Come along for the Ride!

I am so glad you are here. Stay with us as we travel everywhere. I hope you will enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


From Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and then deliver in North Carolina by 5pm.
That's the life of an expediter, your lack of planning is my job.
Since we are in Mississippi when I am going to bed, here are two recipes from that area for you to try and enjoy.

Mississippi Mud Cake
This recipe makes a delicious fudgy cake that is wonderful, try it warm too.
1 cup oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
**1 small bag mini marsmallows (**added after cake is baked)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare a sheet cake pan by spraying with baking spray. Using a spoon, mix the oil and sugar together thoroughly; then add eggs, cocoa, flour, vanilla, and nuts. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Spread hot cake with miniature marshmallows. (Sometimes I run this under the broiler for just a minute or two to slightly melt the marshmallows before adding the icing).
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 small can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
Melt butter and add all ingredients; combine together; pour over hot cake.

Easy Mississippi Shrimp Dip
1 lb. Mississippi gulf shrimp (boiled,peeled, and chopped)
2 T. chopped green onions
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Mix all ingredients and serve with crackers or bread.

Carl's Corner

Every time time Pops and I head south from Dallas or Fort Worth we travel Route 35. There is a Petro truckstop along that route that used to be called Willie's Place.
It used to belong to the country singer, Willie Nelson. But years ago he was in trouble for tax evasion. His accountants were not paying his taxes so he had to sell all his assets to pay the back taxes.

In 2008, Nelson reopened Willie's Place, a truck stop in Carl's Corner, Texas. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court allowed Nelson to invest in it. The establishment had about 80 employees[105] and was used as a concert hall with a bar and a 1,000 square feet (93 m2) dance floor.[106] It closed in 2011 after defaulting on a loan, leading to foreclosure and bankruptcy.[
Willie's Place was sold at auction to Petro parent company TravelCenters of America in early March, following a foreclosure suit.
The truckstop and entertainment complex, situated on 15 acres off of I-35, was named after legendary country singer Willie Nelson. It officially opened in early 2009, featuring 12 fueling lanes for tractor-trailers plus a wide-load island; two restaurants; a convenience store; a saloon; a gift shop; and a 500-seat theater for live music performances. According to published reports, it had never turned a profit. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy court allowed a creditor to foreclose on the operation.
President Carl Cornelius founded the town of Carl's Corner in the late 1980s to house Carl's Corner Truck Stop, and co-founded Willie Nelson Biodiesel Co. in 2004 with longtime friend Nelson to distribute BioWillie fuel.

World's Biggest Windchimes

We recently passed through Casey, Illinois. It is home to the World's biggest Windchimes.
With chimes suspended 49' above the ground, the BEI wind chime stands 55'3" tall and is a sigh to behold! The longest of five chimes is 42' long - nearly double that of the previous world record holder. The chimes sing gentle and deep as they strike the clapper, long gleaming lengths of silver paying tribute to BEI's expertise in the pipeline industry. Towering over the heart of Casey's downtown is the cross that stands atop the chimes - let it guide you to our unique and creative community!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Beefsteak Rancheros

Today we had to have tires put on our truck, so while that was being done, we went with Tate and Shirley to Mierta's Tacos. It is a little authentic Mexican place right beside the tire place.
Pops and I wanted to be faithful to our diet so after questioning the waitress we ordered Beefsteak Rancheros. It came with beans and rice and 2 flour tortillas, but we passed on all that.
It was so good. I had to look for the recipe so here it is:

2 lb. beef, steak or roast, thinly sliced
2 med. tomatoes (chopped)
1 med. onion (chopped)
3 sm. serrano peppers
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. New Mexico pepper (found in Mexican section of grocery)
2 tbsp. oil
Pepper to taste
1/2 c. water
Brown beef in oil in heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add remaining ingredients and cook covered for 1/2 hour on medium heat. Uncover and cook until approximately 1/2 liquid is gone. Serve with rice, refried beans, flour tortillas and cilantro for garnish. Serves 4.

Random Texas Pictures

Story soon, I promise.

