Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Based on a Facebook post...regional food names and a childhood memory

I have decided not to post about the trip to/from NC or the goings on at the funeral. I am once again making a concerted effort to cut some of the negativity in my life.

I will say that I decided it was time I grew up and paid for my own hotel room for the weekend. And it was nice to see my nephew/little brother who flew in from CA for the funeral- it's been nearly 20 years since we'd seen each other. Also, I ate FAR too much junk, but enjoyed every bite.

So, one of the things I did was post pics of some of the meals from my favorite hometown restaurants to a foodie group I belong to on FB. Another member of the group posted pics of her haul from a farmer's market she'd been to and then asked for a meal idea using the ground meat she bought in a moment of optimism. Another member suggested cabbage rolls, and gave a recipe for them. I got the giggles when I read it. For some reason, I've always thought of cabbage rolls as a bread product when I've seen written references to them.

Turns out that what they call cabbage rolls are what my family calls Pigs in a Blanket. Meatballs, usually studded with rice, rolled in cabbage leaves, and cooked in a tomato based sauce. We also call it Stuffed Cabbage. This confused the heck out of my cousin Melissa when she married into our family. I had to laugh because my one & only Girl Scout camping trip lead to the same confusion for slightly different reasons.

I am not an outdoorsy person. Never have been. I went on the trip because they promised we'd be sleeping in cabins, not tents. They failed to mention the lack of electricity, running water, and that we'd be using outhouses. Or that it was mosquito season. It was a horrible drive up- the leaders couldn't get the vans we were supposed to go in, so we wound up being crammed into 4 cars (25 kids with gear plus chaperones) and we got caught in traffic due to a festival in one town. We were all hot and cranky when we got there, not to mention desperate for bathrooms, and it degenerated from there.

The counselor was trying to cheer up 25 disgruntled little girls (we were Brownies) and promised us Pigs In The Blanket for dinner with a special surprise for dessert. "OH BOY!" I thought. I loved my mom's version, so I was expecting something really good. Imagine my surprise at dinner when I was handed a limp hot dog and an even limper piece of crescent roll dough and told to wrap my piggie in its blanket. I burst into tears and so did 3 other girls who didn't like hot dogs. We all refused to eat the things. The counselors had a hurriedly whispered conference and decided to see how we fared with dessert.

Dessert was great! MY first encounter with S'mores and I loved them. NOBODY cried or refused those!

The rest of the night was pretty rough. Some idiot told us ghost stories, so nobody could sleep. No one wanted to use the outhouses at night. (or during the day for that matter) We all itched from mosquito bites, a couple had found the poison ivy. Most of us were starving, and I just hoped we'd have something good for breakfast.

Nope. They planned cheese filled scrambled eggs for breakfast. At that age, I ate neither one. (still won't eat eggs) My mother HAD warned them that I couldn't wouldn't eat that and even offered to provide an alternate for me herself. The leaders foolishly assured her it wouldn't be necessary. Boy were they wrong. One of the other girls who wouldn't eat the dinner the night before and I both flat out refused to touch eggs. They hadn't brought anything else. Finally, one of them remembered that there were some graham crackers left over from the S'mores, so that's what we had for breakfast. Then everybody got crammed back into the cars for the drive home.

So there you have the story of one of my childhood traumas. LOL. Mom is STILL mad at those troop leaders, 30+ years on. I still hate outhouses. But we both like S'mores!

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