And the winner is…

What happens when you mix two girls, one of which is due soon, and two dueling chicken restaurants in Pittsburg, KS?  Honestly?Mostly heartburn. But at least there’s laughter along the way.

My friend, J, and I met up at Fort Scott, KS to enjoy one last get together before baby H is born. We were coming from opposite directions so this little town seemed a good midway point. I found a hotel right smack in the middle of downtown, in which all streets were bricked.

You know that made me happy.

We pulled up to our hotel, waved at the owner and hopped out.
Move it, J. I know you’ve just driven a couple hours and need to relax, but we’ve got some eating to do… and Momma Carolyn is hungry.
Here was the plan:






This is not for the faint of heart, my friends. You need to train diligently for this type of assault. No sit-ups, no portioning, and definitely no dieting. Eat grease, nap, and conveniently forget where you put the scale.

I’ve been in training for this night it seems since the day I was born.

But first, we had to check out the barracks.

And this was our first test. Could we walk in to a multitude of patterns on the bed and the wall without losing focus? J held up well. I, on the other hand, had to sit down and put my head between my legs for a second.

Luckily I only wear solids, otherwise J would’ve lost me in there.

We didn’t waste any time, but headed to our first destination: Chicken Mary’s.

Before I get into our analysis of each restaurant, can I point out that J only has two months to go before she’s due (not to mention the fact that she’s wearing horizontal stripes!)? Don’t make me cuss, J.

She looks like me after Thanksgiving dinner. So I was more than happy to shove fried chicken in her mouth.

I don’t have as many photos of Chicken Mary’s as I do Chicken Annie’s, so I’ll give you a brief description. We walked in and me, being a bundle of nerves, walked up to the check out lady and asked her seat us. She pointed us to the right person who graciously led us to a corner table. The room was busy and it felt cozy. Country decor, candle on the table.

The waitress, whose name we did not write down (oh yes, folks, we took notes) advised us to *not* drink the tap water. She looked horrified at our suggestion that we could.

J loved the potato salad, stating “It has a dill taste.” This is of course after she took a nibble and rolled it around in her mouth like a Top Chef judge. I could only taste potato.  The applesauce was sweeter than Motts, which we later found out had cherry mixed in.

We loved the thigh, to which we agreed, that once you go thigh you just can’t go back. The fried skin on all pieces were perfect: crunchy & greasy, or, how we justified it, “juicy.”

Then it was off to Chicken Annie’s.

We walked there from Chicken Mary’s as they are literally side by side, and appreciated the brief reprieve from grease. I spotted a windmill and it instantly got a plus sign in my book.

We entered into a more open floorplan, which made it seem less busy. I had no confusion as to who was the hostess. She took us to a corner table as well, however this one was not yet ready and the cooks in the kitchen yelled at someone to come clean it. Open floorplan, remember.

I guess Annie would’ve yelled from the kitchen too. Authenticity? check.

Our waitress, Carly, instantly sat down with us to discuss the menu.

She said to J, and I quote “You can drink it. I like the water, but I’m weird.” Chicken Mary’s – no water. Chicken Annie’s – yes water.

We’re getting somewhere.

We devoured our meal and discussed:

J thought the potato salad was greasier, with more of saur kraut taste. I could only taste potato. The applesauce was plain. The chicken skins were not extra crispy and the white meat surprisingly ended up being juicer than the dark.

By the looks of my hands, it appears that I was slowly turning into a chicken myself.

Let’s take a look at a few more comparisons:

  • CM – no stuffed chicken in lobby. CA – chicken proudly displayed.
  • CM – smaller butter, but no trans fat. CA – HUGE, but with hydrogenated oil.
  • CM – no arcade corner/living room. CA – yes, in which we both dilly-dallied.
  • CM – total $12.45  CA – total $9.39 (however, I did buy a lottery ticket at CA and won a dollar, so make that $8.39)
  • CM – only lettering on sign. CA – lettering and a chicken that spoke.

