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The Meal I’ll Never Forget

This Week’s Writing Prompt

One of the best parts of traveling is trying new restaurants and foods. Amanda shared with me about her family’s June trip to Chicago. Half of their itinerary involved food items and restaurants her family considered must-dos. Amanda tells the story:

“One non-negotiable was trying a Chicago-style hot dog, which is loaded with neon-green relish, tomato slices, onions, yellow mustard, celery salt, and a pickle spear, all on a poppy seed roll. It was an interesting combination that proved to be quite delicious.

“Since I’d never eaten a hotdog

‘draggedt hrough the garden’ as the locals say, any mention of a Chicago hotdog today brings back memories of that night. It was mid-June, but my husband, two kids, and I were freezing. The bright lights of Wrigley Field illuminated a constant drizzle as we cheered on the Cubs in their defeat of the White Sox.

“Our plastic ponchos proved inadequate, though, leaving our clothes damp and our bones chilled. We alternated bites of the iconic hotdogs with cheers for the Cubs, especially when catcher Willson Contreras hit a grand slam. I tried to explain to my son and daughter what a big deal a grand slam is in major league baseball.

“Afterward, on the subway back to our

hotel on State Street, my daughter held her stomach and closed her eyes, saying she felt sick. I prayed she wouldn’t vomit all over the baseball fans crammed into the train. We wondered if that mysterious, green relish was to blame.”

What about you? Describe a memorable meal or food item from a vacation or trip and the story surrounding it. Use some of these prompts to help you:

  • What did you eat?
  • How did the food taste and smell?
  • Where were you? Detail your surroundings.
  • What else was happening around you as you ate?
  • What was the mood or atmosphere? Festive? Casual and relaxed? Formal and serious?
  • Who else was with you?
  • Was this meal or food item a positive or negative experience?

Share your response in the comments section below.

All posts in response to our writing prompts in August will be entered into our drawing to win a free online coaching video—that’s a $20 value!


    Posted August 21, 2019 at 11:49 am

    My husband Jay and I were traveling with two Chinese colleagues, Bin Bin Fu and Jinxing Chou, and 13 college students in China for three weeks. One day we left the students with Jinxing and had dinner with Bin Bin’s parents in Beijing at their favorite Peking Duck restaurant. They only spoke Chinese and Russian so BinBin had to translate then entire meal. It was most delightful and the food was fabulous. But the meal I remember the most was in Sudhou, the city Jinxing grew up. We were invited to have tea and then lunch with his mother, cousins and Uncle. We ate at a very fancy restaurant where their specialty was goose. We sat at a round table and fortunately for us everyone spoke English. Jay sat next to the uncle and they had a wonderful conversation as he had traveled to the US and wanted to share his experiences. The goose was very tasty. There was something strange on the plate. Jinxing explained that it was a delicacy in China. I put the object into my mouth and started to chew. After sometime of chewing I had still not broken it down. It had no taste either. I looked around to make sure no one watching and I slipped it out of my mouth onto a napkin. Then I dropped it into my purse. Later I learned it was goose feet. The Chinese are known for using every part of an animal or fowl for food. After I told them what I had done, both Bin Bin and Jinxing teased me about it during the rest of the trip. I don’t know if the rest of the people ate their or not. I will never know. It is a meal I will never forget.

  • Phyllis Sommerman
    Posted August 23, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Under a beautiful blue sky in a crisp 68 degrees, a baby downy woodpecker was learning to eat, and the nuthatches had arrived to take note. I woke this morning with the yearning to write! I love writing but decide to give a few crumbs of my time to God, and then walk down the country road before I write. On the way in the driveway from my walk, I notice the Swiss chard and beet greens in the garden. I’d better pick some before they bake from the sun. I pruned the tomato plants, cutting off the suckers hoping to find bigger tomatoes on the vine in time and made several trips to the compost pile, conveniently half-way to the forest behind the house. I made deviled eggs and sandwiches for lunch and set that aside, looking for Swiss Chard recipes. I found a great one – Swiss Chard and Potato Frittata, with cheese melted on top. Just what a farm boy would love.
    In fine print, I read that after washing the Swiss chard several times, all four-hundred leaves I picked had to be stripped of the center stem, and the leaves chopped into a million tiny flecks of green. Larry stepped in the door. “Before serving lunch would you bring me my camera? Do you want to see what I brought home?” That grin was a little suspicious; I went for the dangling carrot. He had, in his gloved hand, a mummified cat found in the neighbor’s shed under years of ‘stuff’ piled on it. Looking for something for the neighbor, he found the mummy at the bottom of a big box of rags in the back corner of the shed. It was gross! The flat, stiff, morbid cat cut my appetite to zero. He ate lunch on the porch alone while I retreated to the kitchen.
    The kitchen is hot. The window air conditioner down the hall is for special occasions, and a kitchen temperature of 87 was not one of them. Larry called out “Thanks for lunch; I’m going out with the tractor to collect boulders.” A worthy project for a man with time on his hands. Meanwhile … saute onions until brown, six to eight minutes; saute potatoes until brown, six to eight minutes; add chopped Swiss chard and cook another six to eight minutes. In a separate bowl combine eggs, egg whites and salt, and pepper. Whip until frothy. Yes, I too was whipped and frothy by now. Add the onions, potatoes and Swiss chard to the egg mixture. Pour into preheated cast iron pan. Cook, covered for three to five minutes until set. Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded Cheddar cheese over the top and set under broiler for three to five minutes.
    By now I have dirtied every colander and cutting board we own, two pots, one fry pan, several bowls, whisks, and still have all the breakfast and lunch dishes all on the counter to wash. Larry thinks it’s more fun to wash dishes together than use the dishwasher, and I agree when I’m not so hot, whipped and frothy. Not-so-together, while washing and washing the dishes, the timer went off, and I pulled the piece de resistance from the oven. It was beautiful!
    I ate my sandwich, alone, and was patting myself on the back for effort when I heard a crackling sound on the stove and thought, oh, it’s crisping up so nice, this is wonderful. Three dishpans later – still a crackling sound and now a funny smell. You won’t believe this. I had pulled the cast-iron masterpiece from the oven, set it on the potholder on the burner to protect the smooth-top stove, but I never turned off the burner. Now the potholder is crisping up nicely and about to catch on fire, the crust of my masterpiece is black, and I’m so hot!
    Before Larry returns, I placed the potholder in the garbage and took the whole bag out to the garage. He’ll never miss it. I turned on the fan to dispel the fragrance of burning pot holders and extra crispy frittata. It’s now 3:00 and almost time to start dinner.
    Where did I lose my focus? Maybe a few crumbs of my time is not enough to keep God in control. I wanted to write. If I had done that, the day would have progressed quite differently, maybe even as much fun as boulder hunting.

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