the 3 thigh substitution…which was expected. (Total $25.89) But, when we got home we discovered that we had 1 breast, 3 legs, 3 wings and 5 thighs.  I don’t like not getting what I paid for...and worst yet, also getting what I didn’t want!

In any case, we now know that we prefer Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Knoxville…and that restaurant is about 20 minutes closer to our home.  We have also discovered that the Ingles Supermarket kitchen in nearby Lenoir City Tennessee serves some very nice and juicy fried chicken…large pieces too!

Champy’s chicken is good, certainly better than most, and the funky atmosphere does add interest.  Try it yourself and see what you think.  This Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken restaurant is located at 6925 Lee Highway in Chattanooga Tennessee.  Phone: 423-803-2800.  The company’s website is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Along the Road Home

…taking a break from the 3 posts about the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, I’ve moved ahead, reviewing the dining experiences that we enjoyed along the road home to East Tennessee.

I’ve previously blogged about all 3 restaurants that I’m covering in this post.  Our first stop on the way home was for lunch at Ashley’s Apple Basket Grill in Macon Missouri.  This local favorite is located in the middle of the town’s downtown district and they always seem to be busy.  

Laurie went for a special…a half sandwich and a cup of soup.  In this case she had a half Patty Melt on grilled sourdough bread with a cup of bean and ham soup.  She enjoyed her lunch at this reliable stop along our route.  Not only is the food good, but so is the price. 

I’m not sure what the price was for her lunch special but a 4 oz. Patty Melt is $6.00 and an 8 oz. is $8.00.  Regular sides, which include such items as French fries, homemade chips, cold slaw, baked apples and pickled beets are an additional $1.25.

As for yours truly, I opted for the Tenderloin Supreme, a hand-breaded pork tenderloin topped with bacon and Swiss cheese and served on grilled sourdough bread. ($8.50) As a side, I ordered a cup of Potato soup.  A cup of soup is normally $2.00 and a bowl costs $4.00.  I was very happy with both the soup and the sandwich!

Ashley’s Apple Basket Grill is located at 215 North Rollins Street in Macon Missouri.  This restaurant is open from 6:30 AM until 8:00 PM Monday – Saturday and from 7:30 AM until 2:00 PM on Sunday.  Phone: 660-395-7015.  This restaurant with its menu can be found on Facebook at:

Our drive home from Omaha takes about 16 hours with stops so we almost always stop overnight at Mount Vernon Illinois.  Our restaurant of choice is The Frosty Mug Bar and Grill.  If there ever was a quintessential example of a local joint, The Frosty Mug is it!  It’s located away from the Interstate highways and it looks unpromising to the outsider.  Heck…there isn’t even a front entrance!  It’s in the back and you do have to know or learn where it is…

This is the busy bar at The Frosty Mug.  For the second time, we decided to sit in this area…even at the same table.  Everybody knows everyone here and the owner is always around.  The chatter at the bar can cover almost any topic and it can be quite interesting.

The last time we were here, they had a steak special that we both ordered.  But this time they had a Fish, Shrimp and Clam Strip Special that came with 2 sides, slaw and green beans, plus a slab of garlic bread.  Look at all that food!  It’s hard to beat the price at only $12.95!  Best of all…it was really good!

After dinner, we shared a dessert…peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream. ($4.00) It was very tasty, a nice finish to way too much food!  FYI, Laurie had a Tito’s Vodka and tonic, and it was only $4.75.

The Frosty Mug Bar and Grill is located at 1113 Salem Road in Mount Vernon Illinois.  This restaurant has truly expansive hours!  Curiously although there doesn’t seem to be a breakfast menu, their posted hours are from 7 AM to 11 PM Monday – Thursday, 7 AM – 2 AM on Friday, 11 AM – 2 AM on Saturday and from 12 Noon until 10 PM on Sunday.  Phone: 618-242-3372.  Website:

A couple of family visits ago, we stopped off at Father Tom’s Pub in Cookeville Tennessee.  On the last leg of this trip home we decided to pay a repeat visit to yet another small town local dining establishment.

