catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 11, Num 1 :: 2012.01.06 — 2012.01.19


Ten food-ish experiences of late

I moved to Three Rivers, Michigan in July to be part of the culture is not optional (cino) volunteer staff. Over the past five months, the eager but inexperienced cook inside of me has gotten a few worthy dishes under her belt, and has been exposed to a wealth of good food.  My food frontiers have advanced, and my appreciation for the appetite has deepened. So, without further ado, in no particular order:

  1. Cilantro pesto tossed with spaghetti and strips of zucchini, on my first night here; the first of many pesto dishes this summer, eaten on the front porch, the group of my housemates gathered in assorted chairs around the weather-beaten chest that serves as a table.
  2. Ice cream at Goldie’s, also the first night I was here. The whole *cino crew walked down the street to the local diner, where any exposed skin was feasted upon by mosquitoes as we enjoyed our dessert al fresco.
  3. Potato leek soup and crock-pot chili, shared with two of my favorite high school teachers and their beautiful children on Thanksgiving weekend.
  4. An incident in the kitchen involving preparations for a summer squash quiche, a sharp-bladed immersion blender, and my finger. We still ate the quiche, although I didn’t have much of an appetite for it by that point…
  5. Evenings at the Riviera, the beautifully renovated theatre and bar in town. (Do popcorn and adult beverages count as food?) Many pleasant hours have been passed there, discussing the latest independent movie showing, playing Trivial Pursuit late into the night, watching football games, or simply enjoying each others’ company, all while sipping local brews.
  6. The abatement of my fears of certain foods, including eggplant and peanut sauces, thanks to the excellent cooks in my midst.
  7. Pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream, shared with the band and crew members of Kindlewood. They played at the Riviera while on tour and then spontaneously decided to spend their free weekend with us, glad to stay in one place and eat home-cooked food for a few days.
  8. The first alfredo sauce I ever made. It got clumpy on the stove, so the texture was a little weird, but it still tasted mighty delicious.
  9. Innumerable squash dishes this winter, much like the summer’s abundance of pesto. “Let’s see, what else can we put squash in…?” The joys of eating seasonally!
  10. Two dinners shared with large groups, each featuring a roasted chicken: raised locally and with care, prepared skillfully, and eaten in gratitude.

And an extra one, for good measure: I was at my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving, and my grandmother, affectionately known as G-ma, later exclaimed (she exclaims things quite frequently) to my mother, “She was so helpful in the kitchen!”  Living here in Three Rivers, I think I’ve seen that food and hospitality go hand-in-hand, and that any meal can be a celebration.

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