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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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4 hours ago, snowangel said:

What kind of camper do you have?  Fifth wheel? Trailer?  We are starting to think about one.  We think stealth camper van, but geez, a buddy for the occasional mid-night pee sure is a nice luxury.

 

We have a fifth-wheel trailer. It's pretty big: what they call a toy hauler, because the back room (our dining room when it's set up) is a garage for toys like a 4-wheeler, bikes, and so on when we're traveling. When we're set up it's generally a dining room, although it can theoretically be a guest bunkroom. The bathroom is mandatory! 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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19 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

We have a fifth-wheel trailer. It's pretty big: what they call a toy hauler, because the back room (our dining room when it's set up) is a garage for toys like a 4-wheeler, bikes, and so on when we're traveling. When we're set up it's generally a dining room, although it can theoretically be a guest bunkroom. The bathroom is mandatory! 

 

This is what the "dining room" looks like when it's mostly set up. I snapped this after we had started the teardown from this weekend's camping trip, so some things had already been cleared from the table. Shortly after I took the picture the table had been entirely cleared and folded flat, and set atop the (also folded flat) bench seats. The seats are now near the ceiling, and the room is now the garage: filled with mobile toys and an unholy amount of produce (processed and still-to-be-processed) from the farmers' market. My stepdaughter is as avid a food shopper and cook as I, and when we get together our bank accounts take a serious hit. We have fun, though, and the families eat well.

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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That looks pretty posh.    At first glance, it looked like a NYC night spot.     Central Park as a backdrop.    Nice!

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eGullet member #80.

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All the leaves are brown...

 

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and the sky is grey...

 

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We hit the road a couple of days ago, not quite California Dreamin' although we're headed in that general direction.

 

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It's been uncommonly cold at home. I don't remember ever seeing the ditches and ponds freeze up so early.

 

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That gave me a chance to enjoy some cold and snow, although not much in the way of clear skies, before we left. My darling can't take the cold, and was miserable during the packing process. He was also terrified that the Princessmobile's pipes, which froze 3 nights running, would see damage. (Fortunately they thawed every day, and we see no evidence of damage.) He made the most of a bad situation by making a huge batch of chili. Some of it was frozen to make road food, and some of it warmed us during our week of packing. You'll see it sometime along the way.

 

Packing the Princessmobile had its embarrassing moments. I found this all in a bag on the floor of our pantry:

 

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Note to self: do NOT stock up on herbs or spices on this trip! We'll see whether I manage to stick to that rule. We still have about half the Egyptian feta cheese we bought last spring in Tucson, and it's now in the Princessmobile's refrigerator. We have a lot of meat purchased from a favorite butcher over the Labor Day weekend, and flour I bought in Tucson last spring before I lost the time and motivation for bread-baking. The good news is that our house and garage refrigerator and freezer are mostly empty. The bad news is that I really should be cooking this stuff instead of enjoying local food as we travel! So this trip will no doubt be a hodgepodge of trailer-food cookery and travelogue...much as it has always been.

 

Here are a couple of road-food breakfasts: nothing fancy, but not bad for eating in the truck as the truck eats the miles. 

 

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This croissant sandwich looks like it's sticking its tongue out at me, but it was pretty good.

 

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The next morning's Subway breakfast sandwiches weren't quite as good. I liked my bacon, egg and cheese sandwich - with tomatoes, spinach and mayo added. My darling chose a straight-up sausage and cheese sandwich, and couldn't finish it. "No wonder they named this casino 'Terrible's!" he exclaimed.

 

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The first night out, we ate chili but after 480 miles I was in no mood to photograph or post. Last night, at only 380 miles, we stopped at an Oklahoma Welcome Center and enjoyed the view. The snow and ice are far behind us.

 

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I put (only slightly) more effort into dinner:

 

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These lovely sausages, from that Labor Day weekend shopping expedition, went into a pot of Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice. I seem to have forgotten to take a snap of the finished product.

 

Tonight we'll be in Texas, and dinner remains to be seen. The fridge is full, but we think we'll have access to good 'cue. We'll see what happens.