This may be a local restaurant…and the prices are quite reasonable…but the food options can be quite upscale.

Except at the back area where we were seated, Father Tom’s is a long narrow restaurant with a lot of character.  Note that it wasn’t busy because we were there for a late lunch…

The bar and Father Tom’s overall décor is a cross of warm woods, an ‘industrial’ ceiling and eye-catching wall décor.  We love the atmosphere in this place!

One section of Father Tom’s brick walls is decorated with a number of colorful signs from various artisanal breweries...and a wild chandelier.  Not only is there an extensive list of brews to choose from, the restaurant also offers a respectable list of wines for its patrons.  As for ‘spirits’, a wide variety of options are available to include a very nice selection of single malt scotches.

Laurie decided to have “The Big Cheese”, Father Tom’s version of a classic white cheddar and sourdough grilled cheese sandwich. ($7.00) It was accompanied by a cup of “The Strange Brew”, a classic Irish style beer cheese soup garnished with red pepper and accompanied by a piece of toasted baguette.  This was definitely true comfort food!

As I said at the onset, this is decidedly not a local bar with typical bar food.  By way of example, the specials during the week that I wrote this post included the following: For lunch the Shrimp-Peach-Mint Pad Thai ($10.00); at dinner it was the Sea Bass Dinner…the sea bass is coated with a black garlic crust and it’s accompanied by fingerling potatoes in black truffle butter with lightly smoked heirloom tomato relish. ($23.00)

For my lunch I selected the “Nine Iron”. ($10.00) This sandwich creation was constructed using corned beef, smoked turkey, Benton’s Bacon, Swiss cheese, Arcadian lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli. (I left off the red onion) For my side, I also had that great beer soup…minus the red pepper topping. 

This was a very satisfying sandwich with lots of flavor and contrasting textures  going on.  I would order it again!

Father Tom’s Pub is located at 32 North Cedar Avenue near the center of Cookeville Tennessee.  Phone: 931-854-9484.  Their website can be found at

I thought that it would be appropriate to end this post with a photo a neighbor took showing the sunset on a long drive home…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by and joining us on our journey home!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, January 27, 2020

Strategic Air Command Museum (II)

…continuing with part 2 of our visit to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Ashland Nebraska.

There is so much to see at this museum…and these rockets/missiles on display outside the front of the museum are just another example of the variety available for visitors.  It was too cold and windy for me to explore the outdoor exhibits, and I am much more interested in the aircraft, so I just took this one photo of the missiles.

Missiles on exhibit outdoors include: Northrup SM-62 Snark; Convair SM-65 Atlas; Douglas PGN-17A Thor, and; the Chance Vought SLV-1 Blue Scout.  While the first 3 missiles list above were designed to deliver nuclear warheads, the Blue SCOUT wasn’t…

Instead, the Scout (Solid Controlled Orbital Utility Test system) was a 4-stage solid-fuel rocket capable of launching a 385 lb. satellite into a 500 mile orbit.  It was the USA’s first solid-fuel launch vehicle that was capable of orbiting a satellite.

The Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” is a 4-engine heavy bomber that was developed in the 1930s for the US Army Air Corps.  It eventually became the third most produced bomber in history with 12,731 being built between 1936 and 1945.  The USAAC, later the US Army Air Force, promoted the B-17 as a strategic weapon.  It was fairly fast for its time, it flew high and it had long-range capabilities…and it was equipped with a lot of heavy defensive weapons and armor.  It had a reputation for being tough…with many stories and photos showing evidence of badly damaged Flying Fortresses safely returning to base.

The B-17 dropped more bombs than any other USAAF aircraft during World War II.  Over 640,000 tons (1,280,000,000 pounds) of bombs were dropped on Nazi Germany and its occupied territories.  In addition, the B-17 also saw quite a bit of service in the Pacific theater during the war.

