October 1, 2018
Well, today was a travel day. We had another scrumptious breakfast at Burrowing Owl and hit the road for our six hour drive home – over sepia colored hills and hypnotic dales under the weak October sun. Yo – it’s October!! It’s October 1st today!!! Eventually we encountered rain on Stevens Pass (named after John Frank Stevens who discovered it, an American engineer who built the Great Northern Railway in the United States and was chief engineer – hired by Theodore Roosevelt – on the Panama Canal between 1905 and 1907!)! We stopped at Zeke’s, a favorite after skiing spot, for a late lunch – a double burger and chocolate milkshake for Billfish and a fried egg sandwich on Texas toast for me, with a side of resolutions to leave overindulgence behind tomorrow and to regain some health girded discipline once more.
I had some time to let thoughts wander, dance, and replay and found myself reflecting on our Friday night dinner at Miradoro. (Yes I know – you must be thinking, “is it all about the food??!?!”). Chef Jeff Van Geest treated us to a dish of burrata surrounded by an assortment of delicious, locally foraged mushrooms – with a pine cone honey!! Billy D and I thought of Euell Gibbons, who was famed in Grape-nuts cereal commercials in the 70’s – during which time I was in junior high and high school and still busting out of the food scene of my younger years with its Midwestern (Minnesotan) constraints. Other than the awesome plate of raw radishes, rutabaga, turnips, celery and carrots making their appearance at each “supper” of my youth, my vegetables (asparagus, beans and corn) were canned, lettuce was iceberg and cheese was yellow and processed. Canned asparagus tastes NOTHING like fresh and My, were my eyes and tastebuds opened up when I got out on my own and began and continued to learn, espouse and embrace a whole foods, “healthy” eating focus.
Back to Euell – we laughed at his edible pine tree comments then, but thinking upon that – upon Friday’s dinner, about the usual choices I make today and how we have raised our kiddos, upon deriving benefit and nutrition from nature, somehow Euell gained an elevated status in my mind and heart. Then we “googled” him. This man is The DUDE!!! What a life!!! They should make a movie about this guy!!! I really feel lazy to constantly steal facts from other hard working resourcers, so I should really just direct you to Wikipedia on Mr Gibbons, but I am going to throw a few tidbits out here (aka quote Wikipedia).
His father was a drifter and as part of a homesteading family of three siblings and his mom in New Mexico, Euell began foraging for local plants and berries to supplement the family diet. “After leaving home at 15, he drifted throughout the Southwest, finding work as a dairyman, carpenter, trapper, gold panner and cowboy.” Ultimately he began writing Communist Party leaflets in California, married, settled in Seattle and worked as a carpenter, surveyor and boatbuilder. “After Russia invaded Poland in 1939, however, he renounced Communism and spent most of World War II in Hawaii, building and repairing boats for the Navy. His first marriage, Gibbons recalled, became a ‘casualty of the war’, and in the postwar years he chose the life of a beachcomber on the Hawaiian Islands.
After entering the University of Hawaii as a 36 year old freshman, Gibbons majored in anthropology and won the university’s creative-writing prize. In 1948 he married Freda Fryer, a teacher, and both decided to join the Society of Friends (the Quakers) stating, ‘I became a Quaker because it was the only group I could join without pretending to beliefs that I didn’t have or concealing beliefs that I did have.’ The couple relocated to the mainland in 1953, where (after a failed attempt to found a cooperative agricultural community in Indiana) Gibbons became a staff member at Pendle Hill Quaker Center near Philadelphia, cooking breakfast for everyone every day.”
Euell later wrote “Stalking The Wild Asparagus”, “Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop” and “Stalking The Healthful Herbs”. Read more about Euell Gibbons on Wikipedia and see his Grape-nuts commercial on YouTube.
All I have to say is – He is a Renewed Hero of mine and He ROCKS!! And in closing, what he said of Grape-nuts: “reminds me of wild hickory nuts.”