Thursday, August 30, 2007

Absolute Write Blogchain #10

We interrupt your usual lackadaisical one post a week with a blog chain! There are many desriptions of a blog chain, but it's basically a blatant attempt to bring new readers to your blog by writing about meandering topic. I'll be riffing off of Midnight Muse's post about salmon, I think. And smoking.

Oh, and produce!

I think it has to be a mark of adulthood to be excited about produce.

When I was a kid, and we'd go for some vacation to yet another boring landmark (with not a single arcade in sight) about some misguided explorer who had died along the way to a destination (where I'm sure he was expecting opium and cheap women, but who the plaques invariably cast as a starry eyed dreamer, bent on discovering the world for road-side diners and the more boring parts of textbooks). We'd inevitably find some long lost fruit stand. Abandoned except for a weather worn sign and a disaffected youth who oozed small-town teen resentment.

My dad would stop our full sized van (you remember the ones, they had the gas economy of a small tank and was made only slightly less uncool by dreams that it could be, with a paint job, some mags, and maybe a wicked red spoiler, look just like the van from the A-Team. They weren't 'crossovers', they gave no impression that they could do the Drakar rally or that they could handle the power if you dropped a hemi in it and tried to take down the local punks in an old school drag race. They were family-mobiles.) and get out excitedly. He and my mom would get bags and bags of cherries and apples and peaches and other things that were quite obviously not candy-bars.

They weren't even fruit roll-ups.

The rest of the trip would be them going through the produce, munching away, and always, always, trying to offer us fruit. As if it was some sort of treat! It must have been the trail fever, making them think they could pull a fast one like. What was next? Offering us asparagus instead of fries? A hot bath instead of a dip at the beach (also known as a near death experience with the coastal undertows)?

Vacation was clearly when the regimens of Healthy Eating were supposed to be loosened if not cast aside all together. Things should be deep fried, processed, re-processsed, post-processed, sugared, candied, and in other ways made to be only slightly less dangerous than injecting lard directly into the heart. Everyone knows that, especially children. It's something that must be written into our DNA : When vacation comes, you can eat anything and everything. Particularly those things that usually take a fair amount of wheedling to get otherwise. (It's my opinion that road-side attractions could save a lot of money on packaging and advertising if they just sold candied lard. It might be a bit of a tough sell at first, but I think the honesty would be refreshing.)

So it was quite alarming when my wife and I went for a road-trip to Alberta. Which, to anyone not from Canada, means absolutely zilch, what's important to note is that we had to go through many small towns filled with angst-affected youth manning all manner of fruits stands. And I'll be pickled if we didn't stop at some of them, hurry out of air-conditioned oasis and excitedly collect all manner of fruits. I think it was somewhere near my sixth cherry when I realized that unless I found a deep fryer to throw this fruit in post-haste, I'd lose all connection to my childhood.

Unfortunately I was interrupted when I had to dodge a full-sized van that, with a paint job and a wicked spoiler, would be a dead ringer for the A-Team van.


The next blogger in this chain will be TBFKA Taosbound, who will have the unenviable task of making sense of this and writing something that, unlike this post, will have to resemble English.

blog@cathsmith.com

My Midnight Muse

periodically.org

(The Blog Formerly Known as) Taosbound

Virtual Wordsmith

The Death Wizard Chronicles

Food History

Kappa No He

A piece in the puzzle

Sound Off Blog

Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!


11 comments:

Jim Melvin said...

Call me weird, but I love asparagus -- steamed and drizzled with Italian dressing!

I'm no perfect eater, though. Today for lunch I had a greasy chicken sandwich with french fries from Zaxby's.

sam said...

You should've vacationed with my family! We always loaded up the convertible with chips and candy bars, ate at McDonald's, and if we saw an interesting looking restaurant a few miles down the road, we'd stop again!

We literally ate our way across Missouri, on more than one occasion.

Virginia Lee said...

It's funny - when I was a kid I LOVED fresh fruit and veggies and never gave my mom a hard time about them. It was her entrees I disliked! Now, as her caregiver, I'm the one having a hard time getting her to eat enough fruits and veggies. Payback you think? Argh.

Midnight Muse said...

Man, I remember many trips eating our way through Alberta, on the way to Edmonton to visit my mom's family. I do remember we stopped for fruit now and again, but what really hits my memory-banks is this one store that was dedicated to soda pop!

That's all they sold, by the case-load. As a kid, I thought I'd just died and gone to carbination heaven.

Gillian said...

I still love roadside vans with fresh farm produce. I especially love them during cherry season, because they enable me to get those big black cherries that make cherry liqueur possible.

Lynn said...

I'm so thankful my folks grew a garden. To this day, if I can't have a fresh tomato or a straight eight cucumber direct from my own backyard, I'm so sad.

And Jim, I love asparagus, steamed and drizzled in clarified unsalted butter with a little bit of salt and pepper. I call it "midwest lobster".

Dan said...

I made a mistake after buying my house in not planting a couple of plum trees. That's the first thing I said, too, when I went in the backyard. I want some plum trees.

Then, I thought I'd probably move before they ever grew enough to bear fruit, so I didn't. Now, eight years later, I'm wishing I'd done it.

Kappa no He said...

I'm sitting here trying to remember eating on vacation as a kid. What did we eat? I remember a large box full of sea rations...

Cath said...

Yup, add me to the list of the endlessly fascinated by roadside wares.

I remember driving through France as a child and seeing all the signs for Melon. I wanted so badly to stop and get some, even though I can't stand the stuff.

Monkfish said...

Road trips is such a North American thing. You can't beat 2 weeks at the seaside, catching and dry all sorts of weird sea life. I think we are responsible for single handedly destroying the Margate pipe fish population. Oh and Margate had amusements and sweets (that's candies to you lot).

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