Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shoes in Trees and Spaetzle with Cheese

Upon reading my poetic title, Oklahoma Route 66 fans should be able to figure out where my wanderlust took me today.  As a cure for the boredom I rattled on about yesterday, I decided to get off my butt (then get back on my butt only this time behind the wheel of my car) and head west.  Well, I didn't exactly make it all the way out to Cowboy-and-Indian country, but I did get as far as Stroud.  That's just 50 miles away, but it's a nice 50-mile ride on old Route 66.  

I had no real destination in mind, except to take advantage of this gorgeous, sunny, almost springlike day.  This route is quite familiar to me, but I particularly wanted to check out the status of the Shoe Tree just east of Stroud.   When the former Shoe Tree died and fell a couple of years ago, a new one was started nearby.  Starting a shoe tree consists choosing a tree and then throwing a shoe or two up into its branches, in hopes that others will follow suit.  The last time I saw the new Shoe Tree, it only  had a handful of shoes in it.  Today, I found two Shoe Trees side by side, and both had a healthy crop of footwear clinging to their branches.  

This seems a good sign to me, an indication of the large number of tourists who passed by here during the last couple of summers.   It took the old Shoe Tree years and years to accumulate as many shoes as now swing from the new ones.  There are also some shoes which have fallen to the ground -- a red high heel, a flip flop, a like-new running shoe among others -- but they lie there unmolested.  

 I stopped to take a quick photo of one of my favorite old, abandoned stretches of Route 66 also near Stroud.
Shortly thereafter, I found myself directly in front of Stroud's Rock Cafe at exactly noon, so I took it as a sign that I should go there for lunch.  The parking lot wasn't full, so that was an even stronger sign.  The Rock is such a warm and welcoming place, and the food is very good.  As I dined on my plate of Spaetzle with Cheese, one of Dawn's specialties, Dawn herself emerged from the kitchen and sat with me for a little while so we could chat.  The dish was delicious, and even though listed under appetizers, I couldn't even finish it.  Also, guilt about eating cheese (a total no-no for kidney patients!), made me push aside (reluctantly) the last few forkfuls.  Yum!  It was nice to see Dawn, although briefly, too.

I'm happy to report that I no longer feel bored.  My little trip, plus the fact that my dishwasher started working again this morning after I thought it had kicked the bucket, has cheered me and energized me!


Susan Yates said...

Evocative writing, Laurel--I can almost taste the spaetzle now. My favorite is the choice with cheese, green pepper and onion. Rock Cafe portions are big enough to eat some there/bring some home.

Happy to hear there are shoes in the new shoe tree(s). Not sure why that makes me happy, but it does.

Trevor Hilton said...

I have a pair of black canvas sneakers in that shoe tree.

It's been a while since I've eaten at the Rock. I should go again sometime.

Have you ever eaten at the Boundry yet? Their barbecue ribs are terrific!

Beth said...

Mmmm, spätzle! You know what my family always called them? Rivels. Just a quick noodle dough, not rolled out or anything, but usually dropped into potato soup. I have no idea where the 'rivels' (pronounced with a short i) moniker came from, or if anyone else calls them that.

Okay, I was curious, so had to google it. Other people call them that, too! Check it out:


And here's a more extensive article. I was looking for the origin of the word, but couldn't find it.


Laurel, you can't be bored. I just spent at least 15 minutes researching rivels. ;)