Springtime in Quebec, Part 2

Last time I ended by discussing language politics in French-speaking Québec, so I thought it would be appropriate to start with a few visual representations of those politics, in Quèbec’s Old City.

DSC_2369

Here is the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, the first Anglican church in Québec. In 1804, the Brits were sure to build its spire just a few feet higher than the neighboring Catholic Notre-Dame de Québec. French Quebecers: “We can take a hint.”

Holy Trinity held Easter services in both English and French, but Notre-Dame de Québec’s services were entirely in French. Deciding between the two, we decided “when in Rome”… and found ourselves at a French-speaking Holy Saturday evening service. (I took my English Bible along for some hard-core liturgical sword drills.) The service was exactly what I hoped it would be—lowly lit, contemplative, bathed in music and a few bells, and filled with joy.

20170415_220549

20170415_220519

Il n’est pas ici, car il est ressuscité, comme il l’avait dit!

Obviously, the French component made it quite the adventure as I’m already non-Catholic and therefore unfamiliar with service traditions, but my friends as I managed to participate somewhat, following along in the readings. The only really awkward moment was when we got to what was called the échange de la paix (exchanging of the peace). Immediately, I remembered that in some conservative Anglican traditions, this is equivalent to the holy kiss (is it for the Catholics??!!), so when the French-speaking young woman in front of me turned around and leaned toward me, I visibly started, unsure if this complete stranger would be kissing or hugging me!

(She shook my hand.)

Another French/English side-by-side pair in Old City are two prominent libraries, the Maison de la Littérature, and the Morrin Centre. (Can ya guess which one is for books printed in English?) Our tour guide explained, though, that the beauty of these two side-by-side libraries is that it represents how the two languages can coexist alongside each other.

DSC_5917

An old sofa in the Morrin Center featured this adorable sign: Ce divan est probablement plus vieux que votre grand-mère. S.V.P. vous asseoir aussi dèlicatement que vous le feriez sur ses genoux.

“This sofa is probably older than your grandmother. Please sit down gently, as you would on her knees.”

The afternoon we visited, I spent time reading devotional poetry by John Donne and found this gem in his Holy Sonnets.

DSC_2389

Show me, dear Christ, thy spouse so bright and clear.
What! is it she which on the other shore
Goes richly painted? or which, robbed and tore,
Laments and mourns in Germany and here?
Sleeps she a thousand, then peeps up one year?
Is she self-truth, and errs? now new, now outwore?
Doth she, and did she, and shall she evermore
On one, on seven, or on no hill appear?
Dwells she with us, or like adventuring knights
First travel we to seek, and then make love?
Betray, kind husband, thy spouse to our sights,
And let mine amorous soul court thy mild dove,
Who is most true and pleasing to thee then
When she is embraced and open to most men.

Welcome, by the way, to Old City, the part of Québec City that’s voted one of the “Most Romantic Cities” world-wide.

DSC_2413

DSC_2350

DSC_2349

DSC_2351

DSC_2362

First, you have the Chateau Frontenac, which is described as the most photographed hotel in the world. We were told that you have to take at LEAST thirty-five pictures of this hotel. I did my best.

DSC_2404

DSC_2419

DSC_2469

This romantic city also delights in its food. I enjoyed Cochon Dingue’s (The Crazy Pig’s) French onion soup, and another time I had a duck terrine starter, salmon tartare (for the first time!), and a lovely little complimentary dessert.

20170414_123138-2

20170414_134615

One morning, I tried a delicious crepe made of asparagus, prosciutto, and brie, topped with a side of local maple syrup. (Quèbec is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup!) Don’t get me started talking about poutine, eggs benedict, macaroons, and croissants. (I obviously ended Lent in gastro-heaven.)

Also home to the talented Cirque du Soleil, we found this sculpture + poem welcoming us to the city.

DSC_2393

“To you,
Coming from here or elsewhere,
Day or night
Summer or winter
Welcome.”

Hee hee, our tour guide told us, “We have only two seasons, summer and winter. And summer is the nicest week of the year.” While we were blessed with gorgeous sunny days during our short visit, we certainly felt winter’s chill in the shade of stone in the afternoons and in the St. Lawrence River’s mist during our ferry ride.

DSC_6013

DSC_2460

If I had to summarize my trip in one sentence, I would write, “You should go.”