Sixteen countries operated B-17’s as part of their air force following the end of WWII.  A number of these planes were also sold for civilian use…with some even being converted to passenger aircraft.  Most of the remaining Flying Fortresses however, were flown back to the USA and then scrapped.  As of October of last year, only 9 B-17s remain airworthy…although none of these were actually flown in combat.  Many more of these airplanes are either in storage or on display… 

The Douglas C-54 Skymaster is a 4-engine transport aircraft used by the US Army Air Forces in WWII and in the Korean War.  It was derived from its popular civilian version, the Douglas DC-4.  Dozens of variants of this aircraft were built…totaling 1,170 planes before production ceased.  This aircraft were one of the primary types of planes that participated in the Berlin Airlift during the Cold War.

A total of 380 of the C-54D variants were built.  At one time or another, C-54s served in 34 country’s air forces as well as the USAs.  Today, 11 C-54s still in the inventory of Buffalo Airways, which is located in Hay River, in Canada’s Northwest Territory.  Buffalo operates out of the Yellowknife Airport.  Website:  From looking at the company’s website, it appears that the C-54s have been retired, with some of them being offered for sale… FYI, Buffalo Airways still utilizes the last commercially flying DC-3 or C-47 that participated in the D-Day Invasions.

The only operational C-54 in the USA is owned by the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation.  To learn more about this organization, their goals and their aircraft, go to

The Convair F-102 “Delta Dagger”, aka the “Deuce”, was an interceptor aircraft that was a key part of the USAF’s air defenses in the late 1950s.  Its primary mission was to intercept Soviet strategic bombers during the Cold War.  A total of 1,000 of these planes were built with the F-102A being the primary example although there were a number of versions developed.

The F-102 was the USAF’s first operational supersonic interceptor and delta-wing fighter.  It was retired from service in 1976.  During the Vietnam War, these planes served as escorts for our B-52 bombers over North Vietnam.  President to be, George W. Bush flew an F-102A during his service with the Texas Air National Guard.  At one point, both Greece and Turkey, not exactly friends politically, both had these aircraft in their inventory.

As you will see below, the SAC Museum isn’t all about aircraft per se.  This flight jacket is an example of the varied items offered to enhance visitor’s viewing experience.
This particular WW II pilot’s jacket belonged to a B-29 Super Fortress waist gunner named Max Malone.  The plane was based in India and it carried out long range bombing missions on Japanese positions.  Malone flew 20 such missions.  The jacket was donated to the museum by his brother.

These dioramas show the inside of the Glenn L. Martin Bomber Plant, aka Air Force Plant 1 while it was producing B-29 Super Fortresses during World War II.  The plant was built by Martin on government land adjacent to US Army Air Corps’ Offutt Field near Bellevue Nebraska.  The location was chosen because it was far from the threat of enemy attack and it was close to a good labor market with a big railroad hub.  For once, the government was ahead of the game.  Construction of 7 buildings for the plant was virtually complete when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered the war.

The plant began producing B-26 Marauder medium bombers in January of 1942...building a total of 1,585 B-26 aircraft in total.  They were coming off the line at a rate of 50 per month!  In 1944, production was switched to the B-29 Super Fortress very heavy bombers.  A total of 531 Super Fortress bombers were produced before the end of WWII.

Two well-known B-29s were built here.  They were the ‘Enola Gay’ and ‘Bockscar’, the planes that dropped the first atomic bombs (and hopefully the last) in a military action, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan.  The pilot of the ‘Enola Gay’, Paul Tibbets personally selected the aircraft from the Martin assembly line.   

Several posters near the dioramas further explain and depict the construction and aircraft assembly efforts at the Glen L. Martin Bomber Plants/Offutt Air Base.  Construction not only included the 1,700,000 sq. ft. aircraft-assembly building but also 6 big hangars and a 2 mile long concrete runway.  The workforce at the plant would top 14,000 with about 40% of them being women.  In April of 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, plant owner Glenn L. Martin and Nebraska’s governor Dwight Griswold toured this amazing part of America’s war effort. 