Edited by Smithy Added "all in a bag" to clarify that the spices weren't thrown loose on the floor of the pantry (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Damned hard to believe it’s that time of year again.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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YEAH!!!  I love road trips.  Where in TX will you head?

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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9 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Damned hard to believe it’s that time of year again.

 

You and me both, sister! The summer flew by. I wasn't ready to leave, but I've seen just how hard the cold is on him. It isn't simply a dislike of being cold.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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20 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

YEAH!!!  I love road trips.  Where in TX will you head?

 

That remains to be seen. We're headed for Mineral Wells right now, with the intention of going on to Llano tomorrow, but it all depends on where we can stay more or less dry.

 

1 minute ago, robirdstx said:

Please, let us know if you will be down near Galveston. Would love to get together!

 

 

I would LOVE to do that! I'm afraid the Gulf Coast and the southeastern States have so much rain in the forecast that we're cutting them all out of our route for this fall. I have high hopes that next spring will be drier. We love the Gulf Coast and the Bolivar Peninsula, but have had to miss them for several years running.

 

n.b. No, rain isn't as hard on my darling as the cold, but he works mightily to avoid both once he's choosing the route. O.o


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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9 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

I would LOVE to do that! I'm afraid the Gulf Coast and the southeastern States have so much rain in the forecast that we're cutting them all out of our route for this fall. I have high hopes that next spring will be drier. We love the Gulf Coast and the Bolivar Peninsula, but have had to miss them for several years running.

 

n.b. No, rain isn't as hard on my darling as the cold, but he works mightily to avoid both once he's choosing the route. O.o


Dang!

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Northern Texas. Welcome to Mineral Wells. I forgot to check the mileage, but it was less than yesterday's, which was less than the previous day's. 

 

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It's a good thing, too. When we pulled in at a Walmart parking lot, we discovered that the trailer had been traveling on 5 tires rather than the requisite 6 for quite some time. How long? We couldn't say. Less than 81 miles (the previous stop) but more than 5 (considering the damage).

 

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Automobile Club of America. Don't leave home without it or its equivalent. Late in the afternoon, we had the spare tire installed, thanks to the efforts of 2 fine young men from Miller's Wrecking. We'll hope to get a replacement tire at our next stop, which is only a couple hundred miles away. It's a good thing we didn't have farther to go today, because we were Quite Done With Traveling by the time the tire was changed.

 

(Side notes: I was surprised that my darling, a professional trucker in a former life, hadn't noticed that tire flapping or fraying before we stopped. He typically watches tires carefully in the side view mirrors...except, well, this trailer is 8'6" wide and the only way to see the tires is when we're turning. Roads in this part of the country put lasers to shame. Point 2: we have tire pressure monitors. Guess which one, out of the 10, had a dead battery?)

 

The barbecue joint we had hoped for wasn't within walking distance. We ate leftovers ready-to-reheat dinners: red beans and rice and sausage from last night for him, and a delightful smoked salmon pasta alfredo for me, from a dinner party with friends before we left.

 

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Well...the pasta would have been good, except for the betrayal of my salt grinder. Did I turn it the wrong way? Was the lid not seated properly? I don't know. What I do know is that...

 

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...this was nearly full before I accidentally dumped the contents into my pasta! I couldn't pick it all out, and had to pitch nearly half of that lovely dish to get to the parts that were still relatively salt-free. I still have that strange mouth-burn that heavy salt can bring.

 

I think the most healthful thing we ate today was this roadfood snack:

 

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There was celery also, though I didn't bother with a picture. The asparagus was quite good, the celery somewhat less so.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This fog wasn't in the forecast we saw. It's good enough for driving, though: not the pea-soup tule fogs I grew up with.

