Cedar Creek Lake

Because Life is Better at the Lake

A Really Nice Visit to Athens

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Last week I enjoyed what Texas Monthly says is the best Reuben Sandwich in Texas. It was pretty darn good, and so was that fancy tea that Cherry Laurel serves. I was in Athens having lunch with DJ Warren. DJ is Director of the Athens Farmers Market, and as far as I can tell, is largely responsible for it becoming the thriving enterprise it is today, making it possible for local farmers to bring fresh healthy produce directly to families looking to eat really healthy food and to know the people who produced it. She is also a full-time special education teacher, where she gets to use her background in therapeutic recreation. I learned this while chatting with her on Michael Hannigan’s Social Media discussion group, where she gave me some great ideas I can use at the nursing home. I knew right then I wanted to get to know her. She is a doer as well as an idea person who doesn’t mind sharing what she knows. I need all the ideas I can get, and I especially need inspiration on the doer part.
She did give me some more good ideas while we had lunch, and she also told me where I could find the right kind of bones for bone broth. They had to be from grass-fed beef, with no antibiotics ever. She called Angelina Beef in Canton right then and made sure they would have the bones at the Farmers Market Saturday. I told her I would be there.
While in Athens I made a stop at Gallery 211, where I found Steve Willis And Virginia Reeder minding the store. Sharon Benningfield dropped in to hang some more of her wonderful paintings of animals with attitudes. Steve does amazing portraits, and was working on a beautiful one of a young Marine who didn’t make it back home. I hung around there just visiting for a long time. I used to do that all the time. I want to do it some more.
Saturday morning, I headed to the Farmer’s Market to find my beef bones. I got side tracked for a little while—there on West Corsicana street was a Farmer’s Market sign, and farmers set up with good looking produce. I asked where the beef truck was and was told it must be at the other market over behind the Texan, across from Gallery. So I headed there. It was just great. Flowers, all kinds of produce, good things to eat, some old friends. Virginia Reeder was there looking for some farmer kids who had left something at their art class. I spotted DJ right away, but unwittingly broke into her live broadcast. I think I’m on it. I took lots of pictures. But when I found my beef people, they were so kind and helpful, I forgot to take their picture. They sold me plenty of bones, at a very good price. It is all frozen, sealed tight, labeled just like in the store, only better. I waited till last to pick it up, while I went around and bought the vegetables for the broth from several vendors, including a bunch from my friends from Love in Action. One vendor is a non-profit who just gives theirs away for a donation or no donation. I donated and took several things. I got some absolutely delicious peaches (not for the broth) and a couple of the biggest, prettiest tomatoes I’ve seen this year. I’m going back next Saturday. I’m definitely getting me a fried pie next time.
About the bone broth: My daughter Liz has serious health issues. She has always been a firm believer in natural healing, and is certain there is no food more healing that bone broth. And of course, she wants me to make it for her. I’ve been making her chicken broth for a while now. You start with an organic chicken—one that was raised right, and no antibiotics, and you boil it with a bunch of straight-from-the-farm vegetables till it is very tender and falls off the bones. Then you put the bones and the broth back in the pot with some vinegar, and probably more vegetables and herbs, and you boil it again, for a long time. You strain it, and you come up with some really potent stuff, with all sorts of healing power. Plus you have all that chicken left to add back to it, or make something else with.
Beef Bone Broth is about the same, except not as much trouble. Just cook it once for a long time. I do mine in my Instant Pot, but still takes at least a couple of hours. Next time I will do it longer.
As I was leaving the Farmers Market I ran into Liz, who was carrying two gorgeous bouquets of flowers from R/C Flower Farm. She gave me one of them and said it was for my birthday. I’m told if I treat it right my bouquet can last up to two weeks. I’m going to treat it right.




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Cedar Creek Lake Weather Forecast

Monday

Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 97

Monday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 72

Tuesday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 89

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 66

Wednesday

Sunny

Hi: 88

Wednesday Night

Clear

Lo: 65

Thursday

Sunny

Hi: 90

Thursday Night

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Lo: 68


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Water Level on 7/22: 321.71 (-0.29)



Cedar Creek Lake Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 17)

Water lightly stained; 84–87 degrees, 0.17’ low. Black bass are slow on football jigs, Carolina rigged creature baits and shakyhead worms. Crappie are good on minnows. Catfish are fair on trotlines. White bass are good on slabs. Hybrid striper are good on slabs and topwaters.