Morning glory!

As promised, I’m writing to you a long-overdue letter. Boy oh boy, George, did you and I have a fantastic week — well, more like one heck of a month!

First, with our dear, beloved Fr. Leo’s retirement, then bidding farewell to way too many of our dear church family members, it’s been one heck of a roller-coaster ride, honey. Just want to give a much-needed thank you to all of our St. Michael’s folks who serve on the committee for the funeral luncheons kitchen duty. You all work so hard to bring some comfort and wonderful meals to the loved ones who’ve lost family and to all the bereaved who come to honor those we’ve lost and the clean up after is no small feat either! Thank you seems so small.

(Gin here: I’m with you for the thank-yous that everyone who works those meals deserve. And everyone is happy to do it!) They work harder than I ever do, I just show up and do what I’m told.

OK, so queso? Get the chips!

On to lighter fun. Last week you and I met for an enjoyable supper at Picket Fence with the Ladies of St. Michael’s. It was great fun, company, laughter and, of course, you and I were the “last man standing” and got politely kicked out as they had closed. Guess we were standing where they needed to mop?

Now on to the main portion of our program, the most excellent lunch at Roc’s American Kitchen, 212 W. Park Ave. in Freeport, inside of Lucy Goose antique shop. Working in Downtown Freeport, we do not have many places to eat, and Roc’s is most outstanding. I’ve never been disappointed. He serves breakfast more like “brunchish” lunch and supper, taking a midafternoon break to prepare for supper. It is quaint and small, and every meal is made to order, so don’t expect a grab and go unless you call it in. But as we both agreed, it is well worth the wait. I suggest dinner time as it will give you more time to relax and enjoy, and also, everything in the building is for sale. So, if you like the dining table you are seated at, you may buy it and take it home.

I had the pecan-encrusted fish, today’s catch was grouper and as always most delicious and outstanding. He made me the “cajun style”; whatever he did was magic. Most excellent! You ordered the avocado-and-bacon sandwich that was almost bigger than your head. You said you love a good BLT, but this one has avocado, so does that mean you ordered a BAT sandwich? OK, that was too easy!

Seeing one of his tables had been sold (but another is on the way) I noticed TWO ladies waiting for a seat. I asked my Gin and Tonic if she’d mind me inviting them over — why not? They were lovely company, and one of the ladies works at BISD for the literacy program and has promised to send you her info on getting books into the kiddos’ hands. Great lead-in for her, will let you take it from there.

As you told both me and “Roc Star,” being in the paper might be a double,edged sword, I have to give a shout out where it is to due, and this best-kept secret is long overdue. Best of luck, Ronaldo Cantu. Guess I’ll have to call my order to-go from now on. One can only hope.

Now on for a few more recipes. You told me I was on a roll with the chicken wings. Well, move over sweet and hot sauce. I asked hubby Rick to try the sriracha sauce on them, and now that is my most favorite way to barbecue wings. Ten minutes before they’re done, brush sriracha all over the wings. Good and spicy. Yum!

Now pork chops. Asked my sister, Toddy, how she grilled her pork chops without them drying out. She soaks them overnight in apple juice. Well, not having the time, I seasoned them as usual — Zatarain’s, black pepper and garlic powder — then grilling over low heat. I filled the spray bottle with apple juice, and Rick cooked them about five to 10 minutes each side depending on how thick and hit them with juice every five minutes. He wrapped them in foil, giving them another good shot, for about 25 to 30 minutes more (we had a lot) moved to the side of heat. Oh my word, you talk about tender, juicy and delish! And, yes, girlfriend, you are so right, nothing sexier than a man standing at a grill cooking for you. You go, my Ricky man! And yay to Zatarain’s and Pillsbury for permission for all their recipes. I haven’t tried the Zatarain’s sausage yet, but it is on my bucket list!

Hope I could help you with a no-brainer as I held you up last week from writing your column. Have a blast riding in in your Z and living life to the fullest as you always do.

Love ya girlfriend.

Danna Kolafa, Metropolis of Greater Clute, home of the Great Texas Mosquito Festival

Thank you, Danna!

Let me be real quick to tell everyone if you are in a hurry for lunch at Roc’s and don’t like to stand in line, go early, place an order and pick it up or wait patiently. We were more than happy to share our table and really enjoyed it. So, if you go and you have two extra chairs, be willing to share. Who knows, you could have a best friend when you leave!

Let me throw this in, too. After working so many funeral meals this month we all agreed to, we have to stop meeting like this. And it also made us realize, live life to the fullest — be kinder and go out and buy that toy that makes you happy. Your kids don’t need the money you worked so hard for. I, of course, recommend you go buy yourself a cute little red 350Z convertible.

If you have recipes or tips to share, or a request, send to Conversations with Gin, P.O. Box 334, Clute TX 77531, or ginscolumn@hotmail.com

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