 

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I have the fixings for ham and cheese sandwiches if we get too hungry, but I also packed hard-boiled eggs and this:

 

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I've forgotten what variety of apple this is. Jonagold, perhaps. This is one of a batch of apples I bought for the trip - the first I've bought in a long time for eating rather than cooking. All too often I'm disappointed with apples, and the dreaded Delicious line nearly put me off apples forever. This apple was a revelation. From the first juicy, nearly drippy bite I was transported back to crisp fall days and a happy childhood. This apple had the perfect flavor: any sweeter and it would have been cloying; any less tart and it would have been bland.

 

I'm glad I got two of this variety. I hope the other is as good.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Glad we're on the road again. I always enjoy the travels.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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We have room! For a few days, we're opened out and staying in one spot! :D 

 

Below: on the left is our living/dining area while on the road; on the right is the same area when we've unloaded the garage and claimed all the living space. In the left-hand photo you can see our Razr (side-by-side 4-wheeler) occupying much of the garage.

 

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Standing in that doorway, here are the views now, of the kitchen (left) and the dining room (right).

 

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The trip from Mineral Wells to Llano was uneventful and pretty. The towns in between have a lot of stone buildings and, no doubt, history. Most of the towns we pass through have murals, or historical areas, but they look as though people also live in the present, instead of simply capitalizing on the past. We moved into pecan country, and the land of drive-through liquor stores.

 

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Excuse me...the tire repair/replacement is not going smoothly. I'll fill in the gaps later on last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast.

 

20191106_091645.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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...now where was I? Oh, yes! Last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast!

 

Good 'cue is one of the reasons we like to come to Llano. Although Llano was designated by the State Legislature as the Deer Capital of Texas and Lockhart was awarded the title of BBQ Capital of Texas, we think Llano's barbecue places are great and we prefer the campground here. Cooper's Old-Time Pit Barbecue  is within walking distance of our parking/camping spot. Yesterday afternoon I went by to see whether they had beef ribs available. They only had 5 or 6 left for the day, and were good enough to set them aside for me to come back and get at our dinner time.

 

A note about food lingo is appropriate here. I first heard of "Texas ribs" in Minnesota, and learned that they are beef ribs as opposed to pork ribs, which are apparently the default meat when a Minnesotan talks about "ribs". Well. Just as "California burger" is a nonsense term in that state -- don't all burgers come with lettuce and tomato? -- "Texas ribs" is a silly term here. If you want beef ribs, you ask for beef ribs. 

 

When I went back to collect the ribs, I also picked up a generous pint of their pinto beans, half a pint of their barbecue sauce, and a small container each of their sliced dill pickles, pickled jalapeños, and chopped onions. They're all included with dinner, as is bread. "Be sure to take bread with you, too!" said the cashier. "Take a half loaf if you want!" Portions there are generous and pricey, but the sides are all generous and free.

 

Well, they aren't ALL free. I bought a small container of cole slaw for him and potato salad for me.

 

I was astonished to see the size of the tray they'd wrapped and kept quite hot for us, with the ribs. Then the cashier insisted that it would be too hot to carry. Out came a box the size of a dinner tray, and into it went the ribs, the salads, and the condiments. I came home with this box...

 

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...which unpacked to this dinner (well, not the wine and beer, they were already here):

 

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These are the extras:

 

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I'm sorry to say that the jalapeños are too hot for us. He ate a small bite and yelped. I put my tongue to a cut end and decided against it. Maybe I can find something to do with them in small doses. Why is it that Subway can provide pickled jalapeños with just a touch of pleasant heat, and most other places' jalapeños are of the blow-your-head-off persuasion?

 

You saw dinner up close before, but here it is again. That meat was succulent, tender, and wonderfully, beefily flavorful.

 

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There is leftover meat, but it may not last past lunch. The beans didn't last past breakfast.

 

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I wish I could do pinto beans like this. Haven't figured it out yet.

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I just learned something I never would have guessed. Drive-thru liquor stores are legal in California.  I've been entertained by this post and also learned something.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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4 hours ago, Porthos said:

I just learned something I never would have guessed. Drive-thru liquor stores are legal in California.  I've been entertained by this post and also learned something.

 

If only I had a vehicle.

