July 18th, 2008


Hungry? What To Eat... Not Eat

Instead I seemed to be drawn to countries with the worst food imaginable, places like Turkistan and Africa, where every day you woke up hoping you could avoid gustatory terror but knowing that before you slept again, horrible things would be going inside your mouth. The best strategy was simply to try to eat as little as possible. But I seemed cursed by an ever hopeful palate.

"Termites? Termite larva? Could be interesting. I'll try a handful."

This was never a good idea.

    -- Stuart Stevens, Feeding Frenzy


Airline Seat Mates

On the trip down to Gulfport/Biloxi, I sat next to two nice women, one a Des Moines businesswoman on her way to a Boston conference, and the second a warm mother originally a Hindmon, from Oil Trough, Arkansas, now living with her husband in Pascagoula. We were served beverages, and I took my usual tomato juice.

The second time, I ordered a cup of ice, putting three or four cubes in the tomato juice and putting the rest in my water bottle. That got us started on tomatoes, making tomato soup with milk instead of water, which led to a delightful family story from my seat mate about the only time she'd ever had it that way:

One winter day when I was in the seventh grade in a two room fourth through eighth grade schoolhouse in Hyman, Arkansas, at lunchtime, my teacher Miss Hana fixed us some soup to go with our sandwiches. She made it in a pressure cooker on the wood stove that stood off to one side of the room. The pressure got so hot that the top came off, spewing half of the soup all over the wall, the ceiling, and everywhere else. Twelve excited students began leaping around the room, shouting. Our teacher settled us down, got two cans of milk off the shelf and added them to the soup so that she'd have enough to ensure we all would have a bowl of soup with our sandwiches.

Gloria Dawn Slayter, Pascagoula, MS, who, with her husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, number 40.

If there are any errors in this report, they are mine, not hers, as we were putting things away and descending as we finished up.