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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.