A Quest for Food

“Well I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun.”

—Thus spake Clark Griswold before completing his journey to Wally World, only to find it closed. (And no, I can’t believe it’s been twenty-five years since this movie came out.)

We just got back from our own vacation, a more-or-less-annual trip to Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. Lucky for us, we didn’t find the lake closed upon our arrival. And we weren’t on a “Quest for Fun” as much as a “Quest for Food”. You see, this was a trip to the lake house and a trip to the lake house means:

  1. Sitting around and doing nothing.
  2. Sitting around and doing nothing and eating.

It’s pure bliss.

Activity #1 is what we’ve nick- named “porching”. This is the act of sitting on the porch and doing anything that doesn’t involve exerting any force: sitting, talking, drinking, reading, napping, drink- ing, napping, sitting, napping and drinking. (No, not that kind of drinking. Mostly ice tea. It’s really good too. Imported all the way from Long Island, I’ve been told!) Anyway, porching is the main lake activity and essentially the entire reason we make the trip. If you’ve never tried anything like this, I highly recommend it.

Since several family groups converge on one house, we divide the dinner duties by weekday. Each family unit is assigned one evening and gets to sweat in the kitchen while everyone else continues porching. This no-nonsense approach to dinner is a great way to take care of face-stuffing and it ensures we get an even balance of the four basic food groups: Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and Cheeseburgers.

It’s also caused the demise of many a diet. On our 2005 trip, I arrived at the lake house mid-diet. Now I’d been doing quite well up to this point too. Surprisingly, I even continued to watch myself for the first few days of the trip, in spite of all the imported ice tea. Then one evening my mom made an extra special dish—targeted at me in particular: baked apple slices. It was a dish her mom had made years and years ago and I remembered well. As near as I can tell the recipe goes something like this: slice apples into rings, roll apple slices in sugar, place into a pan, add two cups of brown sugar, cover the sugar with a layer of corn syrup, pour in some candy, then sprinkle with sugar. Add sugar to taste.

Since the dish had been especially prepared with me in mind, I couldn’t refuse. I politely transferred two slices from the serving dish to my plate and tasted them. It was exactly as I remembered: thick, sweet, red, syrup with just a hint of apple. Mmmm… Man, I love fulfilling my daily requirement of fruits and vegetables.

But that was it. It flipped The Switch off and I fell off the wagon bad. Oh, I tried getting back on after we got home, but it was too late. I was doomed. I won’t say it wasn’t worth it, though! Yum…

Hooray Vacation

One Response to “A Quest for Food”

Charlie's Mom said
June 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I must correct your candied apple recipe tho, just in case someone else actually reads it. Take one can of apple pie filling, put it in a casserole dish. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of redhots and add about 1/4 cup water. Cover and bake for 15-20-30 minutes, until the whole thing turns pink and the redhots have dissolved. It really is good.
LOL – that means “laugh out loud” – right? I did that. Quite a few times, in fact.