DSC_2331

DSC_2445

But if you want something a little more poetical, I’d probably whisper something about

“Europe’s old city,
cigarette smoke and cologne on cold cobblestones,
boots and mittens on marble stone,
bright sun on blue skies and dirty snow,
marathoners running,
church bells and waterfalls laughing,
St. Lawrence River mist,
and French accents on chocolate croissants, spicy peppers, and cooked fish.”

Advertisements

Springtime in Quebec, Part 1

Ever wanted to visit Europe but didn’t have the cash for a plane ticket? Quebec is the spot for you! Shasta’s Fog visited this charming French-speaking province for spring break this year, so I wanted to share some trip highlights for anyone needing a beautiful getaway on THIS side of the pond.

DSC_5819

How is Quebec still so French, you may ask? To be honest, it’s kind of the Americans fault.

Quebec City was founded in 1608 by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, and while France’s presence continued in Quebec for 150 years, in 1759, France ceded its control of North American possessions to Great Britain after a few battles and the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Quebecois were not exactly ecstatic about their new rulers, and Great Britain became a little nervous about this due to the unrest in its southern colonies (hello, rebellious American colonies!). Great Britain was afraid that unhappy French Quebecers would start up a rebellion and join the Americans, so they supplied the “Quebec Act” to pacify all French-speaking Canadian subjects—recognizing and promoting French language and French culture, allowing them to keep French civil law, and offering freedom of religion (allowing them to remain Catholic). Shockingly, England was saying, “Yes, BE CATHOLIC, ye Quebecers. Be French. Be ANYthing except American!” And Quebec was happy, and stayed ish-French. And a good thing too because now we Americans can go on vacation and eat croissants and macaroons, and enjoy rich French heritage without crossing that annoyingly large ocean.

DSC_2288

Our first stop was Montréal, and we visited the Notre-Dame Basilica, decorated in the Gothic Revival style in the 1880s. Fun fact: Celine Dion (native to Quebec) got married here.

DSC_2317

My friends and I had terribly much fun dashing into as many bakeries as possible. This one called the Crew Collective is a co-working space housed in the 1920s headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada. (Little bit of gold Art Deco for the win.) Eggcellent Americano and croissant. Or as the French say, “Ameri-ken-oh.”

DSC_2282

DSC_5788

We were also sure to visit the Maison Christian Faure Patisserie, where the “Best Pastry Chef in the World” hosts curious travelers. I ate an éclair for breakfast. I do not even apologize.

20170413_101953

IMG_5052
PC: @lorida.burk

20170413_151734

Besides the city’s amazing architecture, I also enjoyed fun street style, though most of the time, I was too slow on the draw with my camera.

DSC_2311
Girl, work it.
DSC_2327
’90s was big.
DSC_2310
“Today in microfashion…”
DSC_2313
And a Satan suit, for good measure. (??)

When I got home, my mother asked me, “But what did you eat BESIDES pastries?”

…I admit I had to think for a bit.
Obviously, poutine, since Quebec is famous for it. At Montreal’s famous La Banquise, I had the original—fries, covered in cheese curds and gravy!

20170413_125210

20170413_133009
You know you’re in Canada when there are outdoor heaters for patio seating.

Another Quebecian delight we discovered was dipped ice cream cones. I’ve never had a dipped cone where the chocolate is so thick and so flavorful!

20170415_161344

We lodged well in two Airbnbs, one night in Montreal and three nights in Quebec City. Recommend!

20170413_085918

20170416_085020

20170413_085647
NW view from our 9th floor apartment in Montreal.
DSC_2308
NE view: old + new

One thing that worried me was the language barrier, especially since we had heard about how strong the French language politics are in Quebec.

DSC_2295
Marc-André J Fortier’s “The English Pug and the French Poodle,” featuring a woman dressed in the French-designer Coco Chanel, lifting her nose in disdain toward a Canadian bank, representing the influence of the English.

But a very nice waitress at Creperie Bretonne Ty-Breiz allayed our fears. Unbothered by our Nutella crepe instagramming and delighted giggles, she acknowledged that food is art, and in her French accent, said it is “the art of making friends.” She told us that Quebecers know English, and they’ll use it with you. She said, “Maybe a few won’t speak English, but they are 5%, and they are stubborn.” Three hours away in Quebec City, our tour guide Sam from afreetourofquebec.com told us the same thing. “In Old City, they’ll speak English to you! They know English. Outside of the city, they’ll speak the English that they know,” he smiled. His wry statement indicated that while many Quebecers are willing to use English, their English skills are not all the same.

