As reported on Twitter (NOT gay), my sensors are telling me I’m operating at roughly 46% of capacity this morning. We drove all day yesterday, and it takes its toll on me. Apparently I’m an old man now? Is that what it’s come to? Pass the beer nuts.
We hadn’t seen my parents since April 2008, when they brought Andy (Black Lips Houlihan) back to our house following the London trip. And that’s no good. We can’t allow so many months to pile up between visits. Someday, I know, I’ll regret it.
I didn’t keep very good records, so I’ll probably have to fill-in some of this as I remember it, but here are a few random notes from our quickie West Virginia trip:
The drive from PA to WV was no good. We got stuck in three major traffic copulations, and traveled less than 80 miles in two hours during one stretch. The full journey, which is about 530 miles, required eleven hours to complete.
And that’ll make a man run his hands through his hair, at a high rate of speed. In fact, hand-through-hair speed directly corresponds with the slowness of the vehicle. It’s called the Kay Factor.
An aunt and uncle were at my parents’ house when we finally arrived, and we all sat down to a kick-ass comfort-food extravaganza of a dinner. There was beef roast, green beans (my Mom calls ’em ‘half-runners’ for some reason), smashed taters, about ten other tasty things, and lemon meringue pie for dessert. DAMN good.
I’d requested that particular meal, because it reminds me of big holiday feedings from my childhood. What would be your ‘back-home’ meal request? What constitutes your own personal childhood comfort-food extravaganza?
After we finished eating, my Dad proclaimed himself “full as a tick” and my Mom shot him a dirty look (a tradition). It was now time to break out a few Yuenglings from our cooler, but only my aunt would have one. Because they’re apparently so exotic and strange…
My uncle told me the guys at his job believe Yuengling is made by Anheuser-Busch. “That’s the only reason they agreed to try it,” he said, and I almost did a spit-take.
And imagine taking a glob of Play-Doh, and throwing it down on a kitchen table. One side would flatten-out, right? Well, that’s the way my inner organs felt when I woke up on Friday morning. It was like sleeping on a slab of concrete, with sheets. Both my kidneys were shaped like a D.
My Dad had back trouble years ago, you see, and got addicted to mattresses from the “unnecessarily firm” category. So all the beds at my folks’ house are like, you know, the driveway. When I hoisted myself off the platform, lightning bolts of pain ricocheted around inside my body. I thought I was going to require a set of clip-on crutches.
After an artery-clogger of a breakfast we went out in my parents’ minivan, and roamed around. We did a quick tour of Dunbar, and there are pockets of it that still look like the town where I grew up, but I don’t recognize more and more of the place. It’s kinda disconcerting, spending time there now. It’s all incredibly familiar, but not really. Ya know?
We ended up (as we always do) at a massive collection of strip malls, known to the locals as “Corridor G.” While there the Secrets drove some go-carts around a track, for twenty bucks(!) or so. The younger one kept bouncing off the guardrail and this was pissing-off the keeper of the karts, who threatened to kick him out. The Secret didn’t care for any of it, and came off the thing shooting dirty looks in every direction.
We had lunch at Olive Garden, and it was pretty darn good. Our waiter was as gay as gay ever gets, but had an extra-thick accent. He was a full-on poofterbilly, but took good care of us.
Toney needed to go to Target, but I asked my Dad to drop me off at Books-A-Million instead. I mean, seriously. I was looking for a specific book, and couldn’t find it. So I went to the information desk, and the cat-eyed hipster said, “Do you have a question?” How friendly.
I assured her I did have a question, and she said nothing and started pecking on her keyboard. Finally, she quit and said, “And?” This little alterna-chick was starting to piss me off…
She looked up my book, and walked off without saying anything to me. I assumed she was going to check the shelf, but it was just a guess. What the hell, man? Eventually she came back, and unenthusiastically said, “We don’t have it. You wanna order it?”
“Ha!” I answered, and walked away. I guess I told her, didn’t I?
And I’m barely into this tale, and need to quit already. I’ll continue tomorrow, with the story of Jeff Kay wedging his heft through a “narrow passage” cave, if you can believe it. Good god…
I’m glad to be back. Thanks to everyone who held down the fort in the comments section while I was away. I haven’t read all of them yet (46%), but will.
See ya tomorrow.