 

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Just seems like an innately bad idea, doesn't it? :P

 

 

(They've sold beer at gas stations in Newfoundland for years, FWIW, which also strikes me as a bad idea.

 

There's a joke about a couple of "bay b'ys" on their way home from getting liquored up in Corner Brook. They stop at the gas station for another box o' beer - as it's described there - so the party doesn't need to stop while they're driving. As they're subsequently motoring somewhat erratically down the highway, they pass a Mountie going the other way. Sure enough, the Mountie slews around in a braking turn and flicks on his lights and siren.

As they pull over, the suddenly-sober driver tells his buddy "Quick! Do what I does!" His buddy watches as the driver quickly but carefully peels the label off the beer and slings the bottle into the back seat, and does likewise. The driver claps the beer label onto his forehead, so the passenger shrugs and does the same.

The Mountie saunters up to the window, as they do, and shines his light into the driver's eyes, as they do, and - as you can imagine - boggles at what he sees. He motions for the driver to roll down his window, and says "Have you been drinking tonight, sir?"

The driver points to the label on his forehead, and says "Noooooo, my son. I'm on da patch!")

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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They have lights on their horses?

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Beer (and wine) is sold in gas stations in Montana as well.  And, up until 2005 open containers in vehicles were not illegal.  Montana has a high rate of drunk driving,

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Minnesota only allow what we call "3-2" beer (3.2% ABV) in convenience stores, but as of last week or the week before it is the only state in the USA that still has that restriction. The same restriction applies to beer sales in grocery stores, although there's a movement afoot to change that.

 

Blue laws are funny things. Some years back we were in Oklahoma, I think, looking to buy beer at a convenience store / liquor store combination building. The convenience store was open and had beer for sale, but only room temperature / warm; the cold beer was in the attached liquor store, which was closed because it was Sunday. At that time, we were assured that it was a state law: cold beer could not be sold for off-sale on Sundays!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Minnesota only allow what we call "3-2" beer (3.2% ABV) in convenience stores, but as of last week or the week before it is the only state in the USA that still has that restriction. The same restriction applies to beer sales in grocery stores, although there's a movement afoot to change that.

 

Blue laws are funny things. Some years back we were in Oklahoma, I think, looking to buy beer at a convenience store / liquor store combination building. The convenience store was open and had beer for sale, but only room temperature / warm; the cold beer was in the attached liquor store, which was closed because it was Sunday. At that time, we were assured that it was a state law: cold beer could not be sold for off-sale on Sundays!

PA had some weird laws. Liquor only in the State Store. Beer and wine in supermarkets just recently, until then you could get two 6 packs to go at a bar, and cases only at Beer Distributors.

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51 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Minnesota only allow what we call "3-2" beer (3.2% ABV) in convenience stores, but as of last week or the week before it is the only state in the USA that still has that restriction. The same restriction applies to beer sales in grocery stores, although there's a movement afoot to change that.

 

Blue laws are funny things. Some years back we were in Oklahoma, I think, looking to buy beer at a convenience store / liquor store combination building. The convenience store was open and had beer for sale, but only room temperature / warm; the cold beer was in the attached liquor store, which was closed because it was Sunday. At that time, we were assured that it was a state law: cold beer could not be sold for off-sale on Sundays!

In Kansas beer sold at grocery/convenience stores is 3.2, unless that has changed recently. 


That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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When we lived in Kansas, back in the 80’s, liquor stores did not take credit cards. Cash or check only.

But when we moved to Texas, you could drive up to the convenience store, purchase a cold beer, pop the top and legally drink and drive - fortunately, that law has been changed.


Edited by robirdstx (log)
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49 minutes ago, chileheadmike said:

In Kansas beer sold at grocery/convenience stores is 3.2, unless that has changed recently. 

 

According to this article, Kansas changed that law a few years ago, and Utah changed its law by raising the limit (to a whopping 4%!) on Nov. 1, 2019. It doesn't say what Kansas' new laws are, though. This was an article about Minnesota being the holdout. :) 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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