Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 3, 2013

TIM PRESTON: Meat loaf rescue, hot sauce, cafe and coffee

ASHLAND — Anyone who lives with someone who lives up to the title, “picky eater,” will surely understand this one.

Last week I mentioned a planned lunch for the newspaper staff, made up of meat loaf and other goodies sent by Ron Elliott and the crew at The Lunch Bucket. I did inform everyone about the goodies I’d stashed in the office fridge, but then it seems we all went flying to the far corners of the world and the big meal remained untouched. I remembered this late that night when I got hungry and immediately arranged for a rescue of the forgotten meat loaf and other goodies, which I ended up enjoying around 1 or 2 a.m.

I live with a picky eater and, like others in this situation, I’ve found it is considerably easier to conform to their ways than try to get them to try “just one taste” of anything not on the approved list. And, according to my research, nearly all of these picky people have an extreme aversion to what they simply call “green stuff,” regardless of it actually being a bell pepper or spinach or a toy soldier or whatever. I will even confess that I used to enjoy verbally baiting a lady in this office with mentions of “green stuff” in foods just to hear her heartfelt tirade against any type of vegetable in anything she would ever cook, serve or eat.

Bringing this all back together, I was nearly stunned beyond words to find my own picky eater was downright crazy for that meat loaf, which had no visible “green stuff” in it. In fact, she wanted more meat loaf for lunch the next day, and even got a sad look in her eye when I reheated the last of it that evening.

Coming from a picky eater, that’s probably the highest endorsement possible.

Hot sauce

My favorite unofficial correspondent filed a report a few weeks ago which included a request to find a local store that stocks Louisiana Gold Red Pepper Sauce, which is a tabasco pepper and “spirit vinegar” based sauce manufactured by Bruce Foods.

While I had no luck finding this sauce on local store shelves, a kind reader whose curiosity caused him to go online and buy a box of the stuff dropped by the newspaper office with a bottle to share. I didn’t even catch the man’s name, but I can’t thank him enough!

I have already consumed half the bottle, and would likely put it on breakfast cereal if I were to wake up early enough. It has a distinctive and intense tabasco flavor, but doesn’t add a lot of “burn” and works especially well on things like meat loaf and sandwiches from Subway.

And, while you may have a hard time finding it in a local store, I’m told the sauce is available by request at your nearest Denny’s. Or, you can always find it from the manufacturer at lagoldhotsauce.com.

Food, wine and art

Jim Ross recently posted something about how he is looking forward to re-opening CCC Trail Vineyard Cafe inside Ashland’s Pendleton Arts Center, and welcomed guests to visit during the city’s monthly First Friday ArtWalk. He also provided a reminder that St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) isn’t far away.

I noticed the new menu includes some interesting items, such as “St. Paddie’s Benedictine Spread,” along with a traditional Reuben sandwich on rye bread with swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. “The Reuben sandwiches are great! Irish Potato Soup. Mmm!” Ross wrote in a note last week.

The new menu also lists Greek gyros, “chalkboard” specials listed on the board, and a personal favorite I’ve only ever had from CCC Trail — transparent pie.

CCC Trail Vineyard Cafe, at 1537 Winchester Ave., is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday (when Ross often schedules some pretty cool special events which have gone largely unpublicized). For more information email jim@rosstica.com or call (606) 923-7645.

Greasy Creek bound

A few weeks have passed since we ground the last of our beans from Kentucky Mountain Coffee, which we discovered at the suggestion of the nice lady at Black Barn Produce. The coffee itself was astoundingly delicious, although I’ve already confessed the shocking part for me was finding out the small business is made up of a married couple, Rick and Jaretta Walters, who just happen to live “up the middle fork of Greasy” in Johnson County who roast and package coffee in a shed near their home when they get home from their day jobs.

If I don’t slide off the side of Two-Mile Hill, get lost in Meally or overshoot to Offutt, I will be visiting the nice couple for an interview and photos Monday evening. Word of mouth indicates I really need to bring a bag of their “Coal Miner’s Brew” back to Ashland, although the descriptions of some of their other coffees (notably the “Coon Dog Run”) are overwhelmingly tempting.

While scheduling this one, Mrs. Walters requested I take no photos of the exterior of their roasting shed and I had to laugh as she explained her husband and I apparently have similar “skills” when it comes to building things. I will have a story about the rural roasters in an upcoming edition, although anyone who appreciates good joe (they also sell Elmwood Inn teas) may want to go ahead and visit their website at kymtncoffee.com for more information or to place an order.

Ashland’s Frogtown?

I received a call from a reader last week regarding the annual Ashland Frogtown Reunion, an event I was completely unaware of. In fact, I’d never even heard the “Frogtown” reference to West Ashland was unable to provide any information about any pending reunion.

She said we have notices about it in the paper quite often, but I couldn’t find anything. I asked around the office and John Cannon recalled the paper sent a reporter to cover the last known reunion (possibly 2007 or 2008), but there were so few people present that we couldn’t even get a story out of it.

As I’m often reminded, just because we don’t know about it, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to it. If anyone knows anything about an Ashland Frogtown Reunion this year, let me know and I will surely pass it along.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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