Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chapter 1 - Head Full of Squirrels and a Belly Full of Vittles

Summer is far from over but, to be honest, the ol' gal is getting on in months.

I've noticed this phenomenon happening each year around this time, and as a result, I've taken to celebrating its inevitable approach with an event I like to call:

"The-2000Whatever-Uncle-Jimmy-Celebratory-Jam-where-I-
creepily-disappear-into-the-wilds-of-New-England-get-all-crusty-
like-and-don't-come-back-until-a-family-of-squirrels-has-
taken-up-residence-in-my-hair-and-some-damn-good-food-is-et".


To fully explain this tradition I must provide a little background.

You see... my story has humble beginnings. Uncle Jimmy’s parents were hippies. They got married and moved to Hippytown, USA (aka some woods somewhere in Vermont, just outside of some more woods that happen to be centered around a post office). Once established they immediately began smoking pot and smelling bad. My mom popped out a tiny lil’ Uncle Jimmy and Jimmy’s equally peculiar siblings.


My formative years were spent there in the deep woods of Vermont. As children we played naked among the pot plants while my parents skinned rabbits, gathered black walnuts, and foraged for mushrooms. They crafted nearly every morsel of sustenance that we put in our little hippy bodies.


These were the years when I learned how to get food into my mouth-hole, how to distinguish my ass from a hole in the ground, and how to recognize what a real god damn tomato tastes like (thanks Mom). It was amazing. Little was imported from the outside world and my palate happily developed in this hormone and pesticide free Shangri-La.

Tomato:

Something that's not a tomato:


Sigh. Vermont treated me well. I moved away years ago, but I go back often. I go back because Momma Jimmy wasn't the only one. It is a place where nearly every person crafts food with pride and where there's integrity behind every bite. It was in Vermont that I realized I was put on this earth to care about food... and it is to Vermont that I return to be reminded of just that.

So... It should come as no surprise that I spend a lot of time eating on my trips back. I have undoubtedly had some of the most wonderful meals of my life in New England whether it be a warm cinnamon bun from Momma Jimmy’s kitchen, a lobster tail from Thurston’s Lobster Pound, the white table cloth fare at Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond, or the most delectable fire roasted pizza from American Flatbread Company (the original in Waitsfield is arguably my favorite place on earth).



I won't even begin to discuss the general stores where it seems like each and every one offers an unrivaled array of locally raised hormone-free meats, artisanal cheeses all beautifully packaged like little gifts, and maple creamies that make you want to… well... creamy.


Wow. It all sounds so dreamy right?

Why don’t I live there you ask…???

Because! Vermont's colder then a witches titty yo.

Anyway, I digress. The long short of it is... in order to remind myself of my true sense of purpose and that there is life outside the smelly hot-trash-and-fecal-matter ridden streets of Philadelphia I go back.

(Purposefully omitting image of "smelly hot-trash-and-fecal-matter ridden streets" below and substituting stereotypically beautiful shot of Vermont during Fall foliage season. You can thank me later.)



So that is where you would have found me last weekend. I book no rooms, I make no reservations, I have no plans, and that’s the way I like it.



Day one –

6:30PM Left Philadelphia for a strenuous, sadistic and violent fight with 95. The battle royal culminated with a drop kick to the face of the George Washington Bridge.

I was tired and I needed food so I activated my inner food-GPS system. 9PM… beep boo boo beep... Just North of NYC… beep ba boop... Hungry… beep beep boop

Wait a god damn second!

...It was like the perfect storm. All the chaos and confusion that ever was gave up being chaotic and gave up being confusing if only for just one single moment.

It was like my fate had been decided years ago... Had every move I'd made up to this point been a series of steps leading me to this one divine moment...?

The heavens parted. Everything was still.

I whipped out the iPhone. How the hell do you get to Pocantico Hills…?

To Be Continued...

Momma Jimmy's Kitchen
123 None of your God Damn Business Dr.
Hippytown, USA 12345
(ITS) UNL-ISTED
www.don’t even fucking worry about it.com

Thurston's Lobster Pound
1 Thurston Road
Bernard, ME 04612
207-244-7600
thurstonslobster.com

Kitchen Table Bistro
1840 W Main St
Richmond, VT 05477
(802) 434-8686
www.thekitchentablebistro.com

American Flatbread
46 Lareau Road
Waitsfield VT 05673
(802) 496-8856
www.americanflatbread.com

1 comment:

Magalicious said...

OMG i totally got stuck on/near the GW bridge going south on tuesday night (post being stranded in mass. for 2 days). took me 2 and a half hours to get 10 miles on 95 cuz some moron got in an accident while getting on the bridge. glad i can share my pain with you...