Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Open Season

OK. You know the times they have changed, when the local farm stand not only has a website but emails me when they have started selling their corn. I love, love LOVE fresh corn on the cob. Growing up it used to crack me up to be in restaurants (or even eating over at someones house) and there was this demure little cob to accompany each dinner plate. My Mom, meanwhile was shopping and getting a dozen or fourteen for our family of four. There might be some other items to the meal, but the centerpiece was this huge platter of corn with each of us diving in for three or four apiece. And squabbling over any remainders...

There is a push in the media about getting everyone to return to the "family table." What sort of meals or food items are your favorite memories from childhood? Taco night? Make your own pizza? What mealtime traditions would you like to encourage in your family?

It was a treat because, well, we grew up in the Midwest... but my brother and I used to beg my parents for crab legs on trips to Florida. Something fun about having to work for your dinner. There were Fourth of July bonfires with toasted marshmallows and making s'mores. Or bananaboats - ever tried those? Peel off a strip of banana peel, and cut slightly into the banana. Fill the opening with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap the whole thing in tinfoil and rest it in the bonfire coals. After a certain amount of time (usually however long you could wait) open and eat the whole mess with a spoon.

There was fondue too. Not the cheese or chocolate kind, but a vat of hot oil. We each got skewers and cubes of meat, onion, green pepper, etc. You popped them in and cooked to your desired doneness. And this time of year, don't forget the picnics. Hot dogs and hamburgers and if we were at the grandparents in Wisconsin there were beer brats on the grill along with every sort of side dish you can think of. And just to throw an outing into the mix, to this day we have to head for Schulz's in Sheboygan, WI when we visit Mom and Dad. Best steak sandwiches anywhere, with real butter on the hard rolls.

Must run now. I'm hungry... how about you?

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