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For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes.When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually.Then fill in the boxes of this linky tool to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
I arrived in San Antonio hungry.After disembarking, I followed the “Baggage Claim” signs down long halls and around a corner, past a collection of restaurants, and through a glass door to descend stairs that led me to the carousel where I reunited with my black suitcase.My friends were to arrive little by little within the next hour or so. Because I was first and because I was hungry, I decided to grab some food.I returned the way I came, climbing the stairs, but at the top stood a sign stating I was forbidden to enter the door through which I had come. Just on the other side? Those restaurants I passed. All kinds. All just out of reach.The San Antonio airport spit me out and expected me to forage elsewhere for sustenance. I stood for a moment in front of security, looking around for some solution, wondering what to do. An airport employee noticed.”Can I help you find something?””Yes, food,” I said. “As soon as I went through the doors to get to baggage claim, I couldn’t get back in to eat. I can see the restaurants—they’re just on the other side of the door. I can smell them. But I can’t go in.”He shook his head sympathetically. “I know. It’s a bad design.””There’s no place to eat, then? I mean, in the airport? I’m waiting for friends and would like to grab some lunch.”He shook his head again. “There’s a Starbucks way down there,” he pointed, “and a snack place downstairs. You might find something there.””I saw that,” I said.”Does it have anything?””It’s got chips. I guess that’s something.”He grinned. “Chips’ll tide you over.”I returned to baggage claim and passed the snack place, briefly considering the selection of chips and nuts before moving along to the benches where I waited. I figured I could talk my friends into swinging by a fast food restaurant, even if they had already eaten.I enjoyed the time alone, relaxing. Then, my friends began to arrive: Charity, Marcus, Gordon, Tina and Kelly; Jennifer, Cheryl, David and Dan; L.L., Christine, Dena, Sam, Claire and Laura.Immediately, laughter. Hugs, chatter, and laughter.We piled our bags and ourselves into vans and kept laughing. Within a few miles, we were at a long table at the Alamo Cafe. Still laughing. And, gratefully, eating. Eating and laughing; laughing and eating. So satisfying.After lunch, the vans ferried us to Laity Lodge for the Writer’s Retreat.At the camp, more friends: Sandra, Bradley, Linda, Lyla, Sandra, Patricia, Kathy, Megan, Diana, Cameron. And Nancy. And more laughter.At the evening gathering, the Laity Lodge staff told us to listen for the bell. The bell could be gathering us to something such as morning worship; but most of the time, we should head to the dining hall for a meal.The bell rang often. Three times a day we headed to the dining hall to eat and laugh.We ate so much and laughed so much, I didn’t remember to take pictures of food to share with you.Except this.Laity Lodge Christmas Cookies, which Cheryl Smith has written about at length.Last month’s Community Writing Project for The High Calling was about laughter. Reading Deidra’s introduction left me melancholy because I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed hard enough to write about it. I didn’t participate.Little did I know that a short time later, just days after the laughter post went live at The High Calling, I would be laughing so hard that my cheeks felt sore. I didn’t laugh just once. People kept me laughing, manifesting to varying degrees as giggles, chuckles and guffaws.Strangely, as I glance through the photos taken of me by friends, I don’t see many shots that show me laughing. Maybe one or two.But in my sets, I have plenty of evidence that my friends laughed.All that laughter and all that food filled a part of me that had been sort of hollow and undernourished.I arrived in San Antonio hungry.I left San Antonio full.
The Laity Lodge cookbook, A Taste of Laity Lodge, calls those cookies “Almond Bars.” Though Cheryl needed them for Christmas, they can be enjoyed any day of the year.Here’s the recipe, straight from the book:
- 1 box graham crackers
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- sliced almonds
DirectionsLine 2 jelly roll pans with foil. Lay graham crackers (single layer) over foil. Boil sugar and butter for 1 minutes. Pour over crackers. Top with sliced almonds. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. (Mary Jane Scott)Credits: Photos copyright 2011 by Ann Kroeker.
April@The 21st Century Housewife says
Thank you for sharing all the laughter you enjoyed, and also for the delicious recipe!
