No matter where you go, there you are

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.

13 thoughts on “No matter where you go, there you are”

  1. Now THAT was funny.
    LOL…there’s so many things I don’t eat today because of having to eat them in abundance when I was young and poor.
    HH is definitely one. Another is canned pork & beans and english muffins.
    But to this day I still love plain ol’ buttered spaghetti.

  2. Mac, you really ought to be a writer (on the side) for actual Income, seriously….You have a ‘way’ of telling a story…..hahahahaha and that one made me laugh.
    Especially the part about people returning food (usually for some asinine reason). I agree, it got Spit On….hahahahaha.
    My hubs and I have a theory for Local Dining. We go to our Favorite places Regularly, and truly get to know the wait staff….and we tip well…..and just expect an honest effort with our food (which we think we get) I honestly believe wait people are Under-tipped.
    Katydid….mmmm buttered noodles (any kind)

  3. I never did the college thing, went straight to work and got an apartment, the whole top floor of a huge old house.
    After the first time I blew the whole $65 paycheck at the bars on Friday night and lived on half a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter for a week, I discovered Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Banquet cookin’ bags. (remember those? 33 cents apiece, and coupled with 2 slices of toast, you had a meal).
    Ramen noodles? Tried one once, never did taste the thing after I burnt the hell outta my mouth on the first bite. Didn’t do that again.

  4. HH with moose….interesting. I got by on Totinoes Pizza Party pizzas…i honestly had at least 6 a week. Ramen was a regular too. As for chicken noodle soup condensed, i barely added any water to it!! Oh OH the ultimate easy staple of college life…BANQUET POT PIES!! wow, i ate enough preservatives to last 20 years.

    1. There was a time when certain career reversals required me to eat banquet pot-pies every single day of the week for lunch in the company cafetieria. Now that things are a little better, I treat myself to Marie Calendar’s from Sam’s Club, only at home though.

  5. In this college town if there was Anyone to envy….it was the student who was past his/her parental rebellion years and was happy to remain at home during their college years. I swear they were identifiable by the smell of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy oozing out their pores on Monday morning…..
    Mom had moved back to the city of her birth and it was life-saving to be invited to friends homes for a home cooked meal here and there. And you were graciously Offered ‘seconds’.
    Still….I never got tired of chicken flavor ramen noodles. To this day it’s that or chicken rice soup in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep due to a cold. Chicken broth is Heartwarming for me.

      1. Yeah, I discovered them after college too….but I was still poor!!!!! And I love noodles….and I love Broth. Remember when they had Canteens where you worked and one of the choices was Chicken Broth along with the hot chocolate, coffee or tea? In the winter I was always drinking that Canteen Chicken Broth.
        You could Count on Chicken Broth in Hospital canteens….in the ‘old days’….lol

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