I believe that that huge assembly building is still standing although I noted an article in 2016 that stated that it is slated to be demolished.  It’s located too close to Offutt Air Base’s main runway so it’s considered a safety hazard.  It does seem to be a sad fate for a building that has been described as “one of the most important works of engineering and architecture in Nebraska and one of the most historically significant World War II era buildings in the USA.

Today Offutt Air Force Base is home to the 55th Wing, the largest wing of the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command, as well as several other significant associated units.

This of course is a C-47 “Skytrain” or “Dakota”, which was referred to as the “Gooney Bird” in the European theater of operations.  This military transport aircraft was developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3 airliner.  It was used extensively by our Allies during WWII for the transportation of troops (including parachutists), cargo and the wounded.  It even was used to pull troop carrying gliders… 

More than 10,000 C-47s were produced in Long Beach and Santa Monica California plus Oklahoma City Oklahoma.  The plant in Oklahoma built 5,354 C-47s in just 30 months!  That’s about 178 aircraft per month… Note: Another 607 DC-3 civilian airliners were also built over the years.

Considering that the first C-47 rolled off the assembly line in December of 1941, it’s remarkable to note that the US Air Force’s Strategic Air Command had them in service through 1966 and the Air Force’s Sixth Special Operations Squadron flew them until 2008!  At least 100 countries have included C-47’s in their Air Force inventories over the years.  El Salvador, Colombia and South Africa still have them in service.  Many DC-3/C-47 aircraft are still in civilian use around the world…

That black aircraft hanging from the ceiling is is a Lockheed U-2, a single-engine jet aircraft designed to operate as an ultra-high altitude reconnaissance plane.  Nicknamed “Dragon Lady” it provides day and night all-weather intelligence gathering.  This aircraft is only 63 feet long with a 102 foot wingspan.  It has a range of over 7,000 miles and it can fly as high as 80,000 feet above sea level.  It isn’t speedy, with a top speed of only 410 mph…but it can loiter over a reconnaissance target of interest for a bit…having a stall-out speed of only 75 mph. (In the second photo, the U-2 is 'flying' over the B-17)

The U-2 first flew in 1955.  The idea was that this plane could fly too high for interceptor aircraft to shoot it down.  During the Cold War, it was flown over the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam and Cuba.  Famously, Gary Powers was shot down in 1960 by a surface to air missile, (he was subsequently captured), while flying a CIA U-2A over the Soviet Union.  Another U-2 was shot down over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

A number of variants of the U-2 have been built over the years with the U-2S being upgraded in 2012.  About 104 U-2 “Dragon Lady” aircraft have been built.  Although it was supposed to be phased out several years ago, the U-2 remains in service.  Its replacements have either been too costly, delayed in development and or deployment or they just haven’t achieved their operational goals.  One big advantage of the U-2 is that it can change surveillance objectives on short notice…something that surveillance satellites can’t do.

For more information about the U-2 and the Gary Powers shoot-down over Russia, go to  FYI...there is a special exhibit at the Museum regarding Gary Powers and the U-2 'shoot down'.

The McDonnell F-101 “Voodoo” is a supersonic jet fighter that was utilized by both the USAF and the Royal Canadian Air Force.  At its inception, the Voodoo was designed to serve as a long-range bomber escort for SAC, but in the end it was developed as a nuclear-armed fighter-bomber for the Air Force’s Tactical Air Command (TAC) as well as a photo reconnaissance aircraft. 

An F-101A version of the Voodoo set several world speed records for jet powered aircraft including the fastest airspeed in 1957.  The F-101B variant of the Voodoo, (a two-seater vs. a single seat in the F-101A), entered service with the US Air Defense Command in 1959 and with the RCAF in 1961.  The “B” model not only had a second crew member on board but it also had a large radar unit in its nose as well as a new weapons bay that used a rotating door that kept its 4 AIM-4 Falcon missiles or 2 AIR-2 Genie rockets hidden within the airframe until they needed to be fired.

