This time of year we’re all talking about food and fun and nostalgia all those things that warm our hearts around the holidays.
Someone made a remark about Hamburger Helper that brought back some interesting memories.
For a number of reasons too numerous to mention, I was a 100% self-funded college student. No loans. No grants. No checks from mom & dad. At the time, Concordia was EIGHT GRAND per year, so Moorhead State at $2,300 per year was the thing to do. So along with a number of friends from my home-town, off to MSU we went.
In the fall of 1982, the state of Minnesota was awarding moose hunting licenses on a lottery basis. As luck would have it, my Grandpa Ed was awarded a license. As more luck would have it, Grandpa shot a moose.
A 1,600 pound moose.
What do you do with 1,600 pounds of moose when you have a family that doesn’t especially like wild game? (Remember, we think butter is spicy.)
Grandpa had the moose ground into ‘hamburger’.
Turns out no one liked mooseburger, so I volunteered to take the moose off their hands. Thus became the winter I ate a moose.
In those days, my $180 per month studio apartment (which by the way, was nothing like Mary Tyler Moore’s studio apartment) was a bit pricey, and free food was a welcome bonus. Marlboro Lights had risen to the exorbitant price of $1 per pack, ramen noodles weren’t my favorite, so it was hamburger helper 3 times a week, minimum.
So, like a caveman at the dawn of time, to survive the winter of 1982-1983, I ate a moose.
25 years later I get to tag along with Ricky when he goes to Europe, and we get to dine a some pretty nice places. We go to Puerto Vallarata nearly every winter and have favorite restaurants we return to each visit. Couple all that with the fact that Ricky’s a gourmet cook, and you get the picture than eating great meals is a regularity in my life.
When I watch a restaurant patron turn up their nose a send back their entree (chuckling inside, fully knowing the kitchen staff will spit in it before it comes back) or read a restaurant review where the critic trashes the place; I’ll remember the winter I ate a moose. And remember every meal is not necessarily about the food on the table, but the people around the table.
Today’s Gay Agenda: Thank Ricky for being a great cook, call my sister and thank her for making a great Thanksgiving dinner. Continue to eat turkey leftovers until I pass out. Be glad I don’t have to eat a moose this winter.