But we found it to be true that Quebecois used English. Most restaurant servers and shop owners easily switched to French-accented English, and the only awkwardness that occurred was our own fault, when we failed to produce a polite French “Bonjour” greeting, or awkwardly stared at rattled French, rather than announcing, “Désolé, je ne parle pas François.”

IMG_5004

This is my taste of Montreal! Stop by later this week for “Springtime in Québec, Part 2” to hear about our time in Québec City!

How to Avoid Cooking

I made this, and I didn’t throw it away.

IMG_20161003_161755.jpg

My apologies, readers. You know I do my best to avoid cooking! And I’ll be doing so for the rest of time…‘til the cows come home… or Jesus comes back.

We might as well say, “That’ll never happen til Esther cooks.” It’s the same thing.

Some people always feel sorry for me that I can’t cook. When they find out, there’s this moment of death that comes over their faces. “But don’t you live by yourself?” they say. Then a look of unquestionable pity. Me over here? I’m like:

Xyrapvm.gif

It doesn’t bother me. But it bothers you.

I guess I feel the same way when I find out people don’t like running or reading books. I feel sorry for them.

Why don’t I cook?

  1. Because: time. Just like you, I’m really busy. And I fill my life with things that intrigue me a whole lot more than cooking does. Like fitness. And reading. Or sleeping. Add to that my (more than) full-time job, and when I get home from a 12 hour work day, cooking is the last activity in the world that I could ever be prevailed upon to… er, start.
  1. Because: money. I just moved into my own apartment, and my cupboards are still a little bare. Instead of spending money on like 17 organic spices, Le Creuset cookware, and shallots, I saved up and bought a microwave! Bacon, anyone? …And even then, you can live without a microwave. I did for two months. I’m amazed at the things I haven’t managed to buy yet. I’ve lived without flour or oil since I moved. Four months ago. #nonbaker
  1. Because: single. Cooking for one person is the worst. I mean, it’s great that it’s low-stakes (if I mess up, peanut butter and jelly is my favorite) but if something actually succeeds, meaning it’s not inedibly raw, it’s going to last for at least four meals. And I. Hate. Leftovers. Eating the same thing four days in a row makes me sad. Especially because I can guarantee you that it was pretty bland in the first place. Also, it’s sometimes hard to buy ingredients for just one person. Ingredients don’t stay fresh, and I end up having to throw away much more food than I intended. Therefore, I don’t “cook” in that traditional sense because it’s hard to keep everything fresh.
  1. Because: food allergies. Like some of the rest of you over-25ers, in the past couple of years, my digestive system went on strike, and I’m still in the aftermath of trying to figure out what my body will tolerate. Most of the time when I eat, I’m anxious to see that my body accepts it (instead of violently reacting, sending me to the floor in agony), rather than being anxious to see if it tastes good or not. So I find it hard to get excited about food-related activities.

Another cooking problem I have is that as a runner, I think of food as fuel, which doesn’t necessarily relate to fine dining experiences. I recognize that my main thought during the week is, “Did I eat enough protein today?” rather than, “Did I sit down and enjoy a good meal today?” Right now I’m content just knowing that I ingested a decent blend of lean proteins and carbs for the week, rather than figuring out how to plate them with any sort of culinary intelligence. When I fix my cooking problem (right before pigs fly and right after the fat lady sings), I’ll have to address the issue of food as fuel. Because sucking an energy gel on mile 10 while wiping your runny nose and mopping sweat is not the road to fine dining. No, it’s more the road to: how many pieces of pizza should I eat during carb-loading? Food as fuel is spoonfuls of peanut butter, forkfuls of beef, and handfuls of guilt-less bread indulgence. Two hours spent running on Saturday mornings is two hours not spent planning meals, organizing ingredients, and making a dish that tastes mediocre instead of terrible.

But this week I ran out of excuses of not cooking. Namely, I had nary food in the house. So I decided to go buy a bunch of meat and some general ingredients for cooking it in. One of my roommates in Indiana is famous for cooking chicken in red wine, so I decided to try this.

It was a surprise for me to find no alcohol at Walmart. Apparently Wal-marts in Pennsylvania don’t sell alchohol. But they do sell one kind of cooking wine. (I later found out that one NEVER EVER cooks with cooking wine. You should only cook with wine you would drink. Sigh. Nobody told ME.) I snatched up a cheap bottle. Returning home with my salmon, lemon juice, and spices, I turned to the chicken and red wine.

I lightly browned two chicken breasts in… blast, I had no oil. Butter would have to do. Removing the chicken, I sautéed mushrooms, then poured in about a cup of red wine, waiting patiently for it to “reduce,” whatever that meant. Basically, I just got bored watching the wine cook, so I just moved on to the next step. (The wine, cooking, had by now made my apartment smell like a back-country Kentucky still.) Next I added the chicken back into the wine and then scoured my cupboards for something besides salt and pepper to flavor it. I came up with garlic. And a bit of parmesan.

20161002_122837.jpg

(I would have added brown sugar, but again, I’m staple-less.) After a very long time, my chicken came out looking decent.

 

It had a nice flavor when paired with the mushrooms (ridiculously rich from the butter and wine), but the meat was dry and my mushrooms a little burnt.

I also had cooked some sweet potatoes and topped them with a special sweet sauce (otherwise known as pancake syrup).

Successes: Two meals—one fresh, and one for the fridge. The perfect amount for one person!
Failures: Dry chicken, no brown sugar, lame sweet potatoes.

But lest you think that I’m about to announce my resolve to learn to cook, here is a week’s worth of meal-planning options with NO COOKING INVOLVED!

Here are some ways that may help you get out of cooking:

  1. Eat out.
  2. Eat leftovers from eating out.
  3. Eat breakfast for dinner.
  4. Eat sandwiches for dinner.
  5. Eat salad.
  6. Eat a German bread dinner.
  7. Repeat #5, but add croutons.

Okay, I think I’m done. Now I look forward to reading all the comments about how “this would NEVER work in my family with my husband/kids.. blah blah.” Yeah, well, guess what? There are a ton of cooking blogs out there for people like you, serves six. But not a ton for single people. Get it?
#minority

 

In Which I Play It Cool at a French Restaurant

“I’m going to order the flat bread. The Lyon one. What do you think? How do you even say it? It’s probably ‘leee-OH(n)’ or something, and I’ll be ordering a lion.”

(five minutes later)

“MehDUM?”
“I’ll just have the Flat Bread Lion.”
“Em, oui. Flamekuches Leee-OH(n)?”
“Yes.” Quite.

france2
The Not Pizza

(one hour later)

“MehDUM.”
“Do you have a dessert menu?”
“(Indistinguishable) (word that sounds like cannoli).”
We smile and say, “Thank you!”
Absolutely no idea. Think. Think.
I remember when I was waiting to be seated that a couple walked up to the front of the restaurant, perused the bakery case, and then returned to their table.
LIGHTBULB!
“I think she wants us to check out the bakery case. And she says they have cannoli in the back.”

We march up to the case. There are some Yule logs, berry tarts, day old éclairs, and chocolate mice.
She watches us as we stare at the case.
“And you have cannoli, too?” I ask.
Amused smile. “(Word that sounds less like ‘cannoli’ and more like ‘crème brulee’).”

How is it that we still have NO IDEA what this restaurant serves for dessert!

Wil to the rescue: “What do you recommend?”
Relieved waitress. She lights up a bit. “Mmmm, crème brulee!” she intones, quietly, reverently.
We decide: “We’ll have the crème brulee.”

(Thirty minutes later, fresh crème brulee with a strawberry garnish is served.)

“MehDUM.”

Lerv France.

france
Puhhfect

America vs. France: Cooking Edition

I cooked dinner tonight.

130828_0000

I was tempted to call it “Zucchini et por la Fwench”, which means, “Zucchini, eaten by the French” in some local, organic, low French dialect. Or something.

But I caught myself. It’s really just called, “Zucchini Eggs.”

I was talking to a friend about this dish that my mom makes a lot in the summer.

“You sauté shredded garden-fresh zucchini and peppers in oil. Then stir in eggs and scramble everything together. Sprinkle with browned sausage and cheese. Voila. Zucchini Eggs.”

“Don’t you mean an “omelet”?

No. I mean zucchini eggs.

Does anyone else feel the pressure to change “everyday” things to obscure, “exciting,” foreign things so that we can accept them? My question is: why can’t we just eat zucchini eggs? Why must we name it something else? And if it has to be something else, why does it always have to be French?

Really now. It’s just eggs and zucchini. Why does it have to be French? In fact, why do we give a ______ about the French at all? We all pretend to love the French. Rather, we love the stereotype of the French. And what is their stereotype? That they are cultured and snobby. Why would we celebrate snobbishness? Why wouldn’t we instead want to celebrate the dozens of loving, faithful cooks who have cooked for us over the years? Our mothers and grandmothers, never snobby, and certainly not French.

Why don’t we celebrate the thousands of meals prepared for our own tired bodies by cooks who would also like to be sitting down to their favorite Netflix— Oh wait, I forgot. Our parents didn’t watch Netflix. They selflessly slaved away in the kitchen.

My own mother felt the pressure. When she served leftovers, she began Naming Things. We were too small to know what “Comment allez-vous” meant. All we knew was that it meant all the leftovers in the frigerator were fried up in a skillet and served with a big bottle of ketchup. My mom alternated between “Comment allez-vous” and “Romaine Hash.” As young children, we began to disdain the French, the Romanians, and their ketchup. I think it would have been just as well if my mother had chosen more local dishes. “Midwestern Mixed Meats”, for example. Or “Vittles in the Valley”. A rose, after all, as the poet says, by any other name would smell as sweet. With or without ketchup.

All I’m saying is that we don’t have to stamp Eiffel Towers on everything to make it more “cultured”. (Besides, the French don’t even like the Eiffel Tower. “That ugly thing?” they say. … … … They would.) So instead of implanting foreign names and silly stereotypes on our own local dishes, let’s call them what they are: good home-cooked food.

As much as I love trying ethnic foods, even French foods (if you live in central Ohio, you simply must visit La Chatelaine), I’m realizing that my body does best with the food I’ve grown up with. Homegrown vegetables. Simple meat and potatoes meals. But I’m not allowed to say that. I can’t celebrate Amish and Mennonite foods because “they’re fattening.” Yeah, they are if you eat too much of them. Simply: don’t. We should celebrate the healthy foods our mothers and grandmothers have fixed for us for years. And we should celebrate the culture that has produced these foods. No matter if that culture is “down-home”, “countrified”, or even cooked up in an iron skillet.

(I made zucchini eggs in an iron skillet.) Yeah, move over, Le Creuset, “circa 1925”. (Do the French think they own everything?) Lodge has 30 years of experience on you. Since 1896, Lodge Cast Iron has been helping out American pioneer families. Thank you very much, Le Creuset, my grandmother and my mother have always cooked in cast iron, and I’ll probably do the same. You know, my mom bought me a Lodge cast iron skillet from Lehmen’s Hardware (what do you think of that?) before I moved this summer.

130828_0002

And I really really like my cast iron skillet. In which I cook “boring” American dishes like… zucchini eggs. So eat that.

Amish in the City

Well, I’ve properly welcomed myself to Nappanee. Rather, I’ve been properly welcomed by my roommate, who has graciously treated me to a driving tour of Nappanee and even introduced me the local frozen delicacy of Rocket Science Ice Cream (ice cream made using liquid nitrogen).

Here are the new digs:

100_9502
…brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “great room.”
100_9493
A little place I like to call home.
100_9497
La cocina.

 The apartment is one of the bright spots in my move to Middle-Of-Nowhere, Indiana.

Nappanee is iconic small-town America. Smiling white people serve grandpas and lil kids their soda floats. It’s real. However, the uniqueness of the town lies in its heavy Amish and Mennonite population. (Wait, I mean: … Nappanee is heavily-populated with Amish and Mennonites.)

Many locals businesses and business owners have common (and recognizably Amish) German surnames. (Interesting culture factoid: a fixation with last names is not peculiar to Amish and Mennonites. One of my classmates at OSU mentioned the importance of last names in her own Jewish community. She described how her mother is always on the lookout for young men with Jewish-sounding last names (Goldberg, Levy, Silverstein), and when she finds one, she’ll say, “Oh look! You could marry him! HE’S Jewish!”)

I’m trying to get a feel for the place. Amish grandmas in crocs and covering strings march across Main Street. Amish grandpas coast their bicycles past the hardware store. Amish teenage girls slap the reins of a rig at a railroad crossing. And Amish boys in baggy gray pants and beanies race their bikes down the sidewalk. (I saw one earlier today, and I’m like, “What a POSER.” Then I realized he was Amish, not part of some gang. LOL!)

I’m sure I’ll get used to this community, but at this point, I’m very touristy.

Today, I also got a library card and picked up some books about Miami Indians. (Apparently, they used to live here. Betchya didn’t know THAT, did ya?!)

Miami2

Much of the printed “history” about Nappanee “begins” with the Amish settling around mid-nineteenth century. However, Nappanee was obviously populated long before that era, but unfortunately, that history is not recorded in our history books. (Don’t you love how “history” doesn’t begin until white people settle in an area?) Anyway, I thought I would do the culturally appropriate thing by reading up on the Miami Indians, from whom we get all these wonderful local place names: “Nappanee,” “Wakarusa,” “Shipshewana,” and “Wanee.” I’ll let you know if I come across anything shocking in my research. (AND I’ll let you know if I meet an Indian.)

Miami
Wait. Where is his headdress? He can’t be an Indian. He’s not wearing a headdress!

Until then, mainly… and basically… I spend my time sneaking donuts from my own pantry.

This out-of-state move is also requiring me to learn a new skill: cooking.

130712_0004
Today’s crowning achievement.

This photograph, of course, doesn’t quite express the the chaos of pots boiling over, large flames, crunchy rice, and a broken jar of beans. But. I ate it. Just like I downed the “Explorer’s Temptation” sandwich at the famous local “Rise and Roll Bakery” the other day. (You can’t move to a new place and NOT try a sandwich with a name like that. It was ham and swiss on cinnamon raisin bread with raspberry jam. Believe it.)

What an adventure! And it’s only Day 2! 🙂

Midwesterner eats donuts, travels by bus to NEW YORK CITY

Monday, August 2, 4:30 a.m: My sister Rachel and I drove to church. We dropped off our luggage to be packed into a bus and then drove to a local family restaurant and bakery to pick up the pre-ordered donuts to feed forty mildly grouchy “Work Week” participants.

“Rachel?” I had said a week earlier, “Rachel, I really like caramel long johns. Make sure you get enough of those. People always take the caramel long johns. There are never enough, and one always runs out. Please get enough for me. Order extra.”

“Oh, Esther, I’m sure there will be enough. We’re getting a lot of donuts. I mean, the youth leaders told me what to get. They said to make sure I get some glazed, too,” Rachel replied.

“Why would you need any glazed?” I reasoned, “No one is going to eat a glazed donut! Not when there are caramel long johns.”

Rachel, Lori, and I picked up the donuts and drove back to church. A lot of youth were on the bus already. Rachel had warned me that there was going to be coffee prepared inside the church before we left so I should make sure and get some. I ran in to use the restroom and to pour myself a cup of coffee (there were disposable cups and lids). I ran outside, and to my amazement, the bus door had closed, and the bus driver had shifted into gear. One of the dads waved and yelled at the driver. The door opened.

“Oh, please, may I go too?” I said sarcastically.

I struggled down the aisle searching for a place to sit. Not to fear. My good friend Clara was saving me a seat. She held my coffee while I situated my bags and blankets in the dark. (What are good friends for?)

After being on the road for about 20 minutes, the people at the front of the bus whipped out the donuts. One box went to the front of the bus. Another box went to the back of the bus. I was sitting in the middle. As the boxes made their way toward me, I noticed the large number of guys eating caramel long johns and smiling contentedly. One box went past me. It was full of chocolate long johns. I do not like chocolate long johns. I was waiting for CARAMEL long johns. Another box passed. It was full of apple fritters. Finally, in my frustration, I yelled out, “Well, are there any caramel long johns left?”

A sturdy “No” was the response.

I sat there in bitter disbelief. I mean, it wasn’t like I hadn’t foreseen this issue and attempted to correct it beforehand. It’s not as if I wasn’t one of the ones who had driven to go GET the donuts in the first place. It’s not as if this whole BUS full of forty 16 year olds had almost LEFT me in the church parking lot. So, no, I just sat there as twenty guys downed their caramel long johns. Guys who probably didn’t give a RIP if they were eating caramel or chocolate. Guys who probably took the first donut out of the box that passed them. Why, oh WHY did that box have to be full of caramel long johns?

Humph. The youth group president brought over a box of donuts. It was apple fritters. That was okay. Apple fritters are always the second choice. The outer edge is always nice and crispy.

In all of the donut boxes, half of the donuts had been cut into halves. This was meant for girls. Girls are supposed to eat halves. Girls aren’t supposed to enjoy whole donuts. (Especially not whole caramel long johns, as we’ve apparently learned!) I absolutely reject this, because I work hard too, and I eat! So with all the feminism in my heart, I grabbed the biggest apple fritter I could get my two hands on. A whole donut. A whole one! Eat that, you caramel-snatching, never-a-half-eating, expecting-me-to-eat-halves NINCOMPOOPS!

So I took that donut and ate it ruefully. And much to Clara’s dismay, I ate all around the outside (the nice crispy parts) and threw the rest away!

I was very bitter and quite enjoying myself.

Donuts and coffee are a very nice thing.