The verdict?

Chicken Mary’s won on the actual chicken dish. Chicken Annies? Ambiance & Creativity. Who can beat looking eye to eye with the animal you just enjoyed.

Did you think we ended there, though?

Heck no! We took our wild and crazy selves, back to our 20-toned room for some dessert. Chocolate on graham crackers, cheeze whiz style.

J asked if I could make her one. Little did she know that my chocolate to cracker ratio is about 300 to 1.

She didn’t touch it.

Afterwards, we watched TV and knitted for a couple hours. Looks like I was trying to knit a spider web of sorts.

But it didn’t take long before we fell asleep into a grease-induced coma.

The next morning we hopped on a guided tour of Fort Scott.

We were the only ones on it.

The announcer said that if we had any questions, to feel free and ask him. I did several times and he never answered. Ah, I felt right at home, Fort Scott. Or shall I call you Scott from now on?

The town has got some real beauties of architecture. I was so engrossed with it that I didn’t realize how stupid it was to not have a lid on my steaming coffee. Several third-degree burns later, I was still enjoying the views.

It was a quick trip; we only stayed a night and left before noon the next day. But like every time I hang out with J, it’s never the amount of time, but the quality. I so enjoy her! Can’t wait to make these trips a trio with baby H.

Making Make-Up

Before I write about the throwdown between two restaurants undertaken by a friend and I, otherwise known as the Battle of the Bulge (her bulge from pregnancy and my bulge from that third helping), I thought I’d first talk about some make-up I made.

The recipe called for:

  • 1 ounce beeswax
  • 4.5 ounces jojoba oil
  • 4-5 tsp mineral mica

When looking for the color of mica to use, I was a bit overwhelmed. I’d like to eventually make a simple foundation to wear daily as opposed to the schlack I currently use. What’s in that store bought stuff anyway? And why do I love it so? I don’t know, but I do. So I ended up choosing a nude shade.

This recipe can also be used for chapstick and so I picked out a berry-colored mica.

First, you melt the beeswax.

I was home alone that day, and so pulled out a Native-American sushi dish to keep me company. There’s a grocery store in town that sells the most random things. They were also selling canisters with old photos of cowboys cooking alongside a chuck wagon. And yes, I bought all of them.

Don’t know what it is about them, but I have a tendency to buy old photos in whatever capacity they’re presented to me. They’re just… timeless. To think that this guy was breathing when it was originally taken. I like having those moments of life surrounding me, even though they’re long gone.

But if I’m honest with ya, I really only bought these because I have a thing for those chiefs. Prairie fever, if you will.

Watch the beeswax melt until they look like a pair of eyes. This bee apparently had a lazy eye from the looks of the melting.

Who, in their right mind, would want a photo of themselves on a serving dish 100 years from now. I feel sorry for this guy. Do I need to stipulate that in a will or something? “In case of mass-marketing of my face, please use image attached.”

Because you know this is the photo they’d choose otherwise.


Can you imagine serving chicken piccata on that scary face? It’d at least help people stick to their diet, that’s for sure.

Okay, back to the make-up. Pour in the jojoba oil.

It will cause the beeswax to seize up a bit, so just continue stirring until it’s all nicely melted again.

And, lastly, dump in the mica. I’d recommend keeping it on the heat until pouring into the tubes, because the beeswax does solidify quickly.

This recipe made about 12 normal-sized tubes of chapstick (which I also use as blush, since it’s tinted). The bigger tubes in the first photo were used for the brownish mica and are what I’m currently calling “bronzer”.

I’m not yet ready to use it only as a foundation. My umbilical cord to thick, plastered war paint has not been severed. One day, though, I will break free. To know that only three ingredients are on my face at any given time sounds really lovely. Doesn’t it?

We’re off to picnic amongst hoop dresses and war uniforms today. Hope the weather holds out.

Until next time!