New Hampshire Primary
I’m sitting in Barack Obama’s campaign office in Dover, New Hampshire. It is 3:30 in the afternoon on Monday, January 7; the day before New Hampshire’s primary. Tomorrow, my typically humble state has the duty to be the first in the nation to choose by ballot its Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.
The campaign office is buzzing. I, along with most of the other volunteers, have just returned from our first shift of canvassing around our small town. I’ve been on foot (or tush, as I’ve fallen countless times on icy sidewalks) for four hours trying to convince local voters to vote for Senator Obama tomorrow. I’m exhausted and I’m hungry; however, my day is immediately brightened.
The world can be divided into two groups of people: those who prefer PIE. And those who prefer CAKE. Okay, maybe three groups — those who have never seen a pie or a cake need to be mentioned. But they are not part of this discussion. They are a footnote in a world where no one footnotes anymore.
Pie vs. Cake.
One of life’s major dividing lines.
But I will remain impartial. Please close your eyes, (but keep reading) and digest this:
PIE vs. CAKE.
Let that really soak in.
Cole slaw is the side dish of the South, one; and mayonnaise is the glue that holds my people together. If we neglect to ingest something with mayonnaise binding each and every day we are liable to, and very often do, come unglued. This is a self-evident fact that holds for my people both individually and as a culture. When you venture into this area of the world, you will find I am not just whistling Dixie.
I have studied the cole slaw situation closely for a lifetime and may be one of the world’s leading experts on same. People in the former CSA are extremely jealous of their states’ rights re: the matter of smokemeat, each believing their method to be the last word on the subject. Much of this barbeque boostering is nothing but bluster without discussion of its indivisible complement and/or topping, the abovementioned unsung cole slaw. But that’s just one thing.
Maytag Blue Cheese. Newton, Iowa - the seat of Jasper County. Newton is home to the cowlick salt block salty, rolling thunder and lightening stinky blue cheese that is produced by Maytag Dairy Farms. Fred Maytag II - grandson of the Maytag founder - was president of the wash machine company when he decided in 1941 to start another company that made blue cheese. Now Newton is at least temporary home to every presidential candidate that wants to carry Iowa in the Presidential caucus on January 3rd.
If one day, someone asks me what the best French fries I have ever eaten are, I would probably be inclined to remember Benita's Frites, this railroad-sized French fry shop on the Santa Monica promenade. Benita's introduced me to the dipping sauces, to the notion that fries can go with more than ketchup. Mustard, mayonnaise, blue cheese, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing... They served the fries in paper cones set in silver "cone-holders," for lack of a better word. It was there that I first developed the philosophy that I could live off of French fries.
Over the holidays my cousin and her husband who live in San Francisco
invited me to join them at a resort in Jamaica called Round Hill. It is
to the Caribbean what The Beverly Hills Hotel is to LA. Many of
the staff have been there for decades and when you leave, you
feel as if you are leaving your family members. When you return, the
staff always remember you.
Before I left, I was visiting my family on our farm in Georgia. The new crop of pecans had just been harvested and knowing what a fan my cousin's husband is of anything made with pecans from the farm I decided to make him some "pecan tarts." It takes all day and I actually despise making them, too messy and too much trouble. However, I justified the pain with my invite to Round Hill. I carefully placed them in two very pretty boxes tied with some nice ribbon and off I went.