Posted tagged ‘strange foods’

“You have to eat oatmeal or you’ll dry up. Anybody knows that.”

January 23, 2017

Today is not one of my best days. My mother would say I am not up to snuff. To give you a better idea: I woke up at 9:30 and never got my first cup of coffee until 10:15. I just didn’t have the energy. I have someone who does all my yard work, a factotum who does odd jobs and plows, and a couple who clean every two weeks. Now I’m thinking I need a barista.

My Patriots gave the Steelers a bit of a football beating last night. We were on our feet more than a few times cheering their heroics on the field. Now it is on to the Super Bowl. My first thought for the big game is the menu. I’m thinking a sort of tailgating in the living room. I really wish my Dad was around so he too could cheer for his Pats and nosh with us (nosh-another one from my mother).

When I was a kid, baseball was my sport to watch mostly because it was easy to understand. The game didn’t have all the positions or plays football has. My dad watched the Giants on TV. I never did. I was a Red Sox fan. My football knowledge is much greater than it was, but I still don’t understand a lot of the responsibilities of the many positions. I understand the fundamentals of the game, and I find that’s enough.

Winter this year is weird. It is warmer. Today the high will be in the low 40’s and the low will be 38˚. It’s raining which makes it feel colder. It is also going to be extremely windy. When I was young, it was always cold walking to school. I was bundled as much as my mother could fit on me, but I swear my cheeks often went numb. They were red the entire winter. I didn’t have many colds, but I had sniffles. My nose was not a pretty sight nor, sadly, were my sleeve and mittens. Kids never carried handkerchiefs or kleenex.

My mother made the best cocoa. I drank it every winter morning. She’d dissolve the Nestle’s cocoa in some milk then add hot water to the cup. The cocoa always had bubbles on the top.

I have eaten all sorts of foods on my travels. Sometimes I had no idea what I was eating. I didn’t know the language. In some countries, I was glad I didn’t know. When I was a kid, I ate foods I’d never touch now. I ate sardines, the ones out of a can with a key on the top. I ate Spam right out of a can, also with a key on top. Those keys took a deft hand. My favorite way, favorite here used with tongue in cheek, of eating Spam was after it was fried. My mother often made us oatmeal for school day breakfasts. It wasn’t the smooth instant oatmeal they now sell. It was thick, lumpy oatmeal out of the cardboard cylinder with the Quaker on it. I never liked the lumps, but I found out that milk, a little cinnamon and lots of sugar helps the oatmeal, lumps and all, go down.

“I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure”

July 22, 2012

 

Another beautiful day today: it’s cool and sunny and bright. I was up early and even had time for a dump run before I went out to breakfast. I need to do a few errands later as it is movie night, and we’re out of malted milk balls. They are essential for movie viewing. We’re going to watch the one we didn’t see last week: The Night of the Hunter.

It is so quiet today. I don’t know where everyone has gone. I don’t hear a single kid or even a barking dog. Gracie just came inside the house. I think it must be morning nap time. Fern is already asleep in the sun from the front door. She is stretched out in the way only cats can stretch. I don’t know where Maddie is, but I suspect she’s on my bed. That is her favorite nap place.

My breakfast spot is busy every Sunday. All the breakfast spots are busy every summer Sunday. I go early to snag a booth as my friend doesn’t believe in waiting. She’d drive right through at the sight of a line. Today for breakfast I had dropped eggs on toast as my mother always called them. I didn’t learn until I was older they’re called poached eggs, but I still prefer calling them dropped eggs. It is far more descriptive and leaves no doubt as to how the eggs will arrive.

Other than in England and Ireland, my father hated breakfast in Europe. He thought cold cuts and cheese were lunch, never breakfast. I remember once in the Netherlands when an egg arrived in an egg cup. My father’s delight was evident in his smile and he immediately went for the egg. He tapped it with his knife the way he always did when served a boiled egg. Nothing happened so he tapped it again. Nothing happened the second time either. My father picked up the egg and tapped it on the table. That was when he found out it was hard-boiled. He put it on the table and never touched it again.

On many of my trips I had no idea what I was eating. I didn’t know the language so I couldn’t read the menus or the signs. Sometimes I had a book of English to whatever language, but usually I didn’t carry one as it was just extra weight in my back pack. I pointed and hoped for the best. Luckily I don’t remember ever hating what was placed in front of me. I also think not only probably had its advantages.