Taiwan On says
I only get home once or twice a year, but one of the highlights is Mom’s cooking. Yeah, she’s not the best, and certainly not gourmet, but she does a cupla things that scream comfort.
One is her spaghetti sauce. Simple tomato/meat blend. The best on this Earth. And probably other Earths.
Another is what we like to call “Calumphs”. Some sort of roast beef cut, shaved into small shavings, fried until well done, served on white bread with butter. That’s some good sh*t man.
Shiny Rod says
@ DTO – Thanks man, I need that…Down 20 45 more to go then I’m at my Seal weight. Started back working out on the leg and bench press again. Legs are @ 650lbs, BP is 375 for now, I will get it up to 550 in 2 months. Also working the abs to keep the stomach tight as I drop.
Jeff, your mom cooked a typical WV Sunday dinner. She calls the beans half-runners for good reason. They are a cross between bush beans and runners – so – Half-runners. My mom cooked them all the time! We can’t get them here in NC, so I always buy some when I go to Chas. My mom’s favorite dinner on Sunday (after the roast) was friend chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and chocolate cake for dessert with ice cream. Her gravy was legendary. All my boyfriends wangled dinner invitations on Sunday in the hopes that my mom would have gravy on something – didn’t matter what.
Zazu the Pitts says
@ Greg – Sunday “dinner” is served around 1 pm. No “lunch” served down here in GA.
My mama could fry up a mean chicken and I can too as my hips can attest!
Paul in Dallas says
I can’t remember who said “You can’t go home again” but he was right. It all changes and there is nothing we can do about it.
@Tilly My grandmother made a sweet dresing but it didn’t have the vinegar. Mayo, mustard, suger and a little pickel juice. I also use this as my dressing in slaw and my mixture for deviled eggs. Like I said, grandma never threw anything out!!!
Taiwan On says
@T. Farty – you kill me. Laughed out loud. Is it OK to actually spell out those words?
@SR…I started a year before I hiked Grand Canyon when I was 50, as a birthady present to me, as far as getting in shape. Nordic-Trac and walked everywhere and road my bike. Day by day. Keep at it. It’s a bitch. Mind set man and I know you know that.
Ok….now…back to food!!!
I was going to wait until tomorrow but I can’t…Spelunker is a poofter word.
My favorite comfort food is pinto beans and cornbread with a raw onion on the side, with a big glass of cold milk.
Poops Shathead says
The cat-eyed hipster waited on me about a month ago. I was looking for, SuperBad: The Drawings. She didn’t seem too pleased until I said, “You know, the book with the drawings of dicks?” Then she was okay with me. If she had freckles, it’s the same girl…I’ll bet.
Everytime you mention Andy, I listen to Black Lips! So I got that going for me.
Evil Twin's Wife says
I’m so simple. My mom made the most delicious scrambled egg sandwich on toast. I think I have it nearly perfected.
My MIL is the worst cook ever! Anything I serve the Evil Twin is like manna from heaven as far as he is concerned. I learned well from my mom!
Yes, the hot dressing wilts the lettuce. Nothing else needs to be done to it. Fresh leaf lettuce works best.
My comfort food is my Grandmother’s salted cod in white gravy with a glass of Russian spice tea and pudding for desert (home made pudding, not that instant shit).
So all the beds at my folks’ house are like, you know, the driveway.
Classic! Almost spit all over my monitor!
JR in Sammamish says
WV BumbleBee & Tilly – when my mom comes to visit us, she always makes us wilted lettuce!! bacon, vinegar & a little sugar over leaf lettuce.
The other thing she makes is a round steak/potato thing. She slices potatoes and puts them in the bottom of a cake pan. Cuts up round steak, flours it and pounds it with a meat hammer. Put on top of potatoes, pour Lipton onion soup overtop, cover with foil and cook until halftime of the Steelers game. Delicious.
Mike Martin says
Chicken and dumplings with home made yeast rolls. My grandmother made the best ever. My mother’s chicken and dumplings are good, but not like I remember my grandmothers were. It’s the same recipe as far as I know, granny’s just tasted better for some reason.
Wisey in Ttown says
Fried Chicken livers and mashed potatoes and gravy followed by vinegar cobbler. Vinegar cobbler was a dish my grandmother made back in the depression. It sounds gross but it was awesome!
