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Saturday, November 15, 2008


For some reason Mary and I were talking about spam. Probably because the spam blocker on my email has a "spam of the day" recipe. Unfortunately, they are pretty bad recipes and they recycle often - there are probably only about six or seven different recipes - but it's fun to mock them and it brings us together. What can I say.

Just to scare you, you can google many recipes for spam sushi, among others, and lots has been written about the peoples of the world who favor the taste of spam for reasons I will not divulge here. Spam was never a regular at our house. Either it was too expensive or my dad did not like it - seemingly the most common reasons food was or was not purchased by my family. But once in awhile we got to have a taste of it, and Chris often had a spam sandwich in her school lunch. IMHO, spam is nearly inedible unless heated in a skillet or, better, over a charcoal grill or campfire.

Years and years ago, I went camping with Chris and her dad. I think one of her younger sisters came too. It was the most amazing camping trip I've ever been on. Understand that we went camping every summer as a family from the time I was a toddler until I was almost through high school. Dad brought everything including the kitchen sink. A veteran scoutmaster, he was skilled at turning a campsite into a three bedroom suite complete with kitchen, dining room, lounge, and all without electricity or an RV.

On the trip with Chris, we brought next to nothing. A tent for the girls to sleep in, a little grill to put over the fire to cook on, a large spoon, fork, knife and can opener. Instead of a giant cooler and cabinets full of food, Chris' dad brought a grocery bag of goodies. He was amazing. He urged us to drink a whole can of Hi-C right off the bat so we would have a large "pot" to cook in and, later, to wash up the few utensils.

He placed an open can of Dinty Moore beef stew right on the fire grate to heat up, configuring an ingenious method of turning the hot can with the tongs and serving up with the big spoon. Did I mention there were potato chips and Hydrox cookies, delicacies unknown in my world? I told you everything was better at Chris' house.

Chris' dad slept in the car. To stay cool and keep out the bugs, he rigged some kind of mosquito netting into the windows and slept on the back seat of the station wagon (everyone we knew drove a station wagon in the 1960s. That was the law, I guess).

For breakfast the next morning, we had grilled spam sandwiches. The spam was sliced and laid on the grill to brown. Hot dog buns were set there too, to toast. We spread them with mustard and ate them just like that. The most succulent breakfast I ever had the pleasure of eating.

I thought Chris' dad was awesome, and I was floored that he was able to camp, have a great time and get everything done with the barest minimum of fuss, equipment and (need I mention) clean up! It was only years later, when I mentioned this trip-of-a-lifetime to Chris, that she exclaimed that it was the most horrible trip ever because her dad forgot to bring any of the camping gear.

Once again I was stunned. But I learned that not only beauty, but most things, are truly in the eye of the beholder!

Quotable Quotes; in the category I Know It's The Obvious Choice, But This Was All I Could Find

"Shut up! Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam." Monty Python's Flying Circus - the Spam Skit

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