Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've Heard of Blood Sausage Before {tales from the road}

Maple syrup is made by cooking the sap of a maple tree until it thickens.  {Speaking of which, look what was on my desk when I got to work today!}

Blood sausage is made by cooking blood until it thickens.

I'll wait a moment while you fight off your gag reflex...

The idea of it turns my stomach.  I know there is a thing about using every part of the animal and, in so doing, you honor it for it's sacrifice...and aren't we noble and kind little humans as we consume the blood of a lesser species!!??!! 

I am a vampire lover.  I'm planning an Anne Rice tour of New Orleans some time in the future.  I like my steak rare.  But don't ever take congealed blood and pour it into a skinny sleeve and serve it to me! Not ever! Not even with sauerkraut!

There are just some things that should never be put in your body.  And to you, my friends, heed this wise advice - never, ever, EVER stop for lunch at a gas station.


Does that look like an Applebee's to you?  Yes?  Then you're probably on a road trip!

I planned our trip really well.  Except for a few of our on-the-road' meals.  We were lucky most of the time - finding easy and reasonable stops - but luck has a way of running out.  

And ours did.

It was a long stretch of highway taking us from Maryland to Pennsylvania on our second last day of travel.  The drive way pretty.  The kids were occupied.  Our snack plan supplies had been reduced to the lame remains of pretzels and stale popcorn. 

Two o'clock rolled around.  Everyone was hungry.

And we needed gas.

How convenient.

Perhaps warning signals should have sounded in our heads when we walked through the door of the gas station shop to find the 'cook' seated at one of two tables with some old men playing scratch tickets, or when we realized the 'computer lab' in the far corner was a weird online gambling booth, or when our shoes were sticking to the cracked and broken floor tiles... But when kids are hungry they only allot you so much grace and we knew ours was close to running out.  And we didn't know how far away the nearest town with familiar food was.  We ordered the hotdogs.

The menu board said 'Hotdogs'. The 'cook' called them 'Hotdogs'.  The kids were like, 'Yes! Hotdogs!'

We're not so fancy that we can't enjoy a hotdog but one look at them and I didn't know what they should have been called.

It was unfair, how they didn't have them showcased in a heated case with a rolling bottom, grease bubbling beneath the glowing lamp, making you think of New York.  It was unfair that we couldn't see the 'cook' coax them from their alien space pods wrappers to get a sense of what we were in for {and to assure us she hadn't slipped out back to saw the fat fingers off the escaped prisoners they kept locked up in the shed}.  It was unfair that we handed over that hard-earned expensive American money before getting a peek at the merchandise...

I peeled back the foil wrapper and steam billowed out along with the aggressive smell of strange spices, old oil and no name ketchup.  The bun was soft and fresh.  The meat was not. 

This hotdog was red.  RED.  Like primary finger-paint red.  Like those awful erasers they gave us in elementary school that left behind chunks of themselves on a spelling test like the flesh of a molting zombie.  Red.  Deep, dark, gruesome red.  

Like blood sausage.

"Tastes fine to me," Zander told us, eating his in three bites - true teenager fashion - and grinning with a spot of ketchup on his chin.

It did not taste fine.  It tasted weird.  It tasted like REDRUM in The Shining.  It tasted like something you'd find in a college dorm stuck to the inside of a lampshade, three days after the party that broke all the toilets...

It was not food.

It couldn't have been.

And though we survived without illness or tragedy or the tortured cries of finger-farm prisoners echoing through our nightmares, I'm quite convinced that - almost two weeks later - it is still alive, crawling around in my belly, waiting for Lankester Merrin to come and exorcise it to the dark abyss.

Again I say - and please heed my advice - never, ever, EVER, EVER stop for lunch at a gas station!





4 comments :

  1. How did you ascertain what it was? And how did you not promptly vomit, expelling it from your body? And how did you NOT risk your life by having a serious discussion with the cook?

    I'm feeling more than a little nauseous, and I only read about it. I really hope you don't die. I like you. I like reading your blog. I want to read your book. I'm going to pray for you. NOW!

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    1. Ha! I honestly don't know how I kept it down - or how I even managed to take a bite of it...and that cook was way bigger than me so I wasn't about to take that on! At least it made a good (albeit gross) story for me to share ;)

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  2. Oh! That does not sound at all appetizing. I've stopped at more than my share of 'greasy spoons' (as my sister calls them) over the years. They are my dad's favorite and only places he will stop to eat. There have been some adventures in cuisine that are better left forgotten.

    I'm glad you all survived.

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    Replies
    1. 'Adventures in Cuisine' - I love that!!! ;)

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