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CheeWeez and poutines

Anyone who has ever read my stuff has probably noticed a fascination with simplicity, ideals, and the creeping loss of and return to innocence. They are themes that are very important to me and aspects I enjoy discovering in the people I'm drawn to.

My friend judevenn recently referred to what I believe is a Canadian "guilty pleasure" called Poutine. Look it up if you are interested. It brought back memories of one of my staples in college, the Fried Potato Po-Boy. Then, the delicious countessgregula brought to mind one of my favorite pre-low-fat obsessed snacks, Elmer's CheeWeez. The inside of the bag was always finger-lickin' greasy when you finished and the little crunchy bits at the bottom were the best of all.

Of course, once the tap of memories opens, a flood of them begin coming through. Dicky's Potato Chips, again exploding with real greasy flavor like nothing today. The Dairy Queen, where you struggled to get that mountain of iced milk down to the cone before it wilted in the Louisiana summer heat. A root-beer float at the Frostop where a huge LottaBurger could be had for an astronomical 50 cents.

Every so often, a special trip to the Cafe du Monde on a Saturday night (parking was difficult, even in those days) for beignets and café au lait (chocolate milk for the kids) and the beautiful setting of St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. Snow balls were available everywhere during the summer, my favorite, a snow ball in a huge cup with ice cream and condensed milk.

Mounds of 20 cent burgers and birch beer in a frosted mug at the Royal Castle and later the Krystal never filled me up, but my friends and I had lots of fun feeling like big shots. When I was able to drive, we'd sometimes make it over to the Krystal on a Tuesday night, I think, for burgers at half price... a dime! Oh man! How my sweetheart and I pigged out, then watched the submarine races at the lakefront.

Amazing, because we were all thin as rails... we played outdoors until the sun set and sometimes played hide and seek until out mom called us home from two blocks away. Never lost one "hide and seeker" either.

At home we made chocolate sandwiches with Hershey's cocoa and condensed milk. Mom made gobs of pralines and chocolate fudge (I learned to make my specialty, peanut-butter fudge on my own). I love to share my talents with whomever would appreciate them.

I inhaled ValoMilks and when I'd saved 30 cardboard disks, I'd send them in and in a couple of weeks or so got a cardboard tube back with 10 rather squiggly ValoMilks inside.

People often remark how I seem to talk a lot about food in my stories. It's not about the food. It's about sensations, feelings, wonder, love, friendship, excitement, freckles, adventure, climbing trees, ball games, pretty girls, grass, sunshine, clouds, love, laughter, dirt, smiles, stolen kisses, running through daylight, and skinned knees on a cool autumn day.

Even the great thick shakes at Wendy's drive-through today don't quite cut it for me. Sorry. Any special treats or experiences that bring back pleasant memories to you? I've got lots more.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
Ice cream sodas -- cherry flavored. When I was a kid there was a restaurant in town called Sonny's. It had a dining room but it also had an ice cream counter and even an outdoor service window (a la Dairy Queen), and it had a very informal, friendly atmosphere. They made great pizzas and their cherry sodas, to me, were the ultimate taste sensation.

The restaurant is still there and Sonny still own's it. However, it's not called Sonny's anymore. He has given his restaurant his last name and has formalized the place. It's now a restaurant for elegant dining.

Jan. 12th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
You'll probably appreciate the little scene with Raye Lynn and Cory in Sam's Drugstore in my first book. It kind of defines the tone of what I was talking about, even though the story is contempory. Thank God for small towns.

Jan. 12th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to reading it. According to amazon.com it has shipped so it should be here this week or next week.
Jan. 13th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
You MUST have mentioned Krystal before, because one just opened up here, and I remember thinking "Now, I KNOW I've heard of that before... Why is is so familiar?" *lol*

I adore food memories... just about as much as I adore food itself... I always loved going to Bakin Robins (spelling?) ice cream after church each Sunday with my grandfather... Mint chocolate chip! *yuuummmm*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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