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Happy-Gourmand

Memories of a life on the road and the experiences it brought

Sharing memories

Life is all about extremes, two sides of a coin.

We constantly hear you can’t have light without dark, and people don’t appreciate the good without the bad. On and on it goes. Food can be like that too. We often combine flavours for contrast—sweet and sour sauce, Chicago popcorn with cheese and caramel pieces, dark chocolate with sea salt caramel.

I have spent the last nine weeks on the road, eating all kinds of food that is not in my usual repertoire, and meeting new people. I feel as though I dove into the unknown. Hubbie and I had been camping before but that involved going to the woods and taking our own menu with us. This trip involved going to all kinds of new places and eating the food that people eat there.

We discovered our comfort zone for familiar food included grocery shopping. Of course, we knew we’d see new things. We expected standard items to be the same, but they weren’t always.

• I discovered labels for simple items like milk would vary. Is “whole milk” the same as what we call “3.25%,” and is “lowfat” “2%?” (The answer is yes, pretty much.)

• I wondered if sour cream that comes in a tube would be the same as the stuff in a tub. (If you shake it first, it’s great, otherwise, it’s a bummer.)

• In some towns, produce was only available in prepackaged containers (four cobs of corn, a half-pound of mushrooms, a bag of oranges or potatoes). When you are two people with limited storage and fridge space, that can be a problem.

Shopping in auto-pilot mode was not possible. Brand names change even across Canada, so the look of items changes accordingly. It’s a bit like watching a sports tournament and looking for your team but not seeing their colours. You know the basics of the game, but that special connection isn’t there.

Thankfully, the magic of travelling is in the delight of new connections, and for me that more than makes up for missing home. We discovered new places to love, like the coast of Maine, the mountains of Vermont and (who would have thought?) the plains of Iowa.

We met people who generously shared their favourite foods, and their pride in their hometowns. We reconnected with old friends in a new way, seeing them on their turf.

Memories are like life – we have good ones and bad ones. There were some moments on this trip that I didn’t enjoy. But I have come to know through my travels, and my years of life experience, those moments are there so we can appreciate the wonderful ones by contrast. They also teach us something if we stop to figure them out. A longer trip gives one more time to do the figuring out.

When you aren’t sharing the memories of everyday life with your usual circle of people, your heart and mind are busy doing their own work. It’s a sort of on-the-move meditation, a time spent in your own dimension. That might all sound very trippy in a different kind of way, but I don’t know how else to explain it.

People who have been on long voyages often write books and give lectures sharing their adventures and their revelations. I have a theory about why they do it, since I’ve now tried out the concept. I’ve discovered it’s hard to have a conversation about something that all-encompassing; the urge seems to be more one of making a declaration.

So, I want to thank you for following along these last nine weeks as I’ve made my declarations en route.

By the time you read this, I will be back home, not thinking about what the weather might mean for my workout or how we cook dinner. I’ll be back to writing about a more regular life.

Perhaps, if you’ll indulge me now and again, I may sneak in a few memories from our epic trip on The Rabbit Hollow Express.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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