The food of my people

Although I was raised in a puritanically healthy household, I feel that the food that defines my cultural heritage is only partly whole wheat carob chip cookies, quinoa, and lentil casserole. The other part of my food heritage is the kind of thing we've been eating this weekend. We're in Cookeville, and the Fall Fun Fest is happening. So here's what I've eaten in the last 24 hours:

  • Barbecued ribs
  • Brisket
  • Funnel cake
  • Two Ralph's butter twists (seriously the best doughnuts anywhere in the world)
  • Polish sausage sandwich with peppers and onions
  • Part of a crazy tater (an entire sliced up deep fried potato)
  • Funnel cake (another one)
  • Bites of Trey's deep fried Moonpie and my dad's deep fried Twinkies
I was remembering that when I was a kid, when we went to the fair, we were allowed to pick one sweet thing to eat. I would agonize over what to get, since most of the time sweets were strictly rationed. Sometimes I'd opt for the cotton candy (big, but not much substance), and other times I'd pick the funnel cake (smaller, but denser). One unfortunate year, for reasons I can't remember, I picked a caramel apple. I quickly realized that this was a rip off: there was an apple in there, and I was allowed to eat apples any day of the year!

This is a story I've told many times, but when I was recounting it today, my dad said, "You forgot the ending. When you ate all the caramel off and discovered the apple, you gave it to me, and I bought you a funnel cake."

Of course he did. I don't know why I didn't remember that, because it's entirely characteristic of my dad. And so this weekend that's the part of my heritage I've been celebrating.


Aaron said...

I always got the "elephant ear" purely based on that fact that it was bigger than my 8 year old head. I never understood why you'd opt for a funnel cake. Especially when you could steal free bites of moms.

Curtis said...

Believe it or not, for the past month I have had an insatiable craving for Kelly's carob chip cookies. I was going to make some, but carob is remarkably hard to find in Tallahassee. Even the overpriced hippie co-op doesn't carry it. Glad you got that funnel cake, though. :)

Jims said...

It seems entirely appropriate that I ate my first elephant ear at a middle-of-nowhere-post-conference carnival with you.

A. Richey said...

Hi Alison--I couldn't find an email address for you on your blog but wanted to pass on a little tidbit for you. I thought you might want to check out the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education Vol.22/Issue 1 (2009)--made me think of your personal and academic interests. Also, I teach a graduate-level qualitative research design class and have pointed some students in your (electronic) direction--thanks for all your great writing!
Amanda Richey