A total of 807 F-101 Voodoos were built with 479 of them being F-101Bs.  The F-101A Voodoos served in their reconnaissance role until 1979, the USAF F-101B’s served with the US Air National Guard until 1982 and the Canadian version was retired in 1984. 

The first photo above shows the B-36 “Peacemaker” from the front while the second photo provides a glimpse of what this aircraft looks like from the rear.  Built by Convair in 1948 and operated by the USAF until 1959, the B-36 is the largest mass-produced piston-engine airplane ever built.  With a wingspan of 230 feet and 6 radial propeller engines, measuring 162 feet in length and with a maximum take-off weight of 205 tons, (including fuel, weapons and a crew of as many as 15), this is a huge aircraft.  I included a photo of a B-36 from one of the museum’s dioramas just to show the configuration of the airplane.  There is no way I could capture it with my camera in the crowded hangar.

Planning for this bomber began in 1941 when it appeared that Great Britain might succumb to the German war machine.  We knew that the German Air Force was working on plans for a bomber that could reach the USA from Europe.  Later in WWII, further need for a long range bomber became obvious in our effort to win the war against Japan.  The Cold War and the Soviet Union’s development of nuclear weapons made a long-range bomber an absolute necessity…minimally as a deterrent.   

With a range of 10,000 miles without refueling, the “Peacemaker” was our interim answer to the Soviet threat.  The B-36 made its first flight in August of 1946.  A total of 384 were built.  The “Peacemaker” was probably obsolete when it was first produced.  It was piston-powered while our potential enemies had already introduced their first-generation jet fighters.  In an effort to maintain this aircraft as a credible deterrent, 4 GE jet engines were added near the end of each wing…giving the B-36D a total of 10 engines!  The added jet engines greatly improved takeoff and dash speed over the target but in normal cruising flight, they were shut down to conserve fuel.

The “Peacemaker” was the primary nuclear weapons delivery aircraft of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) until it was replaced by the Boeing B-52 “Stratofortress” beginning in 1955.  Only 4 complete B-35 aircraft remain, all of them on exhibit in museums.

Laurie took this photo of David II and me as we perused the collection at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum…

We all thought that this giant 3-story Nextel Partners “American Art Flag” was just beautiful!  This flag was unveiled in February of 2002.  Participants in the unveiling/dedication of this creative US Flag included the mayors of Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska, SAC officials, the Omaha Children’s Museum, the Millard Public Schools and 4 area senior centers. 

I did learn that the flag is made up of drawings by elementary students after the attacks on 9/11/2001.  I’m guessing that they were stitched together by the residents of the senior centers.  The resulting flag is both patriotic and inspirational!

That great American flag shown above hangs on the wall in one of the SAC Museums hangars.  It is right behind this “Tie Towers” sculpture.  This ‘soft’ sculpture which hangs from a steel wire frame, was created in 2002 by Omaha artist Greg Laakso.  It consists of 1,452 neckties, each tie representing a life lost when the north tower of the World Trade Building collapsed after being attacked by terrorists in 2001.  Laakso is a University of Nebraska graduate and soldier who completed 2 tours of duty in Iraq.

In another week or so, I will post one more series of photos and information about the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to help us explore this expansive museum!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, January 24, 2020

Home and More…

Taking a break from my 3-part post about the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum… Today it’s all about home, food made at home and our dinner fare at a restaurant located close to our house.

Every day should start out with a sunrise!  Laurie took this rare early morning photo of the sun just starting to come up over the hills and mountains just east of our home.  I call this a rare photo because we're rarely up early enough to even see a sunrise!

This photo, out over the top of neighbor’s homes, shows a winter view of Tellico Lake.  It was taken from our guest bedroom’s balcony/deck.  In the summer, the view is unfortunately a bit more obstructed…

In the past couple of months we’ve had a couple of recent strong wind downbursts combined with a lot of rain.  The first photo shows the woods next to us with that large leaning tree.  In the second picture, you can see the remnants of the trees that came down across the road in a storm that took place about 3 weeks ago.  No damage done in either case…

Our daughter-in-law Amy, makes a great snack mix every year around the Thanksgiving holiday.  We all tend to  gobble it down when watching sports or a movie.  So as we neared Christmas 2019, Laurie determined to make up a similar mix for us while we watched the college football bowl games and the NFL playoffs.

