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My daughter had asked to participate in a gymnastics program, and I, of the opinion we were already juggling a full weekly schedule, delayed it as long as possible – hoping she would forget about this new interest. However, she continually watched videos to learn the various exercises and skills, and performed hours of self directed practice (in our front yard, a friends living room during a party, along the sidewalk, behind the rented cabana while on vacation in Las Vegas) which convinced me otherwise.

Shortly after she registered at a highly recommended Dance and Gymnastics Center, our College team was competing locally, and as my husband was out of town, I volunteered to take my daughter, a friend of hers and my two boys to the meet.

We stopped for dinner on the way, and ran noisily through the rain to a burger restaurant I had been wanting to try, where we devoured French Fries, my son spilled water all over the table, floor and his lap, I indulged in the last little bit of my daughters delicious Patty Melt, and I have a strong suspicion the waiter overcharged us.

I quickly looked up the address of the gymnastics meet, carefully followed the Maps app on my phone, and was thrilled when there was a parking space right outside the arena doors. This was turning into the best Friday night ever – a mountain of fries, a scrap of burger and a short walk in my high heels. Not to mention the joy and earnest concentration of the two girls enjoying the athletics spread before us, and the only very slight complaining of the two boys, which was easily subdued with a quick trip to the concession stand – at least during the first half of the competition.

The next week, during our morning walk, we happened to go right past the same venue and I was happily telling my husband about the good fortune of finding a parking space so close to the event, when I noticed the signs, and realized it was designated parking for residents only!!


pimento cheese patty melts with bacon

8 slices bacon

1 pound ground beef

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons grated onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound sharp cheddar, grated

1 jar (4-ounces) chopped pimientos, drained

1 package (3-ounces) cream cheese

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

2 cloves garlic, minced

softened butter

8 slices white bread

Heat oven to 375F. Bake the bacon on a broiler pan until crisp, about 15 minutes. In a large bowl, season the beef with salt and pepper. Mix in the worcestershire, parsley and onion. Form 4 large patties.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, for about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cheddar, pimientos, cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, paprika and garlic until well mixed, 1 to 2 minutes.

Spread 1 slice of bread with pimiento cheese, top with a pattie, 2 pieces of bacon and another bread slice.

Reheat the skillet, melt butter in pan, place sandwich in skillet and cook until the bread is golden and cheese is melted.


Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray, May 2013