In last week's column, you may recall, I was lamenting the end of youth baseball season in the village.
Oh how I already miss the sweet sounds associated with the game - the crack of the bat, the occasional ice cream truck circling the parking lot, the slapping of ankles and necks to chase away hundreds of hungry mosquitos as the sun was setting.
Ahhh.. on second thought, never mind.
It's a whole new week and you know what that means! The start of the next sporting season! Yes siree, the local high school players can already be found out on the field at Gavinksi stadium and the NFL lockout is over... so bring it on!
And what goes better with football than food? Hungry fans around the nation will soon be dishing up their favorite foods for tailgating and parties alike. Folks in Philly have their cheesesteaks, Chicagoans love their deep-dish pizza, Kansas City brings BBQ to mind, Buffalo has wings, and Green Bay is known for what else -- beer and brats.
Which made me think... we have our own hometown Panthers (both IFL and GHS), so why shouldn't we have our very own famous food, something that instantly brings Greendale to mind?
So I set out in search - with a couple of very willing helpers (so long as there was food involved that I was paying for) - to find something around town that might qualify as a 'Greendale specific food.'
The first stop, Ferch's Malt Shoppe, netted us each a delicious "Greendale Sundae." After gobbling down the 'three layers of custard, hot fudge, crème de menthe, and pecans, topped with
whipped cream and a cherry,' we decided this definitely had to be in the running. After all, how more GREEN can you get than crème de menthe? (Maybe mint custard filled with panther shaped fudge pieces? Just a suggestion, Betty F.)
A short stroll across Broad Street (yes, we used the crosswalk, thank you), and we found ourselves at another famous Greendale dining destination: Ricardo's Pizza. One look at the menu and we knew our taste test would have to include the 'Greendale Original' pizza - featuring: 'pesto, fresh mozzarella, basil & our fresh bruschetta mix.' (About the only thing that could've made it even better would be outdoor dining).
Day Two took us to our next stop, the Harmony Inn. Although we didn't find anything with the name 'Greendale' on the menu - all the names seemed to have something to do with music, strangely enough - it still turned out to be a tasty lunch. Now if only we can change the 'Harmony Inn Burger' to the 'Harmony Inn the Village of Greendale Burger', we might have a contender. Catchy, right?
Finally, we hopped back across Broad Street to Apples Of Eden. I know, I know, technically not a restaurant, but totally a must-stop on our search for the official food of Greendale. With 13 gourmet apples to choose from, among many other delightful delicacies, it was fun to see what might qualify. The kids voted for the Magic Apple, while I thought the Dream Apple sounded more 'Greendale-like'.
After all the rigorous taste-testing, we decided all of these tasty treats make eating in the village special.... it would be just too hard to pick only one. I know the kids were thrilled to eat someone else's cooking for a change - I certainly don't claim to be the world's best cook (just ask my spouse).
However, I have no problem passing along a tried-and-true recipe that I got from a friend that's perfect for a Packer (or Panther) party... especially if you are having Bills fans as your guests.
So go ahead Greendale - get ready for some football!
BUFFALO CHICKEN PARTY DIP
- 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup Ranch dressing
- 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
- 1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored crackers
- Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.