Where were we...oh yeah, heading into downtown Davis, Oklahoma...
S had been in Davis before on work related business, so we knew exactly where we were headed for some family fillin' consumables.
Located smack dab in the center of the main drag through town, the Las Cascadas restaurant was light, airy and inviting. The menu offered a few things that surprised me, but (surprise!) I ordered my favorite craving from the old country (East Los Angeles) - tacos al pastor, aka. street tacos.
Mini corn tortillas, mini-chopped and thinly sliced pork, mini-diced onions and cilantro all served as a trio on a plate as large as the chrome air cleaner on my El Camino's small block.
Rating on our Indigest-O-Meter for Las Cascadas on a scale of 0 - 4 burning hearts (one for each member of my family), we gave Las Cascadas a 0, since no one got sick or woozy after our meal. Salud!
Downtown Davis has an interesting selection of main street businesses including several eclectic B&B's -- one of which had a swinging espresso/kafe klatch bar downstairs.
Full stomachs and a few trips up and down the aisles of an antique consignment shop provided the bearings we needed to get to our destination for the next three nights -- a solitudinous cabin in the Chickasaw Recreation Area, known as the "Peaceful Valley of Rippling Waters."
We had booked our single room cabin online and were pleasantly surprised at the pristine condition and sanitary feel of the cement foundationed, fully insulated, log covered structure.
A queen bed for the big people, futon sofa bed for the girls. Fireplace, central heat and air, fans aplenty, full kitchen and bath, and even a gas cooker on the wooden porch to 'q by if we were so inclined.
The main focus of the shack for the girls was the firepit in the front area -- they had been promised a vacation that included a roaring campfire with roasted marshmallows, family singalongs, and poking-a-stick-in-the-fire fun, and nothing was going to detract their atttention from those activities.
Such city girls.
Unfortunately, there was an extreme shortage of collectible firewood within walking distance of our cabin, so with the pinky promise that we would find a suitable proprietor of the "good burning stuff" the following day, we ventured into nearby Sulphur for a sit down dinner at an eatery conspicuously called OJ's Chili Creek Grill.
The digs were fine and the food was above edible, but the key word for this meal was "edible pets."
See, we happened to arrive on their seafood buffet night. Atop an 8000 foot long, 15 year-old well worn canoe sat a fresh seafood selection on ice, that included oysters (fresh?), peel and eat shrimp, imitation crab salad, fresh fruit (?), and crab legs.
The cooked item buffet line included a wide assortment of breaded/fried offerings, including catfish, frogs legs, shrimp, oysters and clams, along with some friendly looking crawdads at the end of the line.
I've had frog legs and to be honest, I prefer them breaded and deep fried. Helps with the gag reflex, so that's no biggie for me to see on the buffet line. The crawdads, however, stopped my wife cold in her gastrointestinal tracks.
When she was a kid, a favorite activity for her and her brothers was to grab a piece of bacon from the meat drawer in her Mom's mustard yellow Frigidaire, tie it at the end of some unused kite string and head on down to the creek in the "boonies" section of her small town. Once there, they would "fish" for crawdads (crayfish for you city folk), paint their initials on their exoskeletons, play with them for awhile, then let them go back into the creek.
Crawdads were pets. And here in America, we don't eat our pets.
So, as much as C begged and pleaded for us to get the all-u-can-stuff-in-your-already-stretched-OU-tee-shirt buffet, we opted for other menu selections.
Later that night, while "listening" to the 19" tv supplied in the cabin (the only station we could get on the aerials was a radio station -- go figure), and watching the girls wrap and unwrap themselves in the light sheets on the futon sleeper, Wifey concluded that it was a mistake to deny the esculant experience of eating the bright red muscular miniscule crustaceans to our daughter.
She may have hated it, spitting out the contents of the arthropod into her napkin and desperately reaching for the glass of lowfat milk on the table, but at least she wouldn't have been denied her impluse to try new things - one which we are constantly encouraging her to foster.
Next up, fried pies for breakfast and why we'll never be able to find all of the wild animal food pellets that spilled in our car.
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So, I'm guessing you never told Wifey about the leftovers I brought you from our July 4th crawfish boil?
I did tell her about it and I remember her telling me how fortunate I was to have eaten them at the office instead of bringing them home to share.
I knew better, even back then.
She was amazed so many survived the trip from the bayou country via the air courier service. What'd we figure...about a 10-15% crawdad mortality rate in transit?
That's the quoted mortality rate. I think we figured 25% due to the extra day in transit due to the shipping company mistakenly sending them to Seattle instead of the OC. Even then we ended up with about 30 lbs of the little mudsuckers. The hardest part was separating the dearly departed from the soon to be dearly departed. Turns out the best method was to put a work glove on my hand and plunge it into the bunch. Whatever was clinging to the glove upon removal was strong enough to boil. Ahhh, good times. :-)
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