My Father’s Snack

This morning was different for me. For once, Lovely was up by nine o’clock and ready. to go. I finished my bowl of Cheerios, and we were off to Darien, about forty minutes away. She had an appointment with a Paralegal who helped her submit a document to the government of Lithuania. The document states that she is still alive, living in a foreign country, and she still needs her pension.

On the way home, we stopped at a delicatessen called Old Vilnius. We cannot ever pass by a foreign delicatessen. Lovely shops for her dark rye bread, which she swears is only available in this store, and some other European foods, which she swears are superior to the same item made in America. Believing that European butter is better than American butter is hard, but I play the game to keep the peace. While she shopped for her goodies, I shopped for mine. I found two items, which I put into our basket. We have had a long-standing argument about what vodka is made from, and I always lose because Americans don’t know about European liquor. I found a bottle of potato vodka that went into my basket. In the cooler section, I found some slab bacon cured in salt. My parents made this delicacy at home when I was a kid, and I often sat with my dad when he had his after-work snack, and we enjoyed pieces of salt-cured bacon fat on pieces of heavy rye bread. It is delicious.

Once we left the deli a hundred dollars poorer but with a hundred dollars worth of delicious junk food, we happened upon the Frankfort Farmer’s Market. Although it was a chilly 50 degrees with a wind to make it even more refreshing, we stopped. We found some fresh organic garlic. At that booth, they also featured smoked garlic, which I had never had before, so I bought smoked garlic, Lovely bought regular garlic to make her pickled cucumbers. The young lady who waited on us was from Wisconsin, and I discussed how to plant and grow garlic with her. I learned a lot. She then sold me a loaf of freshly baked garlic rye bread.

At the next booth, I bought a couple of ears of sweet corn and a single Hungarian banana pepper. The wind chill affected Lovely’s attitude, so we made a beeline for the car. Except, I stopped at a booth selling apples, blueberries, and a few vegetables. I made the fatal mistake of asking where the man in the booth was from. It turns out he, lived within two miles of our family farm in Covert, Michigan. I’ve never found anyone who knows that Covert actually exists, much less to be your neighbor. We talked about the chilly weather, and he told me that last night in Covert, they had sleet. Sleet, for the uninformed, is frozen water falling from the heavens. Talking about frozen water was the final nail in our Farmer’s Market coffin, and we then did high tail it to the car.

Once back home and warmed up, I had to try my purchases. I made a small plate of garlic rye bread topped with chunks of salt pork, and a shot of potato vodka on the side. It was delicious and reminded me of sitting next to Dad while he cut the bread and the pork into little chunks for us to eat. Dad never drank vodka with his snacks, and come to think of it, he didn’t drink vodka at all. The next generation always has to add a new dimension to the story.

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