Playing With Food


My folks moved west from Vermont to California in the 1960s. Mom found some artichokes at the market and was intrigued. She bought two and took them home to cook them for that night’s dinner. She put them in the oven and baked them for 30 minutes, seemed long enough. She cut them in half and served them up. They chewed and chewed and chewed. She thought to herself that these damned things must be an acquired taste. “I think I overcooked them.”

When I was in the sixth grade I got all A’s and a B+ on a report card (first and last time that ever happened). Mom took me out to the steakhouse for an “Atta Boy” dinner. I ordered some wide-cut fries with my steak. I grabbed the ketchup and shook it up. I didn’t realize the cap was off… The folks to the side and in back of us got some free ketchup that night…

20 years ago we had a power outage during a big winter storm. After a few hours we began to get pretty hungry. I wrapped some sweet potatoes in foil, put some rice and broth in a pot, and pulled a canned ham from the cabinet. I placed them all on top of the wood stove to cook while we were outside pulling each other around on skis with the truck. When we were thoroughly exhausted we went back inside. Food was all over the fucking living room! I forgot to remove the lid from the damned caned ham… We asked the neighbor if we could borrow his dog to help clean up. Best dog trick ever!

Advertisements