Monday, January 02, 2006

Just like old times

After a hard workout, nothing hits the spot like Hamburger Helper.

When I lived in Tucson we ate, and I was skinny. I lived in a dorm for two years, and my stomach needed to adjust to my new lifestyle. We had very small refrigerators and cooking in a communal kitchen was a little too cumbersome. But on occassion Gill, Meredith, Jay, and I would share a meal like mac and cheese, egg sandwiches, and grilled cheese. And sometimes we would enjoy three cheese Hamburger Helper.

I miss my Tucson days terribly. It was hard, but I loved it.

When I first arrived at U of A, my roommate was a larger lady, and since we both had a meal plan most of our meals consisted of dominoes delivery. We lived in a dorm built into the football stadium, and we were a little removed from the center of campus. Because of that, we didn't eat in the student union so much. We would go on occassion... the days when our student union had a movie theatre, and we could watch Swingers or Say Anything for $2.

The closest "dining hall" was at the back of the stadium called the Scoreboard. For the most part I would eat grilled cheese and if I woke up early enough for breakfast I would grab a breakfast burrito. We would do our grocery shopping across the street at the Circle K because none of us had a car. We would get delivery a lot. One time we ordered Chinese food and our delivery guy who was traveling by bike got hit by a car. We would also order from a sandwich place (what was it called? it was north of camus) and they would deliver pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream too. They eventually closed.

It didn't take us long to master the bus routes. We would catch the 15 bus to the mall on weekends. We became a little too confident when we boarded a bus that was heading south instead of to the Tucson mall so we took a little detour through the ghetto. Eating at the food court was a special treat. Sometimes I would have a corndog, sometimes I would have a taco salad, and I had my first encounter with chick-fil-a. Why don't we have those here?

If we felt like being fancy, Meredith, Melissa, and I would have a date night. We would get dressed up, put on tiaras, and make our way to Macayos. On Easter, it snowed. A bunch of us bundled up and walked all the way to 4th ave to eat at Bison Witches. Since then, my favorite dish has been the half soup half sandwich with the Wisconson cheese soup and the Cally, minus the turkey, plus bacon. On a good night, we would walk to University Blvd and get breadsticks from Geronimo's and a chicken sandwich. One particular evening we each ordered the chicken sandwich, but the server understood it as just one sandwich. And another night there, Brian passed Meredith's number to "the hot guy."

During the second half of my first year, I became close to Mere and "Big Mere." We would cook each other dinner which was a carb-delight. Farmhouse pasta in a box (or sometimes Lipton or other pastas found in a box) and potatoes with salt and pepper. There were also taco nights and one morning Lizzie cooked us a grand feast.

Our second year, Gill moved in to the second floor. Our carb dinners continued, and we added pancakes and cornbread muffins to the list. We even had a dorm-wide cookie night and ate cookies for dinner. I made cookies in the shape of the Batman symbol and a cookie in the shape of a "C", and when it was baked it ended up looking like a butt. Hey, it's not every night you bake cookies with Jason Gardener. It was the night of the imfamous, "Check this out, can you pass the sprinkles?"

When we moved off campus, I brought my little honda to Arizona and we were able to explore more culinary delights. The taste of old pueblo is comfort food to me. And although there are more restaurants here than I will ever know what to do with, nothing would ever beat the taste of a Lady Di from Frog and Firkin, or pepperoni rolls from Old Chicago, anything from Firecraker, and the chocolate enchiladas from Macayos... or did we decide that Garcia's (right name?) was better?

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