Laurie used Corn and Rice Chex, Snyder’s thin bow tie pretzels, Cheese-Its, Goldfish Crackers and peanuts…dousing them liberally with Worchester Sauce, garlic power, onion power, ….. and then baking the mixture on a flat cookie sheet in the oven…stirring it as needed.

Laurie wasn’t crazy about the resulting mix but I really enjoyed it!  I liked the addition of the 2 cheesy crackers types and the bow tie instead of stick pretzels.  We both agreed that the peanuts were unnecessary but I did forget a key ingredient when shopping for the needed supplies…the Gardetto’s Garlic Rye Chips.  Laurie thought that our mix just wasn’t as spicy as Amy’s version and she vowed to improve on our version next fall.  FYI, I finished off our spicy Chex Mix plus while watching NFL Playoff Football.

The Thai Bistro in Loudon Tennessee is one of the closest restaurants to our home so we do dine there frequently.  For us, dining ‘frequently’ at any restaurant translates to no more than 6 – 7 times a year. (We like to move around a lot for our meal experiences!)

We really like Thai Bistro.  The chefs/cooks in the kitchen are Thai and they do know what they’re doing.  On this occasion we decided to try something new for our appetizer.  This was our Bistro Platter. ($11.00) It included some great Spring Rolls, Laurie’s favorite Crab Rangoon, Pot Stickers and Winter Shrimp.  This lovely mix of goodies was a good start for our meal!

For my dinner, I had the Bangkok Chicken and Broccoli with Rice. ($13.00) You can order up your spice level at Thai Bistro…anywhere from a ‘1’ mild to a ‘5’ Thai hot!  I’ve found that while I can handle a ‘5’, a ‘4’ is more my speed.  This was the first time I’d had this entrée and it was very good.  Love the artistic rice presentation...

Laurie also decided to try something she hadn’t had before.  This was her Yellow Curry with coconut milk, chicken, onions, roasted peanuts and potatoes. ($13.00) For a ‘heat level’ Laurie has found that a ‘3’ works best for her.  She said that she would order this entrée again!

Thai Bistro is located at 222 Lakeside Plaza in Loudon Tennessee.  This restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.  Phone: 865-657-6440.  To check out the chef and owner’s story as well as the extensive Thai and Chinese menu, you can just go to

Although many folks don’t love lamb, we do!  I had a lamb roast in the freezer that we’d purchased some time ago from Fresh Market in Farragut Tennessee.  In our opinion, their meats are among the best in our area.

So…time for a lamb dinner!  Laurie rested the roast on a bed of yellow onions, then seasoned the roast and potatoes with fresh ground salt and pepper, garlic and rosemary from one of our herb pots on the deck.  Yes…it was still growing despite it being winter.  Plus, it had new blooms on it from our frequent cutting!

Hey…we had to eat something healthy didn’t we?!  A small spinach salad with a bit of tomato and shredded cheddar cheese topped with balsamic vinegar dressing started us out.

Just looking at that platter of food in front of me made me happy!  Meat, potatoes and gravy…the essentials of life!

This was what my dinner plate looked like before I ‘destroyed’ it!  Of course, I did add Tabasco to my potatoes and gravy first…

Other that the fact that meals like this rank up there in my top 10 favorites, they do have another advantage.  I had enough leftovers for a lamb sandwich or two, a slice or two of lamb for a ‘healthy’ snack and I sliced up the leftover potatoes, browned them in a frying pan and served them with eggs for a great breakfast one morning!  Hooray!  

Appropriately enough, I’m ending this post with Laurie’s photo of our winter sunset through the woods across the street, at the sun’s last glimmer of the day.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave