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Food Quirks

By Merrill Ogden - | Oct 27, 2021

“There is nothing inherently bad about a quirk.” So says wordreference.com.

I further quote from that source: “To an extremely conventional person anything even slightly unconventional might be perceived as quirky, and thus negative. For most people, a quirk is interesting or even endearing. It is certainly something that attracts attention.”

One of Sanpete’s “good ones” passed away recently. Carol Beardall was a friend. She was an active and successful agent in the real estate world of Sanpete. She knew the business and was good at it.

When I went to the viewing, the night before the funeral, we waited in a long line to visit with the family. I noticed what seemed to be an odd wreath, among all the flowers we passed by, as the line slowly moved. The wreath of flowers had two bags of Lay’s potato chips arranged in the center. I guessed that Carol was a fan of chips.

When I got to LaMar, husband of Carol, I expressed my condolences. I also mentioned that the last time we had seen Carol, with LaMar, was at Terrel’s Market in Mt. Pleasant where we stopped and visited with each other in the produce department.

Carol was cradling a bunch of bananas in her hands as if she was holding the Ark of the Covenant. She looked at the bananas in our shopping cart and gave us good-natured advice on how we should be treating our bananas.

In order to have the best banana outcome, you should select your bananas carefully, don’t put them in the cart, and make sure the cashier understands that the bananas are to be carefully weighed to avoid bruising. I have to say, I’ve been more careful with my bananas since that encounter.

I mentioned this banana part of our last encounter to Lamar. He said bananas weren’t the only thing for which Carol had a procedure. He told that she kept potato chips in the freezer. And they had to be the Lay’s brand.

A couple of the children verified that a cold Lay’s potato chip, fresh from the freezer, was wonderful, and the way to go with chips. Who knew? Right now, I have two bags of Lay’s potato chips in the freezer. I bought them shortly after learning the “proper” method of chip storage. I’m waiting for the right moment to try them.

I think most of us have food quirks. I know I do. Most of my quirks aren’t endearing and generally leave people either gagging or at least making a face.

Last Sunday, I found a left-over piece of ham and pineapple pizza in the refrigerator. I also found a left-over home grilled hamburger patty. My mind hatched a plan. What would be wrong with wrapping the pizza around the hamburger patty and making a hot sandwich of sorts that way?

Some might say that there’s plenty wrong with that. For the record, I thought it was pretty good. Of course, I’m the guy who has had the doughnut burger at Miller’s Drive-In in Manti. And I’m also the guy who ate a hot dog in a Hostess Twinkie on National Twinkie Day a few months ago. (Both not bad)

Some people would never eat anything that is past the “best by date.” I’m not one of those people. It doesn’t have to be the “best” for me to eat it. If it passes the look test, smell test, and taste test (in that order), then I’m a “waste not, want not” kind of eater.

Food quirks are very individualized. It’s all a matter of taste — which varies from one person to another. Many consider sushi a delicacy — me, not so much. I’ll eat a few California Rolls in a sushi moment, but my sushi food quirks don’t include baby octopus, raw seasoned beef and quail egg yolk, or poached monkfish liver, for that matter, as lovely as that sounds — not.

Years ago, there was a restaurant called Warm Creek Ranch near Fayette. They served a version of “Sanpete Oysters.” Unlike the more famous “Rocky Mountain Oysters” which, if you don’t know, are bull calf testicles; the Sanpete version product was derived from sheep. Yes, I tried them. I prefer Twinkie hot-dogs.

The Lakeside Grill near Sterling has “Pan Fried Oysters” on their menu. This would be traditional ocean sourced oysters. I’ve tried them. Not bad, but I prefer the salmon when out at Palisade Lake. (By the way, the Lakeside is now closed for the season as of last weekend)

My wife grew up in New England. She loves fried clams, steamer clams (when she can get them), lobster, crab, and seafood in general. To some around here, that’s quirky. As I said, it’s all a matter of taste.

Darn it, I’ve run out of space here. I had a lot to say about tofu, hummus, meatless hamburgers, and plant-based chicken — all definitely a tiny bit quirky, right?

Right now, I’m craving something salty. Something thin and crunchy. Something made from potatoes maybe. Something cold. I think I’m headed to the freezer. — Merrill

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