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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Tough Guy Baked Brie

I’ve been eating like an animal since Sunday afternoon. My body needs the reparative subsistence as it overcomes our wrecked weekend.

No, my self-demise was not a punishment for self-destructive Pub-style drinking.  Well, there were a few beers involved, but stop…you’re throwing me off track.

This past weekend I was part of a team that participated in one jackass of a race; one which I will be happy to participate in for years to come.

The Tough Mudder; a 12-mile, 37-obstacle paramilitary gauntlet designed by the British Special Forces (Since the US Special Forces specifically noted that they wanted no liability whatsoever in the making or execution of the course).

I believe that there is an article somewhere else in this paper to note what happened and who the race ultimately benefited, so I will only focus on the after-race food. And good god was there food.

Never one to shy away from a tailgate party, I brought precooked, heat-n-serve flank steak, roasted root vegetables, rice pilaf, garlic puree, a ridiculous sauce for the beef and fresh seafood.  

I opened the cooler knowing that it was way too much food for our seven-man team and realized one mere hour later that we could have used more.

We ate like animals; pigs specifically. The food was gone, the grill abandoned and we found ourselves eventually in line to exit the park behind the tail end of the thousand other runners from the day’s event.

I haven’t felt like this since I was in the Marine Corps, and in all honesty, I don’t know that I ever felt this bad while I was in. It has been twenty four years since I went to Parris Island, after all.

We were stuffed, tired, and sore. I hurt in places that I had long forgotten that I even had. And after a short drive to the hotel, the words came out of my mouth, “Man, doesn’t sushi sound amazing?”

“Yeah” said our team captain Chad (another former Marine Scout), “But I couldn’t eat another bite”.

It wasn’t twenty minutes later that we were sitting at the bar at the Day’s Inn in East Windsor, home to a surprisingly refreshing local’s secret of a restaurant, that we realized that we were starving again.

Soon scarfing down a magnificent plate of ‘Basil’s Famous Lamb Chops’ with creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes, I was shocked at the amount of calories that I had eaten during the day. My body needed it. Man, that race was a mess.

The next day we brothers said our farewells and it was back to some appointments down south and back home. A quick stop at El Gran Charro in Frankford (the best Mexican street-food joint on the shore) afforded me a plateful of carne asada with the works for a mere buck-a-taco. But it didn’t stop there.

Upon arriving home, Denovo’s was the ticket with pizza and wings for dinner, since I was away all weekend and my gorgeous wife was stuck with four tenacious children for the duration. Neither one of us was up to cooking and Bob’s pizza always does the trick.

But again, it didn’t stop there.  

Before I go any further, you need to know that, while I was at one point thirty pounds heavier, I never ate like this. It is maddening. I guess my body has work to do to fix its forty-three year old frame and tissue.

In the words of a new friend Kui He (a member of our team) in his online post, “I can’t even begin to explain how [expletive] cold it was”, and that doesn’t take into consideration the physical strain and torment of the day.

So here I am, late at night, wondering what else I can use to fuel the tank.  This is a new feeling for me, especially in my forties, and I am not going to lie; it is exciting.  The oldest ‘Mudder’ is eighty one years old, so I know there is plenty of time to play in the mud.

But as I look around, I realize that there is one more thing that I can eat tonight, and while it has a fancy word (compote), it really is nothing more than baked cheese, baked bread, and simmered goo.  You will love this, tough race or not, and I challenge you to make it soon.  Push yourself.

A big thank you is in order for the following for all of your help:

  • Red Sun Apparel
  • Bob Hammond at Atlantic Physical Therapy
  • Island Action Graphics
  • Clay Reister and his students at Worcester Technical High School for the graphics
  • Vicki Haefele for her embroidered beer koozies!

Baked Brie

1 small wheel Brie cheese

Puff pastry dough

Compote (recipe follows)

Fresh fruit


toasted almonds

  1. Wrap cheese in pie dough or puff pastry if desired, but it’s not needed.  That’s up to you
  2. Bake in an oven until gooey (hard, isn’t it?)
  3. Serve with compote, fruit, bread and other cheeses if desired

Raison d’Etre Compote

½ ea. med. Red onion

2 c. Black seedless grapes

¼ c. orange juice

1 c. Raison d’Etre beer

¼ c. Red currant jelly

  1. Combine all ingredients and cook on medium until tender, adjusting temperature and moisture as needed
  2. Run a burr blender through the compote to smooth and chill