Skydiver near Waco, Tx

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Memphis Burgers

Memphis Burgers
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 potato rolls
Mustard sauce, recipe follows
Preheat a flat top grill pan to high heat.
Add sliced onion to grill pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, onion powder, salt and freshly ground pepper. Make 4 burgers equal in size.
Cook burgers on the flat top for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve on split rolls with grilled onions and mustard sauce.
Mustard Sauce:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

To make Memphis BBQ Burgers: skip the mustard sauce. Top each burger with pulled pork, bbq sauce and onion rings.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lots of offers

We had a GOOD nights sleep. Neither of us were upset that our Canada load cancelled.
This morning I got up and cleaned the truck and sat quietly enjoying my coffee while Pops slept a little extra.
Afterward we drove to Walmart for groceries. We stayed there for the rest of the day.
We had a lot of load offers. But they either were too short in miles that we wouldn 't make much money or the rate was too low per mile or they went to destinations that are too hard to get out of or they just didn't go until Monday or Tuesday. Although we had 2 different load offers to Montana, the one state that we have never been to.
But we were patient and this evening got a load picking up at 6am tomorrow (Saturday) and delivering in Texas on Sunday.
It is hard to be patient. But I'm glad we were.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunset and Full moon at the same time

Sweet Tea

You can't post southern recipes without including the number one southern favorite thing...Sweet tea.
So here it is.

Sweet Tea
On a hot summer day nothing tastes better than a glass of sweet tea.
A lot of Southerners feel the same way about sweet tea, but Grelen said it best: "Sweet tea embodies all that is good about the South and its hospitality."
2 quarts water
6 regular-size tea bags
1 regular-size orange spice-flavored tea bag
¾ cup sugar
Bring 1 quart of the water just to a boil in a tea kettle. Place the tea bags in a 4-quart container. Pour the hot water over the tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Place thhe sugar in a 2-quart pitcher. Add the hot tea and stir until the sugar dissolves. Fill the pitcher with 1 quart of cold water and stir.
Makes 2 quarts.

Kentucky Recipes

Pops and I left Chicago very early this morning. We traveled down through Illinois and across Kentucky to make a pickup.
I love the food in the south. I couldn't decide on one recipe so I have included several.

Country Grits with Sausage and Cheese
2 pounds mild bulk pork sausage
4 cups water
1¼ cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring to crumble, until browned. Drain excess fat and set aside. Pour water into large saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in grits, return to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add cheese, milk, thyme and garlic, stirring, until cheese is melted. Add sausage and eggs. Spread mixture in lightly-greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until golden brown. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Country Fried Steak
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoons paprika
½ pound boneless round steak, about ¾" thick, trimmed of excess fat
3 tablespoons bacon or ham fat
1½ cups milk
Salt and pepper
Mix flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in small bowl. Set aside 3 tablespoons of this mixture for gravy. Rub half the remaining seasoned flour into one side of steak. Place steak between two sheets of waxed paper and pound with flat side of meat mallet. Turn steak over, rub in the remaining half of the flour mixture, and repeat pounding process. Cut meat into serving pieces.
Heat fat over high heat in large heavy skillet. Brown meat about 2 minutes on each side over high heat. Lower heat, cover, and simmer meat for 45 minutes, until very tender, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove meat from skillet and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Stir reserved flour mix into pan drippings. As soon as flour begins to brown, slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat and stir until gravy is smooth and thickened. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Pour over steaks and serve.

Buttermilk Pie
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
dash of ground nutmeg
1 9 inch) pie shell, unbaked
Preheat oven to 400°. Beat eggs and sugar together. Add the butter, salt, vanilla, flour, and buttermilk and mix well. Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for 30 more minutes or until firm.

Southern Sweet Potato Pie
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup whole milk, scalded
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked
Heat the oven to 425°.
Blend butter, salt, and sugar. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice and rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweet potatoes, and hot milk. Fold in egg whites. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes until firm in the center. Cool whip is optional.

Coffee Pecan Glazed Ham
7 pound fully cooked smoked ham
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup crushed pecans
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
Preheat oven to 325°. Cut the rind off the ham to expose the fat and place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Mix the glaze until the coffee granules dissolve and brush the glaze onto the ham. Bake uncovered 40 to 50 minutes brushing every 15 minutes with the glaze mixture. The ham is done when meat thermometer reads 140° in the thickest part of the ham.
Let the ham rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chicago style deep dish pizza

Since we are headed to the Chicago area, here's a recipe from there for you to try.

Homemade Chicago style deep dish pizza
1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
flour (about 2 3/4 cups), divided
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 precooked mild Italian sausages chopped
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil.
2. spoon flour into dry measuring cups.Combine (about 2 1/2 cups) flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl. Stir flour mixture into yeast mixture until dough forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into an 11 x 15–inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; press dough up sides of dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups cheese evenly over dough. Arrange chopped sausage evenly over cheese.
4. Preheat oven to 400°.
5. Chop tomatoes; place in a sieve. Stir in oregano and basil; drain tomato mixture 10 minutes.
6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in bell peppers; cook for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Arrange vegetables over sausage; spoon tomato mixture evenly over vegetables and sausage. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until crust browns and cheese bubbles. Cool 5 minutes before cutting.


