I have updated the Cheese Buttons post with photos of our visit. Check it out here.
I am just catching up with our Dakotas roadtrip. I have to mention the Badlands. We had no intention of stopping by to see this on our return from North Dakota. We had thought we would drive through it, and then go onto Mt Rushmore.
We were surprised by how interesting we found the Badlands. We were unprepared for the heat, and we had done no research at all. We ended up spending several hours driving around, and photographing spectacular, unusual scenary. It reminded me of Utah except greener, and wetter (but not by much!)
The NPS website doesn't do it justice. You can find the NPS website here.
The one thing that plays a crucial role in one's visit is the heat. I found it unbearably hot, and kept running back to air conditioning - for example the Temporary Visitor Center had superb air conditioning. I also found that I guzzled through our water.
Kevin took some gorgeous shots. We plan a return trip. We probably will camp, or maybe stay at a Motel in Wall which is the closest town to the Park.
Food Blogging and the world of Food Bloggers is a wonderful place. Occasionally I'll post a piece about food/ something I've cooked, or something delicious and surprising that I've come across on one of our road trips. (Like the post below about Cheese Buttons.) But Food blogging is something else entirely. My good friend Jeanne over at Cooksister is what I'd call a "Food Blogger"- most of what she blogs about is food, cooking, wine and food blogging competitions etc. And she does it very well too.
One of my favorite East Coast food bloggers is the Amateur Gourmet. I've been reading him for nearly a year now, and the writing is excellent, funny and descriptions of food are just wicked at stirring the gastro juices.
One of the things I love about our road trips is the unexpected discoveries that we happen upon. Our last big trip was our trip to the Dakotas. (We had optimistically tried to do a storm chase, but the weather gods were not kind to us - we got sun, sun and more sun.)
On our way back from the furthest point of our trip (Bismarck, ND) we ambled southwards simply to see what we could see. I am interested in small town/ mid western church architecture. I love the old churches that are built in out of the way places. We have come across some beauties. I will do a blog post on it once I've collected all my photo's.
We had stopped in Mound City SD to see whether the church would be interesting. We found it and I took some photo's and then we moved on. Mound City's main street is no more than a block big. Predominantly advertized is "George's Cheese Buttons."
Since we are more often than not lead by our stomaches we immediately stopped to investigate. We entered a tiny old restaurant and met with George himself. A couple were seated at the front. George's establishment was decorated mid western country style: wooden floors, and old mismatched chairs. There was one booth on the far side of the room, but the floor sloped upward to get there. (This was not intentional but part of the character of the place.)
Our tummies convinced us that this was the place. We found a table and studied the menu.
Note the gorgeous western artwork on the far walls.
We ended up ordering a combo of Cheese Buttons and soup for $3.75 each.
The service was friendly and fast. And the Cheese buttons were divine.
They were like a fritter that had been flattened. Inside they were stuffed with cottage cheese, herbs, and onion. The batter had the consistancy of dumplings.
If you are in the neighborhood I strongly recommend that you drop by.
A few blog posts back I reported on pepperdews, a South African delicacy. Last week I ran into my local Safeway and was amazed to discover there by the olive bar (not as good as the Whole Foods/ Wild Oats olive bar) were pepperdews!
I immediately bought the largest tub I could find.
They were not called "Pepperdews" but "Sweet Piquant Peppers... a product of South Africa."
I think that Pepperdews sounds much better than Sweet Piquant Peppers. I immediately took a photo before they were all devoured.
We've just checked into the Days Inn, Bismarck ND. We left the public library at Dickinson and headed for Bismarck, and then North. We hoped to find a spot and settle in for watching the cloud development. We found a line of nicely developing clouds near Wilton. Visual observation - a line of cumulus clouds, flat based, and joined with rising crowns, no towers. We found a nice church and turned into the parking lot to watch the cloud development.
Forecast predicted storm development in the early evening. From visual observation nothing was going to develop while there was good visibility. So we decided to call it a "bust" and do some exploring.
We followed the Missouri river north, crossed it at Washburn and then explored the western bank. We found the most gorgeous wildlife refuge managed by the Nature Conservancy, called the Cross Ranch Nature Preserve. Picture it: rolling green hills, with sleepy bison and nervous white tailed deer. The light in the late afternoon turned it all golden. Superb.
The back road we took spilled us out onto the I-94 at Mendan.
This is what I love about roadtrips: the unexpected things one discovers off the beaten path.
Photo's will follow on our return home.
Tomorrow we will be doing more exploring on our return. Total mileage done so far has been around 800 miles.
Our roadtrip continues. I am blogging from the Dickenson ND Public Library.
We left our Best Western in WY this morning and drove North through SD, just bypassing the Black Hills area and then decided to stop at Dickenson to look at the weather data. I think there is a chance for thunderstorm development and I am going to propose to Kevin that we head East to Bismarck, and then North. The weather at present is gorgeous. We have armies of marching cumulus clouds. I am a little concerned about thunderstorm initiation. We are a long way from home, and I keep having a feeling that we are not going to be properly positioned.
Satellite photo's are not entirely promising - they seem to indicate activity to the WEst in Montana, and north into Canada.
Here is what the SPC synopsis says...
...NRN/CENTRAL PLAINS LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT...
