My company left about noon and at last report had arrived safely at the airport in Springfield. The house is quiet, and the dogs are bereft at the sudden loss of attention that they had been basking in all week. Rosie, who had met Daniel and Valerie each on a previous visit, was particularly sad to see them go.
We stayed in the local area the whole week with outings to Hardy, Arkansas, and Mountain View, Missouri, being our furthest outreach. The last time each visited we went to several of the scenic local mills. This time we were more content to just sit around the house and visit. We had several home-cooked meals - Valerie likes to cook and Daniel and I like to eat - and had some good dining-out experiences as well.
We had two meals, a breakfast and a late lunch, at Grump's Grub in West Plains. Grump's is the former Brenda's Cafe, and I am happy to report that the food is every bit as good as it was when Brenda was cooking. Three people can eat very well on a twenty dollar bill.
One of our evening meals was at T.J.'s Hickory House just south of West Plains on Highway 160. T.J's has a nice variety of dinner selections. I had the evening's special which was a large portion "chicken fried chicken" served with mashed potatoes and gravy and some wonderful green beans - plus a trip to the salad and soup bar - literally more than I could eat. My friends had two different varieties of fish. T.J.'s has a full bar for those who want to wash down their meal with something a bit stronger than water or iced tea. I've eaten their several times and always been pleased with the food and the service.
We also tried to dine at the Three-Legged Mule in Caulfield, but sadly hit on one of the several nights a week that it is closed. The Three-Legged Mule doesn't have much floor space or many tables, so hungry diners might have to sit at the counter - but the grub is good! It's just off the highway, easy to find - one of only a handful of businesses in Caulfield.
Valerie lives in Phoenix which is home to some great Mexican food, and Daniel has been in the Orient for so many years that he has developed a fondness for rice and fish dishes - but both seemed to enjoy our home-style Ozark fare. All of that - and the meals we had at home always included farm fresh eggs!
Pa Rock knows how to show his guests a gastronomical good time!