Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Road Trip -Following the Reagan Trail and the Holy Grail

We said goodbye to Bill, Bertha and the other volunteers in Tampico and headed to Dixon, Illinois. This is where Reagan attended high school and the place that he considered his hometown. The Reagan home was open for the day but unfortunately we arrived too late for a tour.

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This is such a typical midwest home and very closely resembles the home where I was raised. There's a bronze plaque out front.

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Reagan was the class president.

We drove into the downtown area looking for the Baker Street Cafe. My sister had recommended it as a good place to have lunch.

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The sign out front says it's a "Boulangerie" but since it's in the middle of midwest small town America, I think that's a stretch. "Bakery" would have done just fine as a description.

My mom and I ordered sandwiches and they were OK. But I've just got this thing about paying $5 or $7 for two slices of bread and some lunch meat. They were served naked on a black plastic plate. I say naked because there wasn't a chip, a sprig of parsely or even a small cup of slaw or potato salad. The sandwich simply looked silly all by itself.

Since this was a "boulangerie" we decided to order dessert and give the place a chance to redeem itself. My sister raved about the 14 Layer Chocolate Cinnamon Torte. We looked in the case and found there was only one slice left.

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It was rich and sufficiently spiced with cinnamon, but being the last slice it had been sitting in the case for awhile and the chocolate curls had developed that white surface. Again, disappointing.

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They also had an assortment of pies. This is the Holy Grail. When my stepfather passed away the task of searching the world for the perfect piece of pie fell on my shoulders. How could I leave this establishment without trying the pie? There was cherry, coconut cream, chocolate cream and apple.

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I asked the clerk to make sure they had been baked in house and weren't supermarket pies. The apple looked very interested so I ordered a slice.

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It was really great. Not the best pie I've ever eaten, that distinction goes to Hoosier Mama's Maple Pecan pie. This was however, the best piece of apple pie I've ever eaten. Forget the slimy supermarket version where the apples slide from the crust after the first piece is cut. You know what I'm talking about here! The apples were densely layered and instead of a gelatinous goo binding the pie together there was a nice dense mixture well laced with cinnamon.

The apples were delicious, tart and so flavorful. I swear all the apples in the grocery store are mealy and tasteless.

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And streusel!!! I could probably eat an entire bowl of good streusel. This pie had just the right amount of streusel to top those delicious tart apples. Yum, yum.

There you have it. Another pie report from the road. Stay tuned because this spring I'm going to be visiting northern Wisconsin where the Milk Man's Wife is going to take me to Norski Nook where they make 30 VARIETIES of fresh baked pies!

13 comments:

Heidi said...

*hands Sue a napkin for the 'thought drool' I know she is haveing waiting for the Norske Nooke trip* We are going to eat ourselves into a stuper I can tell.... I have my mom on standby to watch the boys so we dont have to worry about being adults when we eat and my sister is going to drive so that we dont have to worry about hurting anyone that gets in our way of the pie... she's brave like that!!! LOL

Susan said...

Suzanne, I wish I could join you and Heidi for the Norske Nook trip. They have so many wonderful pies. I remember the first time I was there, it was a difficult decision to pick just one...who said it has to be just ONE.!!

chocolatechic said...

OH...a trip for 30 different pies.

How wonderful!!!

It is so disappointing when you are hoping that a place will be as good as reported, and it isn't.

Anonymous said...

dear fw

I have so enjoyed our field trip this week. at our house (central Calif) we are Reagan groupies. How many times have we uddered 'where is Reagen when we NEED him'. this morning as i visit you i am eating a valentine cookie, sadly no pie.
bv

Ritch in Love said...

Lately I'm on a real Presidential History kick! My personal goal this year is to read one biography a month, two if possible and if flights are empty, about past U.S. Presidents. Naturally I started with Washington....it's been wonderful looking at these pictures!

Felicia said...

Thanks for the tour :)

Vee said...

You'll be in your glory then, Suzanne! Too bad about the cake, but great news about the pie. Now I must go searching for Hoosier Mama's Maple Pecan pie recipe. Hope it's out there somewhere!

Cottage Rose said...

Hello Suzanne; Wow the apple pie looked really good. Now not to brag, but I make a pretty good apple pie myself... {ok I am bragging]ha ha So are you going to sample all of the pies in Wisconsin or just a few. Love the photos of Regan's home and the town. I wish I could go with you, sounds like such a great time.

Hugs;
Alaura

Jody Blue said...

Thanks again. I hate it when you pay for food and it disappionts. You will not have the same adventure inside of Norske Nook!
http://www.norskenook.com/
When ever our boys have had any kind of sporting event that takes us any where near Norke Nook in Osseo, we stop for pie. The french silk pie is 6 inches high, and thats without any fluff on top. Our daughter loves the pumpkin cream cheese, my husband loves 'em all!

Tongue in Cheek said...

I thought for sure after hearing about the naked sandwich that the pie was going to take the prize. It usre had a delicious air about it.

Trish said...

What a great little tour. I was starving at work when I read this post and that apple pie jumped right out at me! Yum... Do take us to the pies ...I am excited to go along with you on that field trip

BittersweetPunkin said...

Ummmm.....yumm. Pie and anything danish is my downfall....you would've had to roll me to the car..
Hugs,
Robin

Louise said...

The pie looks/sounds worth all the other disappointments!