WV IMAGERY INDICATED A WEAK MID LEVEL TROUGH OVER NWRN ND AND A
SECOND SLIGHTLY STRONG SHORT WAVE TROUGH LOCATED OVER ERN ID/SWRN
MT. THE LATTER TROUGH WILL TRACK NEWD ACROSS MT THIS EVENING AND
INTO SRN CANADA BY 12Z SUNDAY PROVIDING ASCENT FOR POTENTIAL STORMS
ACROSS SRN-ERN MT INTO THE EVENING. AT THE SURFACE...A COLD FRONT
EXTENDED FROM NERN-CENTRAL MANITOBA SWWD INTO FAR NWRN ND TO THE
VICINITY OF THE MT/WY BORDER. STRONG SURFACE HEATING S OF THIS
BOUNDARY AND WITHIN MOIST AXIS ACROSS MUCH OF THE PLAINS HAS
CONTRIBUTED TO MODERATE INSTABILITY /MLCAPE UP TO 2500 J/KG OVER
CLOUD STRUCTURE /BILLOWS/ ACROSS THE NRN PLAINS SUGGESTED THE AIR
MASS REMAINS CAPPED ALONG/S OF THE COLD FRONT. GREATER VERTICAL
CLOUD DEVELOPMENT WAS OBSERVED NORTH OF THE BORDER ALONG THE COLD
FRONT ACROSS SERN SASKATCHEWAN INTO CENTRAL/NERN MANITOBA WHERE AIR
PARCELS WERE REACHING THE LFC. ADDITIONAL SURFACE HEATING/
DESTABILIZATION INTO ND LATE THIS AFTERNOON SHOULD AID IN SURFACE
BASED STORMS PRIOR TO THE ONSET OF BOUNDARY LAYER STABILIZATION WITH
THE LOSS OF DAY TIME HEATING. ANY SURFACE BASED STORMS WILL BE
CAPABLE OF BECOMING SEVERE WITH CAPE/SHEAR PARAMETERS FAVORABLE FOR
HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS.
GREATER POTENTIAL FOR WIDESPREAD THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT IS
EXPECTED LATER THIS EVENING/OVERNIGHT ALONG/N OF COLD FRONT AS THIS
BOUNDARY MOVES SE INTO CENTRAL ND. THIS ACTIVITY WILL BE SUPPORTED
BY INCREASING ASCENT ACROSS THIS REGION PER ID SHORT WAVE TROUGH
GLANCING ND OVERNIGHT AND WAA ALONG NOSE OF STRENGTHENING PLAINS SLY
LLJ. PRIMARY THREAT SHOULD BE HAIL GIVEN ELEVATED THUNDERSTORMS.
The Mesoscale discussion can be located here.
This is the first time I have been to ND - and it is just beautiful. Gorgeous farms, rolling green hills, and very contented looking livestock.
The town of Dickenson is large-ish, and pretty. We are now heading out of here after a quick restroom stop.
Thanks to the joys of Best Western's wiFi I am able to post this. We are so chase starved we decided to head out on a storm chase this weekend. The forecasts do not look good thanks to a upper air ridge making for nice calm weather. The only chance for a bit of action seems to be north of us, hence our desparate drive to Douglas WY to try and position ourselves for a day of chasing tomorrow. Our chase destination? Western edge on the boundary between North and South Dakota.
We plan to check the forecasts, models and data tomorrow morning before making our final decision.
Hereditary Angioedema is "a rare inherited form that differs from other types of angiodema. It is not triggered by an allergic reaction and involves deep tissue swelling and is never associated with hives. Swelling in the gastrointestinal tract can led to severe pain in the abdomen and can be mistaken for appendicitis. Hereditary angiodema can be detected through blood tests and can be effectively treated with special hormone medications." Reference here.
This rare disorder results from genetic deficiency of the blood-based protein C1 inhibitor. Check out the table to determine the kinds of angioedema.
The FDA is once again in the crosshairs. Dr Kondrad Bork addresses a letter to Journal of the American Medical Association calling on the FDA to "expedite approval of the promising therapies being tested in the United States. It is high time for the Food and Drug Administration to adopt a more balanced and flexible approach to licensing pharmaceuticals targeted for rare diseases. How many more patients will die before FDA adopts regulatory practices that recognize the inherent risk of death faced by patients with rare, potentially fatal diseases like HAE"
Read the whole thing here.
What is a Pepperdew?
It all began when Cooksister posted on a recipe which included pepperdews. I became involved in a discussion about where to find pepperdews in USA, and since then I have received emails from people curious about Pepperdews.
What is a Pepperdew?
Search google and what do you get? Only 244 hits. Most are hits of on line recipes that include pepperdews as ingredients. I have been unable to find out any other information such as where are they grown? What are they? And where can I find them?
Pepperdews are quite common in South Africa and can be bought usually in a bottle marinated in a delicious sauce. You can use them in salads, curries, chili dishes or just by themselves.
They look like cherry tomatoes, but have a thinner skin. They are usually sold in halves and look like round cherry like peppers. They taste sweet and peppery. I don't know if they are related to chillies.
In the USA they can be found at a Whole Foods or a Wild Oats. They are usually by the olive cart section. Look for the label that says "Pepperdews Made in South Africa."
Every time I stop by a Whole Foods I immediately go to the olive cart section to get some pepperdews. (The Whole Foods in Boulder is especially good at stocking them.)