Yesterday, my friend and I trudged through Powderhorn in the sweltering heat towards May Day Cafe.
May Day Cafe
3440 Bloomington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407
I inhaled a cold Vietnamese iced coffee made with fresh espresso and sweetened condensed milk.
For $3.95, I enjoyed this small, freshly-baked pizza topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella. The juicy tomatoes were as sweet as candy and tart as balsamic while the dough absorbed the richness of the olive oil.
Today was 103.
The higher the temperature rises, the more amaretto sours I want to drink. I never drank amaretto sours until the Twin Cities hit 103 during the first week of June.
The same goes for frozen pizzas.
We threw Amy's cheeseless, roasted vegetable pizza and Kowalski's chicken articoke pizza into the oven.
Before and after
I never expected to love a cheeseless pizza. The sweet, roasted onions provided an addictive and savory quality. The Kowalski's pizza oozed with cheese that covered a crispy, cracker-thin crust. However, the pieces of chicken were dry and sparse, and the sauce had that weird, faux-alfredo flavor.
Reflections on my favorite children's books featuring food.
I almost panicked this month, while studying Alfred Adler in Counseling Theory class. Adlerians place importance on interpreting early memories from ages 5 years and younger.
I can't remember a damn thing before I was five, except for enviously watching a construction worker eat a Handisnacks and using a gumball machine. Fortunately, my therapist assured me this is normal. So don't panic if you also can't remember anything before you were five. However, I do remember my favorite childhood books. I realize the image spacing is a bit wonky.
Pippi goes on Board, Pippi Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking lives in a dilapetad home by herself. Neighbor children befriend Pippi and attempt to encourage re-socialization. Her distant, wealthy pirate father left her copius amounts of gold that she uses to buy 72 pounds of candy including chocolate ciggarettes and liquorice boats.
In Pippi in the South Seas, the children roast breadfruit.
I treasured these books, re-reading them countless times. When their parents are gone, Betsy, Tacy and Tib, make everything pudding with cocoa, vinegar, oil, lard, onion, citron, rice, etc. My childhood friend and I once tried to make an everything-bread in which we cracked whole eggs, eggshell and all, into our mixture and tried to eat it. After scraping our teeth and throats on eggshells, we gave up. We also spent a morning making everything-pancakes in which we emptied the contents of my mom's spice cabinet into our batter including dried mustard, sugar, and curry. Our attempts were as nauseating as Betsy, Tacy, and Tib's everything pudding.
In this book, Edmund betrays his siblings for the White Witch's Turkish Delight. First of all, let me say that as a small child, I had no idea that Aslan was an allegory for Jesus. I thought Aslan was magic. So, to the boy wizard haters, I say "Lay off Harry Potter." He's also a friend of mine.
I admit that I was disappointed upon my first taste of Turkish Delight. It's not that I found this confection to be disgusting, but it's attainment certainly wasn't worth betraying an allegorical Christ figure.
I loved Wilder's descriptions of pioneer salt pork and maple syrup that solidified into candy when dripped onto fresh snow. The Best Thing I Ever Ate featured Bragg Family Farm in East Montpelier, VT where they serve "sugar on snow" with boiled-condensed maple syrup.
Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Bevery Cleary
I remember sympathizing with Ramona, whose mother sneaks tongue onto the dinner table. Ramona and Beezes are disgusted when they scrape the gravy off of their meat slices and notice taste buds described as "yucky, little, small and tiny bumps." As punishment, their parents assign them to cook dinner. Ramona and Beezes cook chicken theighs and cornbread, improvising with banana yogurt and chili powder.
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
Imagine my surprise when I found out this book was not only a fairy tale, but a tool to teach children wordplay and mathematical concepts. I love when Milo goes to the market's and munches on letters from the "DO IT YOURSELF" letter vendor. A is "quite sweet and delicious." Z is "dry and sawdusty." C is crip and I is "icy and refreshing."
Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Lois Sachar
Oh so many. . . Joy steals classmate's lovelier lunches. Mrs. Jewels creates Maurecia-flavored ice cream. Miss Mush serves potato salad and mushroom surprise.
Ozma in Oz, L. Frank Baum
Did you know that there is an entire series devoted to the land of Oz? In this book, Dorothy finds a lunch-box tree. Baum describes the lunch-boxes as “nicely wrapped in white papers was a ham sandwich, a piece of sponge-cake, a pickle, a slice of new cheese and an apple."
Magical Melons: More Stories about Caddie Woodlawn, Carolyn Ryrie Brink
Despite the title, Magical Melons don't refer to anything smutty. Caddie and her cousins relish juicy watermelons her father hid amidst the hayloft one fall. I remember enjoying the chapter in which Caddie and her sister spend an evening at Mrs. Nightengale's house and eat cold chicken and ham for dinner. Caddie is a girl after my own heart. If someone offers you two food options, you try a little of both.