my bookclub does it right

regardless of how much I may or may not get into the book (this time was calvino’s _the baron in the trees_– I find calvino intriguing, playful, and impossible to invest in emotionally), there is without fail a feast for the senses: food, drink, and frequently an array of other nifty stuff to look at.

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drake’s famous tuna sandwich

floyd and I were feeling a little sluggish and in need of some good midday sustenance…

Actually, what’s depicted here is not legitimately a Drake’s famous tuna sandwich at all, and not even the frail but aspiring replica of one, which would be either fixed on perfectly square grocery store white bread and served with a flab of iceberg lettuce or else grilled flat under metal weights with american cheese.

Rather, this is the Sarah’s somewhat sort of partly healthy sandwich made with Drake’s famous tuna salad.

The miracle, really, is in the hard boiled eggs.

Here’s a little bit out of the past–

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
(on Topic Project in response to prompt candy shop)

Drakes was one of those rare and indelible college town landmarks that alumni return to over big football weekends, walk in and order a limeade and a grilled buttery pecan roll, sit in the dim green booths in back or upstairs in the gold-fleck-spangled Martian Room, pick up a little paper bag of chocolate-covered pretzels or blackberry brandy cordials or almond bark on their way out the door to the shivery, leaf-blowing stadium. Drakes had been there forever and was timeless, eternal. Except that now, in the place where it stood so many years, you’ll find a Bruegger’s Bagels.

It’s not even that I really have anything against Bruegger’s per se—I’m fan enough of bagels that, without a Zingerman’s handy for a fix, I’ll settle for the lamest tamest institutionally-produced version of round bread. But because it took the place of Drakes, I’ve got a grudge that’s tough to shake.

Granted, the era of Mr. and Mrs. Tybbals had passed on, just as they had, by the time the bagel place bought that lease. And their grandson was never much worth his salt. Back in my day he was “managing” my fellow Drakettes (blue smocks, thank you very much) and me and just trying to stay clean while his grandmother dozed the day away on Her Counter Stool by the front window. Mr. Tybbals worked nights (he and the wife, it was rumored, hadn’t spoken more than thirty words to each other in as many years), filling up the old cardboard trays of candy in the display case from cartons in the basement, boiling up huge batches of simple syrup, cooking a couple dozen eggs at a go for bulking out Drakes’ specialty tuna salad.

My senior year of college I fleshed out a student budget with the meager hourly wage and nonexistent tips of a Drakes waitress. Living on tuna salad on toasted bagels and limeades. Smoking cigarettes and drinking pot upon little orange and black plastic pot of irish breakfast tea with milk and sugar. Making my way with the Drakes crowd. Using my employee discount to load up on sweets prior to visits up north to see the nieces and nephews—so much candy for so few pennies that I effected the collapse our moms always threatened Halloween bags would bring: candy overload puke. Poor little nieces and nephews. Too much of a good thing.

Drakes was grungy and grim and beloved for all that. And in my heart it shall always remain.

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the cruel trickery of hothouses

in search of humble hardware, I’m seduced by riotous orchid blooms and make the leap– plunk down the $14 at the register for my very own horticultural splendor, ferry it lovingly through the cold out to the car and across town home, fix it a front row spot of honor, water and feed as directed– and watch it wither to sticks in a matter of days.

I fare ill as an attentive, incisive specialist– read pages of advice online and come away with the wavery conclusion that the daytime and evening temperatures of my home are simply non-conducive– how to fix which given radiators already wound down to the best of my ability and no garage or basement to relocate it to evenings.

fie and pah, I dislike causing anything living to fail to flourish.

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