Today I heard the first trill of Cedar Wax-Wings. Winter is a great time to see many species of birds in North Texas. It is sunny and chilly, but a perfect day for the birds to be out and about. Robins are making their presence known as well as Goldfinch, Cardinal, Sparrows of all types, Dove, Chick a dee, Woodpeckers, Titmouse and Warblers. This has nothing to do with what I’m writing to you about today but I couldn’t help but make note.
Backtracking to the week of Christmas. My man Dan and I decided to take a day trip to Paris. Texas, that is. Our main purpose was to hit the bee keepers warehouse there. Winter is a slow time for bee keepers but my hubby had his eye on a jacket that has been on back order for months and finally they had it in stock. It was a relaxing time and kept me from fretting over all I still needed to do before Christmas. We planned for an early morning departure, lunch while in Paris and time to hit the supplier as well as an antique store or two, or anything else that might catch our attention. It was a crisp December day with blue skies and only a slight breeze. We filled our “to go” coffee mugs and hit the road.
My old man has a fixation with taking a photograph of every courthouse in every county in the state of Texas. Believe me, that is a large number of courthouses. Paris, being the county seat of Lamar County has a courthouse. I like it when the courthouses are of interesting architecture and this one was. Luckily there was no scaffolding or large dumpsters obstructing the view. Our first stop, the courthouse. I enjoyed it as well as the beautiful golden tree at the corner of the block.
While waiting for my man Dan to take his photograph I noticed a bakery across the street. I relish going into a bakery, if for nothing but to savor the smells of fresh-baked bread. This one was aptly named “Paris Bakery”. There was a cute sign in the window
indicating they were open for business. I was hoping for a little something to bag up and save for the drive home. We stepped inside and were greeted by a guy of slight build with a bandana wrapped around his head, who quickly disappeared into the kitchen. Right inside the door sat a tree decorated with gingerbread men and wine corks, with trails of brown paper intertwined through the branches. Still cute.
Then we stepped to the back of the bakery to see what goodies awaited us. I hate to say, “not much” to choose from but the most annoying aspect was the lady who came from the back and told us she’s be right with us. It seemed what took precedence over us was a phone call in which she proceeded to chew the person on the other end of the line out for having called to wish someone (maybe bandana guy) happy birthday. Apparently that someone was too busy in the back to be given greetings on his birthday. She griped to the only other customer about how “they”, and I don’t know who “they” were, were running late as usual and lunch selections would be out shortly. We bought a loaf of french bread and made a note that some people must not harbour a cheerful Christmas spirit. Not cute! The few items for sale and a small basket of cookies just didn’t grab my attention as I was so distracted by the disgruntled shop attendant.
Ah well, they had the makings but weren’t on the mark on this day. It would not ruin our excursion. We enjoyed strolling the town square, holding hands and laughing plenty. Our next stop, Dadant Bee Keeper Warehouse.
This warehouse is just that, a big warehouse full of equipment for bee keepers. I enjoyed perusing the books for adults as well as children. I couldn’t decide on one so I passed on buying any. But we did stock up on foundations, inner covers, and my hubby got his long-awaited jacket.
Mr. F needed a new jacket too so we picked one up for him while there. He also told me to buy honey at the warehouse. One bee keeper supporting another. So we did.
Summing that up as a successful visit we decided our bellies were empty and it was time to head to “Crawford’s Hole In The Wall Cafe”.
My man Dan had discovered it through some google research and it sounded like just the kind of place we would want to eat on our little jaunt. There was a long line and all the tables were full of customers with all sorts of yummy looking dishes in front of them. Burgers, sandwiches, salads, and the special of the day – Chicken Spaghetti. We made it to the order taker, who greeted us with a friendly smile, not anything like the bakery lady. Ah! Happy to see a cheerful person behind the counter, we turned in our order, got our sweet tea, found a table near the window and settled down to wait for our food to come out. We were order #5.
The place was full of families starting to celebrate the holiday at hand, cowboys, business men and women, teenagers out for Christmas and almost all were locals.
I ordered the chicken spaghetti and hubby man ordered a bacon cheeseburger and rings. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more plates of chicken spaghetti come out of a kitchen than I did that day. We were completely satisfied with our meals. The spaghetti was creamy and cheesy, with nice chunks of white chicken and it was just the right amount for lunch. The burger made with fresh beef, never frozen, piled with just right bacon and an ample slab of cheddar cheese. The rings crisp and golden. We were thrilled to have found Crawford’s.
Not only was the food worth writing about, the service was as it should be. Thank you Crawford’s. We will be back.
Now that our tummies were full we decided to stroll downtown and check out the shops. The square in Paris is well-kept and full of interesting businesses, shops and a bank. We hit one of those antique “malls”. We were once again met with folks at work who were less than welcoming. Now, don’t get me wrong, Paris is a very nice small town, where I would be happy to return. I guess no matter where you are or what the season there will always be “those kind” of folks. The couple in charge of this rather large shop, full of assorted antiques and oddities never looked up or spoke to us as we wandered around the shop. Whatever! We didn’t spend any money there but I snapped a photo or two of a few of their objects for sale. It was pleasurable, and we walked off that delicious lunch.
Following our visit to the antique mall we headed for the car and drove another hour to watch a high school girls basketball game. The team we rooted for lost but we didn’t let that get us down. We had a great day, just the two of us. Laughing, eating, sharing ideas about what was to come in the next few days, leading up to Christmas itself. I’m thinkin’ 2012 should include more days like this one.
The Orange Bee is approaching its one year anniversary. I’m frantically thinking about how to celebrate that day. Well, I’m not exactly frantic…but I’d like to make it memorable. I’m thankful for all of you who read this babbling of mine and drool over my recipes. Thanks to you and your support I plan to continue cooking and writing about it, as well as keeping my bees and sharing those adventures with you.
I’ll take this time to say “All the best to you in the New Year” and I look forward to seeing you in 2012.