Tag Archives: peppercini

St. Paul/Minneapolis: Food at Andy’s

Until I met Casper, I had a hard time eating any food unless it was mostly sugar. Pretty much everything made me sick. It wasn’t just dairy, or gluten, or whatnot. It had no pattern. I have since realized that it was caused by my stomach being tense. My meds have helped that symptom of my anxiety, but Casper’s love of food and eagerness to feed me well has made me want to enjoy food.

With his help, I’ve tried cheeses, breads, meats, and more that I had never consciously eaten. I used to eat sandwiches by taking them apart, eating each ingredient by itself; all the flavors together were too much for me. Growing up, I was famous for eating plain pasta and plain rice (sometimes with a little salt, but no oil or cheese) and plain bagels. Now, we’ve learned that bland, processed carbs cause a serotonin boost and, therefore, many depressed people become attached to pastas, rice, etc just like me.

This is the only food related photo I could find... This is me eating a mango in Madison, pantsless.

Casper lets me eat how I want, but he encourages me to combine flavors. He suggests savory instead of sweet; seasoned instead of bland. Sometimes he makes fatal errors – the spices and oil he feels he must add to any pasta has several times made it inedible to me – but, mostly, he is revolutionizing my idea of food. I used to say that, if I could, I would give up eating all together and just take nutrients pills. Casper is making me love food.

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St. Paul/Minneapolis: The Duluth Adventure

I met Mar in high school, though he went by a different name then, and said hi to him when we crossed paths in college, but I’ve actually only hung out with him a few times. Yet, he feels like a good friend. He was headed to Duluth to help a friend of his mom’s move across the company. It was so good to see him. Casper and he immediately hit it off, too, which allowed me to relax socially.

Mar was hungry, having been traveling most of the day, so we headed to the Mall of America. It’s just a tram ride away from the airport and we already had our passes because we’d parked at a park and ride and ridden the train into the terminal. (So cool!) I had considered just taking us to our car since we had some food there but thought MOA would be easier and more fun. Boy, was I wrong.

Mar didn’t have too much luggage so Casper took my purse, I took Mar’s suitcase and he carried his backpack. Before going into the Mall, we smoked a couple cigarettes and he bestowed upon me the following:

The last few lines of Bukowski's "Alone with Everybody", the second poem of his I read and what convinced me to borrow the book.

We strode quickly through MOA searching for decent food. It was late – 8ish – and not much was open. All we could find were ice cream shops. At 8:07, we gave up and hurried back to the tram. We got on, but it just sat there for quite awhile before finally taking off towards the airport.

It felt like my birthday! At Peggy’s, I acquired a book of Rumi, too, so I am in poetry bliss at the moment book-wise.

Mar’s shuttle was scheduled to leave at 8:45. We arrived, after running up and down escalators in the airport, at 8:47 and the shuttle was nowhere in sight.

I had promised Mar that, if we missed the tram, we’d drive him to Duluth. It was no big trouble for us – we didn’t have any plans for the night, we love to drive, and it gave us more time with Mar.

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Packing up on our last day in Cincinnati.

Today: cleaning the apartment, Casper is off doing errands, then we leave. Tonight.

Casper is dropping off a 1957 Encyclopedia Britannica set (found in a church basement) at his church – the Church of Our Savior on Hollister here in Cincinnati. He loves Anglican mass and the female priest at this place in particular. The Pearl was in the shop over Easter and Casper walked the two miles to church Friday, Saturday and Sunday that week. He always comes home so calm, centered and optimistic. He met a guy there who is willing to take the encyclopedias.

Salem hiding from all the commotion.

Our roommates from our first house here in Cincinnati, Alex (music major, 27) and John (libertarian, 24) came over for a goodbye dinner last night and it went incredibly well. They brought forks (we didn’t have any) and Casper made this incredible meal: Roman meatballs with oats topped with yogurt; chicken legs; Spanish saffron rice with peas; and stir fried bell peppers. We drank water from old peppercini jars and sat on big pillows (found on a curb last fall) around a small table with a sparkly tablecloth. We held the plates on our laps and served ourselves from the big pots of foot on the table. Somehow, the conversation just took care of itself.

My dream for this trip is to feel like I belong in this world and also to spend lots and lots of time doing “nothing”: sewing, drawing, painting, stretching, singing, playing guitar, lying in the sun, swimming in rivers, building forts, petting Salem, reading books, journaling, dancing.

Here’s to the road.

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