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Pinochle & Snacks - part 9 0f 9??? NO Part 9 of 10 - yes there will be a part 10! and maybe even 11

Part 9 of our quest to learn the game of Pinochle. I'm adding an update in Part 10 so stay tuned!

Class eight, our last class but not the last post.... Hello readers.....

Yes, a bit of a hum-drum greeting. Emotions running all over the field tonight. Our last class, our last time to be with a lot of fun people. BUT....... we made it to the end and had a fun journey.

SOOOOOOOOOO away we gooooooooo.......

We played Double-Deck tonight, yes, the dreaded Double Deck, the game that scared but intrigued us in the beginning (see post two), the game that was the son of evil.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Is4RisNLo....

But as with most all things unknown, it turn out to be alright..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOmJmFpW0ek

We played six-handed Double Deck, two teams of three, playing against each other. Two pinochle decks, put together, dealt out to each player four at a time. You wind up with 16 cards and then play goes on as normal. Arrange your hand, bid (twice around with the bid starting at 50), declare trump and then meld. All is well, right????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVUPAboG45c&feature=related

You have 16 cards, with 4 of each card (aces, kings, etc...) to be had, so meld should be no problem right? HA HA, think again. The garbage that can be dealt is amazing! Several times tonight I wound up with little or no meld. At one point, I had a dozen hearts, containing two aces, two kings, two queens, three tens and so on. How could I go wrong?!? An opposing player opened the bidding with 54! BOLD.... but a big signal to their partner. At my turn, with one of the instructors sitting behind me, I went to 55. Second time around my opponent went to 56 and then on a gutsy move I won with 57, figuring I could win trump, call hearts and dominate the round. Oh how wrong I was. By playing together, working off each others hands, our opponents were able to use my trump against me and win the round, taking enough tricks causing us (my team) to not make the bid of 57 a loss.... a BIG time loss. Suddenly the genteel card game becomes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNN3LoeDLXk&feature=related Yes, creepy and scary!

Double deck is a real exercise in what has been played in both general cards and trump. Remember, there are four of everything. So you think you have a good handle on what has been played, what is out (remaining) and are ready to use the trump you've been saving to win the last four tricks, right? WRONG, suddenly another ace of trump (whatever suit declared) comes charging out to spoil all your plans and ruin your score. So beware, this game can turn on you in a heart beat! One thing our instructor said tonight is that this is not a game to played when you're tired. True enough when you figure all of us (students) have worked all day and then are trying to exact a little more brain power out to figure meld, count cards, etc... This game is a lot of fun, but it works your brain! I recommend this game (pinochle in general, no matter what version) if you're trying to keep yourself sharp. Like doing Sudoku or a good acrostic (like an anagram puzzle, look it up I'm to tired to explain it further), it makes you think and remember. And remember, your brain is a muscle and needs to be worked out like any other muscle in your body (mine needs several days at the gym, mind and body that is).

So fans, the last class is in the bag and it's been fun. We conquered our pinochle fear and learned a lot. So, should we ride off, twirling our pinochle deck like a six-gun into a glorious sunset http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4VO9DMfhL0

NO WAY....................

You're stuck with us for a few more posts, up to and including our pinochle party!

So stay tuned fans, we're not done yet! See you soon!

TIP EIGHT: When counting your meld, especially when playing with a partner do not give in to the urge to over-estimate your ability, or you and your partner's ability to win the hand. We learned tonight that trump can be used against you if your players have good counting skills and strategy. Be careful, but don't be a coward! Trust in your hand and your ability, but don't be reckless

RECIPE EIGHT:  Homemade cheese dip. You'll need to take all the leftover bits and pieces of cheese that you have stored in your fridge, hopefully they'll add up to a pound. Place all this bits of cheese (chop the big ones so they are all the same size) into your food processor. Add one clove of garlic (rough chopped), one tsp white pepper, three TBSP softened butter (unsalted) and two tsp chopped parsley (tops only) and pulse four or five times to chop and combine. Then add 1/4 cup GOOD dry white wine and run processor for two minutes until mixture is smooth. You can add up to another 1/8 cup of wine if necessary. Transfer to serving bowl and serve right away or put into fridge for 1/2 hour to firm up a little. This is great as the different cheeses make a complex flavor profile. Serve with good crackers (not Ritz or Saltines) and cold wine. You'll love this, I promise!

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