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With apologies to Lewis Carroll.
I was sitting on a curb in Puyallup, when a black and white, googly-eyed cow wearing white fur gloves and a black matador’s hat ran by me crying, “Oh dear, oh dear, she’ll have me executed.” Having dozed off while day-dreaming in the sun, it took precious minutes before I could rouse myself and follow him.
Looking at the Smart watch on his front hoof, he said “Hurry, we’re late, we’re late. This is the last day of the fair, and the pickle judging is almost over.” And with that, he hopped on a red scooter and disappeared through a hole in the chain link fence.
Without considering the consequences, I followed him through the fence hole and along a long, green tunnel, when suddenly we were falling down a very deep well. He landed first, brushed off his blue waistcoat, and hurried away, leaving me to consider my predicament. I jumped up, looked around, and saw his tail disappear into a small room with a three-legged table full of craft beers and Strawberritas beautifully marked “DRINK ME” in cursive along one side and a three-legged table with onion burgers, Krusty pups, and raspberry scones on which were spelled “EAT ME” in currants along the other side.
Although I felt the urgency of Cow’s mission, the onion burger called to me and I took a bite. Feeling a bit smaller, I stretched up on tiptoes and helped myself to a raspberry scone.
Licking the last crumb off the scone paper, I scurried to catch up and saw Cow walk into the Farm Animal barn and hide among the other cows. Bossie, the Goth Guernsey with tattooed ears, a headband, and a nose ring, gave him up for a salt block and a ticket to the rodeo, gesturing toward the show ring with her large white head.
“Have you seen a Holstein in a blue waistcoat?”, I asked Doorgirl sitting on a long, brown Hereford table consulting her magic tablet.
“He rounded the corner and caught a ride on the flying elephants”, she said.
“Curiouser and curiouser”, I thought as Cow whirled through the blue sky on his big, pink elephant. “But Cow”, I shouted, “Where are you going?”
“I’m on my way to see the Red Queen”, he said. “But first, we must get permission from Soothsayer. Follow me.” He dismounted with a triple SowCow, skinning one knee, then scootered on, while I followed on my white horse.
We secured our steeds, stood in front of the mysterious yellow bird, and looked at him in silence. Taking the hookah out of his mouth, he bubbled to us in a languid, sleepy voice, “Who are you?”
“This is Dora, I’m Cow and we want to see the Red Queen”, Cow said firmly.
“A magic carpet is your best bet, but beware the Jabberwolk“, Soothsayer replied. So I chose a pink carpet, Cow chose a blue one and, in the time it took to say “Oh frabjous day, calooh callay”, we glided to a stop in front of the Red Queen’s throne.
The Red Queen stepped down imperiously onto the ground in front of Dora and Cow. Spiderman, SpongeBob, and Hello Kitty soldiers quickly surrounded her and lifted her onto their shoulders. The Red Queen shouted, “Off with their heads!”, in a thunderous voice and pointed her royal scepter directly at us.
“But wait, wait!”, said Cow, “We know who won the pickle judging!”
“Hold your tongue until you’re spoken to!”, screamed the Red Queen. Then, she leaned down and whispered, “So…which pickle is it?”
“It’s the Nelson dill, from Pe El…or Doty”, said Cow.
“Splendid”, said the Red Queen. “The morning line had him at 5-1 and I made a bundle, so we’re done. Back to your humdrum lives and, as a reward for your efforts, choose a jam from the display.”
Cow chose a Duncan peach marmalade, I picked out a Goebel figgy plum ginger (surreptitiously slipping a jar of Pringle tomato jam into my pocket), and we wandered off to ride the ferris wheel.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
- 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar, divided
- 4 sesame seed hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- Lettuce leaves
- Sliced tomatoes
- Caramelized Onions, recipe follows
- Sriracha mayonnaise: Stir ample drops of Sriracha into Best Foods mayo
Season ground beef in large bowl and shape into 4 balls. Poke deep hole in each ball and fill each with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheese. Mold meat around cheese to enclose. Flatten each filled burger to 3/4-inch-thick patty.
Grill burgers to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium.
Place burgers on bottom halves of buns, squirt with Sriracha mayonnaise. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions and upper halves of buns.
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 salt
Peel and slice onions into 1/2″ rounds. Melt butter into skillet, add onions and salt. Sauté over medium low heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until soft and brown.
- 2 cups flour
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- Tbs. baking powder
- ½ cup cold butter (1 stick cut into ½” pieces)
- ½ cup dried currants
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup milk or half and half
- Glaze of 1 egg and 1 Tbs. sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture in crumbly. Stir in currants or nuts if desired.
Beat egg with milk and add all at once to flour mixture. Process or stir just until mixture comes together in a sticky mass. Transfer mixture to a work table and knead briefly to form dough.
Divide dough in half and pat each half into a 5” circle. Cut each circle into six wedges and arrange wedges on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush, if desired, with beaten egg and sugar. Bake on thee uppermost rack of the oven to 12 minutes or until golden brown.