I made this tried and true Garlic Pulled Pork recipe yesterday in the Nesco Roaster. As usual, it turned out fantastic, albeit a little on the dry side. I think I cooked it a little too long, which is what I get for going out for drinks after work. To moisten it up a bit, Teeeembits had the brilliant idea to mix the pork with his homemade sauerkraut. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. This will definitely be one of the signature dishes when we decide to quit our lame jobs and open up the Sleepy Choo Paleo Palace of Deliciousness.
Perhaps we were inspired by our trek to the Wisconsin Territory for the Lacrosse Oktoberfest last weekend. Admittedly, the trip got off to a rough start. We arrived in Lacrosse at about 12:30 or so, checked into the hotel, and tried to figure out where, exactly, the Oktoberfest was. No where on the website could we find the specific address of the Fest grounds. We found a map of the grounds and deduced the location from the cross streets. We then piled our road-weary, starving selves into the Fusion and headed downtown. Unbeknownst to us, we were hitting downtown right as the parade was ending. The streets we planned to use to get to the grounds were all blocked for the parade. The other streets were all full of extremely drunk individuals with no regard for traffic signals or multi-ton vehicles who could squash them into smithereens. We kept driving around, expecting to see signs directing us to the Fest and/or a parking area. They were no where to be found!!! We eventually, after 45 minutes, found a parking area, paid our $5 and finally unfolded our weary limbs in search of beer and brats. Of course, it began pouring rain. And we had no umbrellas. Tim didn’t even have a hat. We wandered off in the direction of the crowds, only to find more drunk people camped up along side the road. We didn’t see a “Fest” anywhere! We decided to just find food in a restaurant somewhere downtown. Of course, thousands of other people had the same idea. It was hopeless. Hungry, cranky, wet, and extremely frustrated, we returned to the car and began the arduous task of winding our way out of the area, trying not to hit any toasted pedestrians. We finally broke free and headed to the hotel area for food.
We used Yelp to find a good Mexican restaurant, and after some guacamole and margaritas, we were feeling much more sanguine. We hit up the local Woodmans to stock up on beer and cucumber vodka and then returned to the hotel. We relaxed in the hot-tub, watched horrible cable, and then worked up the energy to take the shuttle (which started at 4PM) from the hotel back down the the so-called Oktoberfest.
THAT was definitely the better way to experience the Oktoberfest. The bus dumped us out at the entrance to grounds, and after paying $20 for our buttons, we were soon in line for some tasty local brews, listening to some cheerful Bluegrass music. We supplemented the beer with some brats and potato salad and really started to enjoy the evening. We wandered over to another area of the Fest grounds, intrigued by the flashing neon promising FRIED CHEESE CURDS. We got another beer and ate up the delicious, salty curds, while listening to an extremely talented polka band/family. We were soon joined by a random gentlemen, keen on describing his maltreatment in the other beer tent. It appears that some of the Festers were not respectful of his age. We distracted him with cheese curds and questions about cycling (he was wearing his version of “drinking gloves” – bicycling gloves). He repaid our attentions by introducing Tim to the Festmaster, whose wife bestows Festmaster buttons on to Festers. He promised Tim that the Festmaster’s wife would slip him the tongue when she gave him a button. Tim was not interested in the tongue (or so he said), but he WAS interested in meeting Festival royalty, and so he did. I have pictures to prove it.
All-in-all, it was a really great, fun day – good music, good food, good beer, good people-watching. And the drive to and from Lacrosse was absolutely beautiful. We went up 61 on the way there and came home along the Mississippi on the way home. Both routes were gorgeous. I would travel to Lacrosse again just for the scenery, but probably not for the Fest. Now, if they had a vodka or whiskey Fest, I would be there in a heartbeat.
Well, it’s bed time, and I have a long, arduous day tomorrow, so I better sign off. Hope you have a wonderful evening. 🙂