Sunday, September 30, 2012

Following the Posse Trail

The Posse is a fast-moving tribe, always on the lightning-quick go, either together or individually.  The roster of dinner attendees always shifts, as everyone is wicked-busy, so we catch up when we can.  Various friends and family members attend at different events while at least a few core members make it to most sites.  Here's a few snapshots of the Posse par-tays...

A while back, Posse member Mike chose a local Liberty pool hall called the Brass Rail for the latest Posse wind-ding.  This joint is billiards nirvana, but we were seated near the electronics darts area and soon I was lost in smoky, hazy memories of the various dives and rotating cast of characters whom I played multiple rounds of electronic darts with.  The one that stands out in those wobbly memories was the dearly departed Bogies in Parkersburg, WV.  Bogies sported many a fine attribute of a great dive: in addition to the pool tables and darts was a delicious menu of hearty steaks and stick-to-you-ribs appetizers (like the sausage and cheese tray with hot mustard that I often craved) as well as an admirable dedication to music both in its regular roster of live music acts (hello, Smokestack Betty) and its nicely diverse jukebox (where more than a few of my quarters went toward repeated plays of Bonnie Raitt's sweetly melancholy Angel from Montgomery - a great cry-in-your-brew tune).  The Brass Rail was a pool hall on steroids however, with its massive bar, well-lit rows of billiards tables and surprisingly eclectic menu.  Among the truly fine dishes that got passed around the table this night were the Nachos Azul; a with its indigo-blue chips, smoked pulled pork, jalapeno cheddar queso, fresh pico, shredded romaine and lime sour cream and my Baja Chicken salad with peanut-glazed grilled chicken and cilantro-lime vinaigrette.  Carl's dad joined us and Jen and Dave were in from Minnesota, so it was a fun and lively group which went well with the upbeat atmosphere.

Another night of Posse frivolity took place at Carl and Charlotte's Smithville Lake home.  This gorgeous homestead reflected the couple's Southwestern sensibilities and was the perfect locale to celebrate Carl's birthday after their recent Santa Fe vacation.  Charlotte gave us the tour of the grounds where we met her lovely horses before hanging with friends inside to sample all of the hearty Southwestern fare like spicy bean dip.  Dinner was the real deal however, when I finally got to try their much-mentioned green chile casserole and it was certainly worth the wait.  That creamy casserole featuring spicy hatch green chilies was true Southwestern comfort food and it was served in a gorgeous Nambe dish..  Served with Moroccan-spiced grilled pheasant and Anasazi beans, it was one mouth-watering platter of goodness.  Made me long for another trip to Santa Fe where green chilies were blessedly everywhere...

Finally, we were at the most familiar Posse hangout of all when we spent a recent evening with our beloved Carolyn.  We took Keith's mom Helen and Aunt Ruthie where they unsurprisingly got on with the Posse like a house on fire (most folks do, after all).  Carolyn's husband Jim wielded his special brand of culinary magic and whipped up a soul-nourishing lasagna accompanied by a foccacia bread so warm, flaky and buttery that I've grown to cherish it.  These two, in calories and taste were more than enough to satisfy...but that didn't stop Jim from supplying a to-die-for key lime pie and cheesecake flan.  Kerri brought some moist and tasty brownies with caramel that she made with a method I can't wait to try...but that's for a later post.  Best of all was that Carolyn spent the evening with us.  Her presence is precious if bittersweet: we all crave to our very core seeing Carolyn stand up from her wheelchair and talk to us with that sure and passionate voice of hers that we miss so much.  Nonetheless, she was present and that was a beautiful thing.

Lotsa Posse is always a beautiful thing.


Lisa Mandina said...

That key lime pie looks yummy!!

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