Well, mostly just ONE regional difference really. Let’s talk Peppers! Chili Peppers.
I like to eat and I like to cook but I’m not a gourmet. By my age I have had enough time to develop distinct likes and dislikes and to hone my tastebuds, and taste a lot of foods but I have never been huge on categorizing things. As a photographer that was always a pain — because part of my business dealt with categorized images and I always had a hard time deciding what categories fit which images. So, when I go to the store I usually want something fairly generic: Gorgonzola (I prefer Sartori Dolcina but I’ll eat a lot of different Gorgonzolas), or beef (to be quite frank I shop price as much or more than cut — if the price is right I’ll figure out what I want to make with that piece of animal protein), or flour (bread or all purpose or whole wheat — beyond that I don’t much care about brands or details.
I like my spices and herbs. I have two shelves of them in our RV — even with limited space. I ran out of Cayenne the other day and I wanted to replace it.
Imagine my surprise when this Midwestern boy who shopped at a lot of ordinary grocery stores (not the high priced ones, not the exclusive ones) went down the spice aisle and couldn’t find CAYENNE. Whoa! What Happened? Don’t people like hot food out here? Of course they do, but it would appear that their tastes are a little more refined than the stores I’m used to.
I’m getting used to different choices. I’m getting accustomed to limited choices. It seems, however that limited and different aren’t always the same.
I’m looking forward to the growing season. I can’t wait to see what the two sort-of-nearby farmers markets have to offer. I’m curious to see how the choices may vary from what we had in Milwaukee. (to say nothing of being interested in EATING them)
You might like: Cayenne Dianne’s Red Hot Chili Big List of Peppers
On a very different regional difference subject let’s talk roads and winter. In Wisconsin we used salt. A LOT of salt. Most of Wisconsin has not yet seen the folly of salt on the roads. Other states even further East that have used salt longer than Wisconsin have had to purchase private wells contaminated with salt, municipalities have had to drill new wells because of contamination, rivers have been polluted and… well… salt on roads is a solution that’s as bad as the problem. Wisconsin is testing a new product: the residual water from cheese manufacturing which is basically a brine waste product.
Oregon doesn’t use salt (though there is a pilot project at the CA/OR and OR/ID border. Washington either it seems. The do put some chemical that’s supposed to act as an antifreeze but primarily what they DO use is sand/crushed volcanic rock. It’s not a solution that makes your cars look clean in winter. All that sand makes vehicles look pretty grim. And it’s a good reason for the F.S. to have their own spray booth for washing motor vehicles (Except for the fact that ours doesn’t work).
Momma Nature sent us a surprise today — snow at sea level — which was turning to sleet/ice. The Forest Service shut down early — we were out of the office by 10:30. And we called all our volunteers and told them to hunker down and stay safe. By the time we left there was no snow on the ground; enough ice to send one of our staffers heels over head on the way down the office steps; and forecasts of 1″-3″ of snow on the Coast which is pretty unusual.
As we headed home there was no traffic. I saw 5 vehicles in our 13 mile drive (going both directions). Most of the distance looked like wet pavement until we got about 2 miles from home and then we had glare ice a good 1/4″ thick on both lanes of US 101 for about 1/2 mile. It wasn’t anything too exciting. We lost traction for a second or two as we started slowing but we’ve seen a lot worse in our previous life in WI.
So, we’re home today, early. I brought some work home — I might do some keyboarding and then again I might not. The boss was adamant that we not make the stop in Eel Creek we had planned — I had business I wanted to talk ver with our hosts there. So, I listened and did what I was told. There’s always tomorrow.
There have been other differences that haven’t hit the news-to-be-talked-about threshold. There will be more worthy of a note. But for today, that’s all that I have in my craw, so thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.