Healthy Eats and Food Rituals

While I am not the healthiest of eaters, I healthier than I did 5-10 years ago, and especially 20 years ago.

This days I seldom eat at fast food places-I won’t disgrace the word restaurant by placing it after ‘fast food”.  Even if traveling I try not to frequent such establishments-though while traveling in Asia I duck  into McDonald’s on occasion, as the rice can be overwhelming, and I like to get a potato now and then; even if it happens to be in fried form.

While traveling State side I often stop in super-markets, to get a sandwich from the deli.  I eat less junk snacks and almost no fried food.  This can be hard as every off ramp has at least one fast food location, and if doesn’t, that is because it is located in a gas station.  Hell some fast food locales have other fast food places inside them.  Dairy Queen in my hometown has an Orange Julius inside it.  And out in Portland there are taco shops within burger places.  Come to think of it the K–Mart Mart here has a Little Caesar’s in it and the Super Wal-Mart has a Subway.  Hells Belles there are three stand alone Subways in this town.  It is madness.  And we call it progress.

Anyway, while I do eat more fruits and salads and veggies, I do love me some bagels with cream cheese and real butter.  I love Italian Sausage and burgers-I hand make.  I need my guilty pleasures.  One of my favs was a 4, 6, 8, or 10 egg omelette served with all you could eat hash browns.  The place was a truck stop called Kreiger’s and it was off of I-84 outside of Troutdale, Or.  Unfortunately, it closed when the freeway access was closed due to construction of a new Wal-Mart across the street.  Eventually the place was sold and torn down.  Before long the vacant property was redeveloped into a gas station and-wait for it-a Jack In The Box.  Their burgers have never been a pleasure-guilty or otherwise.

As for food rituals, I don’t really have any at home.  At work-I work in a restaurant I have more rituals.  I often wipe and wash and sharpen.  I rotate stock, and sample items for freshness, and taste.

When I owned my cafe, I had rituals and rituals.  I shopped almost everyday.  I prepped everyday, cutting fruit and veggies.  I made soups-low and slow.  I sliced turkey and ham.  I made up pancake batter and my own gravy-made in the greasy pan I cooked the spicy sausage.  That was a such a guilty pleasure I have to go to confession after just tasting it.

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Never a Kool Cid

My reputation in high school…I wasn’t a cool kid or really much of a trouble maker, nor was I the smart one, or creative one.  Though I had traits for all and aspired to be a little of all.  I loved a good time and was always trying to get the scoobie on who was having a party.

I could be mischievous, especially in Coach Legett’s class-one time in biology the class was to dissect a rat.  My partner and I cut a slit in our rats body.  We proceeded to press on its chest whereby all the formaldehyde inside the rat sprayed all over Coach Legett’s desk and plants.  We did it several times, until the rat was empty.  I believe several of the plants took a turn for the worse after that class.  Legett even commented on his plants rather sorry state.

I worked all through high school at the Dairy Queen in the Quincy Mall.  I earned the keys to the store.  In the morning before school started two days a week I would go in and put away the deliveries.  I also delivered papers my freshman year.  I got fired for the second time just before Easter.  I played soccer my freshman year and rode the bench. I was frustrated that whole year.  The coaches tried to move me to left striker from middle halfback.  I never grew comfortable kicking with my left foot.  It felt awkward, cumbersome and as if I were moving towards the ball in slow motion. Part of the reason for the change in position was I was fast.  I could fly.  And there was another kid who played middle halfback.  He was pretty good.  He was probably better at staying in his assigned space, than I was.  The team I played for before high school encouraged me to be a roamer.  I was to go where the ball was, stop the opposing player and if possible kick the ball to our forwards and strikers.  I was to reinforce our strikers if they were threatening to score, as I could fly back  if needed to defend.  I quit after my freshman year.  I took up smoking and on occasion drinking beer.  Sometimes I would sneak across the street from the high school into the wooded area.  In the middle of the woods was an abandoned house where the stoners would get high.  I sometimes joined them, though I didn’t smoke dope-that would come after high school.  I would light up a smoke, trembling with fear and exhilaration at all the prospects sneaking away from school held.  I never caught doing this.  I didn’t get caught doing a lot of my smoking.  Though one time a sub took my pack of smokes in class and after class I went I to the desk and reclaimed them.  Even at two fifty a pack they weren’t cheap and I wasn’t going to be out the money and the smokes.  The sub never said anything to me and I was never called to the office.

Once there were a bunch of us in the bathroom smoking between classes and someone noticed a military mortar shell in the last stall.  I being a military enthusiast examined it and discovered it was a smoke bomb.  What and how it got there I have no idea, nor did anyone else.  As we discussed what to do someone had the great idea of pulling the pin and setting it off.  We did.  And red smoke came billowing out, slowly enveloping the entire bathroom.  We all ran out of there before a teach could catch us.  In my haste I left my books on one of the sinks.  Looking around to make sure it was clear of teachers I ran back in and coughing  and kung fu hacking my way through the smoke I found my books and one of my buddies books.  I snatched them up and hauled ass out of there.  I made it to class as the bell was ringing.  All through class I expected a call to the principals office.  It never came.  In fact I don’t recall anything ever being said or any fuss being made of the incident.  Perhaps it was one of those incidents those in charge feel is best left unmentioned.

As for what others thought of me in high school, I am not really sure.  I had my group of friends.  We weren’t what I considered the cool kids, but we weren’t outcasts either.  We could move in almost any click and not be ostracized,

All-in-all my high school years were pretty good.  I wouldn’t good back and relive them, but I didn’t hate them either.

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