Friday, July 15, 2016

Leveling the Playing Fields

Tonight  was Mexican Train night.  Partner in Grime has been on the road a lot the last month so when he got home a few days ago, it was to a home cooked meal as his traveling food lately has been limited to canned soup, sub sandwiches and a pub in Northern England I refer to as "The Grease and Weasel".

Let's play Mexican Train!

The object of the game is for a player to play all the dominoes from his or her hand onto one or more tracks emanating from a central hub or "station", matching the number on one end of the domino with the number on the last piece played on a track. If you can't play, you draw from the remaining train yard of  domines on each turn, until you can play , making getting rid of all your domines (the goal) a challenge. If you can't play on your "track" (which is private until you can't play on it) you put your train out at the end of it, showing it's no longer a private train and other players can play on your now public track.  When you can play on it, your track and train goes private again. There's a few other rules, but that's the basics of it. Two can play or more.  I have a set that plays four easily with "double twelves" making for a lot of numbers to keep track of in your head.
It's fun as there is always the "chance" element, the luck of the draw, but if you know how many of each dominoe are issued, what's on the board, and based on what they couldn't play on and had to draw, what your opponent does NOT have in their trainyard, you can block many a move. Adding the strategy worthy of a board war game with the element "what the mumble mumble did I just DRAW!" just makes it fun all around.

Usually Partner and I are on level playing fields with games.  Not tonight.

A representation of my first game
 And my second.
Wow, look at the time!  I think I need to go make dinner!

click on food photos to enlarge
 Mexican Train Casserole (otherwise known as Southwest Lasagna Casserole ).

The recipe appears detailed but it's very easy and almost impossible to mess up.  Layered with tortillas instead of lasagna noodles, roasted corn (I got lazy and used Trader Joe's frozen  roasted corn) and lots of pre-shredded cheese and beef in a sauce spiced with homemade enchilada sauce, it's easy. All you have to do really is whip up the sauce, cook the beef and assemble. You can even make it ahead of time, just heat it an extra 10 minutes.
Add some  Stone Ground Corn Muffins  and you'll be all set.

These are moist  inside with the heartiness of the stone ground corn and a decided crunch to the outside that's like the crispy edge of cornbread baked in cast iron (and much cheaper to make than the box kind)

If you haven't played the Mexican Train Dominoes game, give it a try.  If you are looking for something for supper, this is a meal you can't derail.
Plus it's easy to make leaving you time to do something a little more successful than the Mexican train game after supper.

5 comments:

  1. It looks like a fun night at home with good food, too. We haven't played Mexican Train for a long time. Hmm...

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  2. That looks awesome. Now I know what I am making tomorrow. Have a great weekend.

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  3. Hhmmm. . . it's been awhile since I made cornbread but your pictures make me hungry. I'm going to make a batch tonight!

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  4. That looks yummy. And what cal. And gr.bulletis that.

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I've bookmarked the recipes! After we work our way through the pierogi we brought home from Chicago last week I want to add this to our dinner rotation!

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