by J. A. Buxton
Please help me find them.
Write about a meal. Describe the food. Take us to that special place where you once ate something delicious, awful or . . .
Provide detail – smells, textures, aromas. Sensory it up
There is a restaurant meal I remember fondly from childhood. I’ve even posted online asking for the recipe or where I could again get that meal. No luck yet, but lots of responses from people who also enjoyed that meal.
To find out which food has haunted this 70-year-old woman for decades, picture a family consisting of parents with three young daughters exhausted from shopping in Worcester and heading home. On the way, Mum often tells Dad, “Allan, let’s stop at Howard Johnson’s for dinner. I’m too pooped to cook tonight.” Our evening meals on those days would either be at HoJo or a Friendly restaurant half way back to West Brookfield, MA.
As I follow my parents and older sisters into the HoJo restaurant, I already know what I’m going to order. In fact, Mum no longer hands me a menu. After what seems too long a wait, my meal finally arrives. The waitress sees my excitement, and she puts the plate in front of me before serving the rest of my family. She’s brought my usual two chicken croquets, mashed potatoes, peas, a roll with butter, and a large glass of milk.
Now, I realize that meal doesn’t sound special to you, but I still can almost taste every bite. The delicious aroma rising from the croquets make up for the two cones tasting just a bit dry. For some reason they never seemed to arrive with enough white gravy poured over them. The pile of potatoes I think were whipped and not mashed, and the peas were the color of those that always came out of a can. The hard roll had only one small pat of butter, but I think that cold glass placed on the right side of my plate began my lifelong addiction to milk. I don’t use the term addiction lightly as two doctors over the years have told me I am addicted to it.
Anyway, I digress. If anyone here knows where there is a Howard Johnson Restaurant near northern California, or where I can order those particular chicken croquets through the mail, I will be forever grateful to you.
Microsoft Word count = 356
"The Writer's Cramp" daily entry for 06/04/12