After getting some groceries, putting them away and settling down, I didn't sleep until 4am.
Then I got up at 8 o'clock. Oh boy, this day might be pretty miserable. Once I started to drive Pops went to sleep. I drove from the welcome center just inside Georgia through that state, then South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and to the welcome center of West Virginia.
Pops had slept most of day so he was good to go. And thank goodness Pops got to drive across the dreaded bridge at Beckley.
Pops woke me up when we reached the border. We crossed easily and drove to Toronto. Traffic was heavy but we made it. Then I drove us back to Buffalo, NY.
We barely got parked at the truckstop before we got a load. We picked up north of Buffalo and now we are on our way to Rockford, IL.

This past weekend

We had a trip that gave us the weekend in Florida. We delivered near Jacksonville Saturday morning. Then we drove south for many miles to Cocoa Beach area.
We have a pickup near Miami on Sunday night.
Pops had driven all night so he slept some on Saturday at the rest stop. I did some paperwork and paid some bills. Then I looked for a church for tomorrow.
Pops and I decided to visit a church of a Facebook friend, Scott Sheridan.
We spent the night at a truckstop near the church.
The next morning we drove over to the building. It was in a plaza and had a lot of parking.
Scott met us in the parking lot and then introduced us to everyone.
Sunday School was first and Scott taught a lesson from the Book of Daniel. It was a very good study. He gave us the entire lesson booklet to take with us. Great!
After SS we went into the auditorium. It is a small congregation, but everyone was real friendly and made us welcome.
We sat with Shelly, Scott's wife and his son, Stephen, played guitar during the singing.
Then Scott preached a sermon about Cornelious and his household.
After church Scott grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for anyone who cared to stay. Pops and I stayed and we each ate one burger, no bun. We stayed on our food plan and still enjoyed some extra time with Scott, Shelly and a few others.
It really was a good service and a nice visit. I hope we get to return again soon.
When we left there we drove a little further south and stopped to do laundry. Then we drove down to our pickup destination.
Our pickup time was supposed to be 9pm but we didn't get out of there until 1am. Now 1437 miles to Toronto, Ontario.
But first, find a Walmart, I need some groceries.

Toronto area and Lake Ontario

Virginia and West Virginia

Charlotte NC

Random Texas

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Medianoche (midnight) Sandwich and Cuban Black Beans

Medianoche (midnight) Sandwich
4 sweet bread rolls
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 pound thinly sliced cooked ham
1 pound thinly sliced fully cooked pork
1 pound sliced Swiss cheese
1 cup dill pickle slices
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Split the sandwich rolls in half, and spread mustard and mayonnaise liberally onto the cut sides. On each sandwich, place and equal amount of Swiss cheese, ham and pork in exactly that order. Place a few pickles onto each one, and put the top of the roll onto the sandwich. Brush the tops with melted butter.
Press each sandwich in a sandwich press heated to medium-high heat. If a sandwich press is not available, use a large skillet over medium-high heat, and press the sandwiches down using a sturdy plate or skillet. Some indoor grills may be good for this also. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, keeping sandwiches pressed. If using a skillet, you may want to flip them once for even browning. Slice diagonally and serve hot.

Cuban Black Beans

1 pound black beans, washed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 cups water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper

Place beans in a large saucepan with enough water to cover, and soak 8 hours, or overnight; drain.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onion, green bell pepper, and garlic until tender.
Into the onion mixture, stir the drained beans, water, tomato paste, pimentos, and vinegar. Season with salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.



Pops and I made a delivery this morning just south of Jacksonville, Florida. It rained the whole way from Buffalo, Ny to here.
While we were on our way here we got another load. It picks up in Weston on Sunday night and goes to Toronto, Ontario for Tuesday morning. So we have today and tomorrow to do what we want.
Today Pops is sleeping since he drove all night. I have spent an hour or so catching up work paperwork and personal paperwork, then I worked on some personal Bible studies, cleaned the truck, wasted one time on Facebook and now, well...I'm just sitting here watching the palm trees blow, drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying the absolute quiet as the rest of my gang sleeps.
When Pops wakes, we will go on down the highway to the truckstop and get some laundry done.
Then We will locate a church for tomorrow if we can. I hope that isn't too hard without going out of route.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beckley Bridge

I hate when I have to drive across it.
It is near Beckley, WV and it crosses the New River Gorge on Route 19.
One day, though, I want to stop there (not on the bridge) and go to the lookout site and take some pictures of my own.

These are pictures that I have found on The Internet.