Did we ever decide that Twitter wasn’t gay? I thought the vote was 60/40 in favor of poofus maximus.
Ric Frost says
My dad had back trouble most of his life (fell off a roof at age 13), so every bed in our house growing up was from the “unnecessarily firm” category. To make them even firmer, instead of a box spring, they were on a sheet of plywood. To this day, if I sleep on a “normal” bed, I feel like I’ve been bent, folded, spindled, mutilated and stapled around the edges.
When I got married, my wife literally woke up with bruises until we reached a compromise: extra-firm pillow-top on a sheet of plywood. She doesn’t get bruises and my back doesn’t feel too bad as long as I don’t stay in bed more than six hours.
Comfort food? This sounds extremely simple but mine would be my mom’s hamburger gravy on a mound of torn apart white bread and mashed potatoes. Man I love that stuff. In the service, my dad said it was served on toast and they referred to it as SOS or Shit On Shingle.
The wilted salad I make is a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. You cook the bacon and crumble it over fresh spinach. Then you mix balsamic vinegar with the bacon drippings and pour it over the salad. Oh, and there are sliced mushrooms in the salad too.
Are we talking about the same thing?
My mom’s specialty is her “homemade” version of whatever she had last at her local Olive Garden, where “homemade” consists of at least three canned items mixed together and dumped over overcooked pasta. Comfort food at my mom’s is take out from The Sunrise Inn!
Now my grandma is another story…roast beast and the best damn gravy ever over potatoes mashed with butter & canned milk. There were other things served, but I never cared. Damn, I miss my grandma.
Yes, I figured out who you are some time ago. Your screen name was a hint. Also, I know who your brother is, his wife, whose first name begins with “S”, the drug selling neighbor whose last name begins with “S”.
Did you know- Somewhow I lost two pounds overnight (now 294)? I was told I should eat something for breakfast. Normally, I do not eat breakfast, or I would weigh 350 by now. However, the doctor said eat something small. I had a small box of Eggo waffles. I couldn’t stop after two waffles. I did jog three miles last night though, but, as always, the cherry kept blowing off the end of my cigarette.
On IPOD right now- “One Step Beyond”- Madness
@Jason- These are not the same two salads although they are both delicious.
I have always heard it said that you need to eat something for breakfast, however small, to keep your metabolism up which in turn helps your body to burn calories. I’ve had many a person tell me that when they stopped eating breakfast to lose weight it caused them to gain weight. Hard to believe but apparently true.
If I eat breakfast, by 9:00 a.m., my stomach is saying “OOOOOwahhhhiiiieeeahhhhhhhhhhh” so loud that everyone in my office can hear it. Skipping breakfast- do not have that problem, but am hungry as a Badger at lunchtime. Just got back from lunch and had a taco salad. It’s a salad, right? Better than a whole pizza. Better than five Whoppers. Right? C’mon, encourage me.
On IPOD right now- “War Pigs”- Black Sabbath
Try a diet where you only eat certain shapes. Only eat things that are round, for example. This would mean that pizzas and hamburgers are okay, while slices of toast are not. I have a feeling that such a plan would result in rapid weight loss.
And Eggo waffles for breakfast. You are a dietary genius, J.
I know this is late…but mom was a killer cook. I couldn’t tell you what the best was cuz everything was delish! Her cheese burgers were to die for. To this day, I still can’t duplicate them. Served with home made potato salad…deviled eggs…onion casserole (recipe to follow), and her apple pie… I give it a big ol’ Andy Griffith…MMM..MMM..MMM!! My dad was a baker by trade. I swear he made the original “smiley face” cookie…way before Eat-n-Park in Pittsburgh. Only his came on a stick like a giant lillipop cookie.
Vadellia Onion Casserole:
2-3 large Vadellia onions, sliced thin
1 block of Vermont WHITE Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 bag plain potato chips (I like Lay’s), crumbled
2 cans Campbell’s Mushroom Soup
1/2 C. milk
Layer in large casserole: Onions, cheese, potato chips. Continue to top of casserole dish. Mix soup and milk. Pour/spread over top of casserole. Bake 350 for 1 1/2 hours.
TIP: White cheddar cheese only. Orange cheddar will be stringy and will not taste the same. Guaranteed.
This is one of the very best recipes EVER! Every time we go to a Bike run or picnic…I’m requested to bring it!