I tried to explain why we were laughing so much, but it was hard. So much humor is situational, and that was often the case. Somebody said a recurring joke at just the right time, and we exploded in laughter again. and again. and again.
Ahhh….those cookies! And the laughter. Sweetness all around.
Nancy, I just added you to the long list–I wrote this late at night, just before snapping shut my laptop to fall asleep. I had your photo, but not your name. You are added, in a sentence fragment all your own! Love and hugs!
Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z says
Your pictures are lovely. Thanks for hosting the linky. I linked a chocolate chip gluten free pumpkin tart that is delicious ( can be made gluten free or not)
Thanks for your note, Judee. Regarding the photos? I had good material to work with! 🙂
I’m heading over to check out the tart. I love pumpkin, and I love chocolate chip!
Sheila Seiler Lagrand says
I could hear you all laughing, giggling, chortling–even a guffaw or two–clear out here in California!
It was sweet, sweet music.
But I couldn’t smell the cookies. So now I must bake some. Thank you for this. All of it.
Music to soothe my soul.
The cookies are so easy and tasty–perhaps someday we can all make them the same day and eat in unison? Crazy, but it would be fun to share that sensory experience.
Barb @ A Life in Balance says
I haven’t posted here in awhile. I’m glad I came back and read your post. It felt comfortable being here.
I’m so glad you came, Barb! Your comment is a huge treat to read. I want you to feel comfortable with me and the readers who slip in. You are always welcome here.
Cheryl Smith says
Me too, on both counts.
L.L. Barkat says
Aw. That makes me sad about the laughter. It’s what can keep us alive. Hey, I think I saw you laughing one afternoon, on a balcony above the Frio. Maybe it was in the sitting-still that you were able to begin 🙂
Ann Kroeker says
You certainly made me giggle. 🙂 When I look at the collection of photos people took at the retreat, I couldn’t find many of me laughing. I know, though, that I laughed. Just no evidence…only your witness and that of others. Hugs!
Megan Willome says
Awww, your post on laughter made me cry! Maybe it was calling me your friend. Yep. That was it. Crying again.
Megan Willome is my friend! Yay!
Sandra Heska King says
Almond bars! No wonder I couldn’t find the recipe in the cookbook I linked to Cheryl’s site.
I so love these photos!
And next year, I’m going to tape laughter. Especially L.L.’s so I can come back home and listen. 😀
I had to flip through and look at every page to find it, Sandra! And the photos, oh, how they make me smile.
Taping the laughter? Great idea! L.L.’s is so distinctive, just hearing her makes me laugh with delight!
Sandra Heska King says
So did you find that chicken pasta bowl we had? I ate and ate, even after I was full. Well, I did that at a lot of meals. I made the cranberry glazed chicken the other night with breasts and thighs. Yummo.
Cheryl has the photo, but my computer wouldn’t recognize the file. I have to figure out what I did wrong during the import! Yes, that was sooooo good. And I just fixed something different with some chicken tonight. Wish I’d thought of the cranberry glaze!
Hazel I. Moon says
Laughter is the best medicine for a hollow spot. I am so happy that you were well fed and well watered too with joy!
Thank you, Hazel.
Yes Ann, there was so much laughter. It just sort of bubbled around all over the place.
Whenever we arrive back home in San Antonio after a trip, we head to Alamo Cafe. There just isn’t any place quite like it. Didn’t you just love the sky ceiling?
I’ve never been to Alamo Cafe–yes, the ceiling was beautiful! Although, I loved the faces of friends most of all. 🙂
Lyla Lindquist says
You laughed. We all did. But I especially remember you laughing because I liked the sound of it so much.
Ah, this makes me grin.
Diana Trautwein says
I love this post, Ann! My biggest surprise of the weekend? To see how beautifully animated you are live, and in person! This post begins to put words to that truth. Your writing is somehow ‘quieter’ than you are in person – I love it and read it as often as you post, but it was just delightful to see you laughing and gesturing – the whole nine yards. Thanks for your contributions to my own rich experience at the Frio.
I’m so glad we met–as for my writing, I wonder if I should start using more exclamation points? Would that help the reader get an idea of my animation?
Charity Singleton says
Ann – And to laugh all the way home with you, that was a gift indeed! Thanks for bringing so much joy to so many of us.