Six summer weeks on the road, traveling from my New Orleans base back to my Twin Cities home turf. Let’s call it a ‘working vacation’…that I now could use a vacation from.
The trip itself was mostly a success, but while living in the south, sometimes a return to my Midwestern roots leave e scratching my head. Vice versa upon my return.
I was able to document some of the quirkier things I ran across. Maybe it is because I have spent the past eight years in a region where the odd is commonplace and celebrated, but some of these things I encountered seemed misplaced – especially some of the gastronomical quirks.
For example…barbeque hummus? Yeah, a Midwestern take on Middle Eastern staple that even I would think thrice on before trying. For real overkill, I suppose you could use barbeque flavored chips for your dipping/sopping option.
Even in the barbeque-happy south, grilling peas seems a cultural mismatch. It is also mildly disquieting that there is a certain ‘that aint kosher’ element to this little snack.
In downtown Minneapolis, I pulled up alongside a food truck – not unusual. The cuisine? That’s different.
In Minnesota parlance, where fishing is almost a faith, I used to refer to sushi as ‘lure on a plate’ which was usually greeted with a nod of acknowledgement. Now I guess the saying would have to be ‘bait on a tortilla’.
Or in true Minnesotan, ‘Minnows on lefse’.
Speaking of fishing, there is a small, family-run hardware store right by my mom’s new apartment, and as I frequently needed hardware items or tools to fix something at her old house, or prep something at the apartment, I became something of a regular. My first stop, the window signage caught my eye, but it wasn’t until my next-to-last (73rd but who’s counting?) stop that I said something almost pithy about ‘duct tape and nightcrawlers’ to the clerk at check out.
She sighed, glanced over her shoulder at the ‘live bait repair’ window paint job, with resignation and said, for what sounded like the ninety-sixth time,“Yeah, they didn’t think that one out very well”.
Honestly, I did not see the upper-pane labeled ‘screen and window’ until at least the fifth time I passed by.
On the other hand, I don’t know the genesis of this little gem I saw posted behind the counter of a neighborhood café where I was having lunch with a couple of old friends, but it definitely has a New Orleans/Mardi gras vibe
That hopefully stays right where it is.
I need to get back to my unpacking. More on-the-road shenanigans hiding between the dirty laundry and stolen hotel towels. So…