Having been a hardcore supporter of the convenience store lifestyle in college, the title of the book Mini Mart a la Carte appealed to me right off the bat! The word "mini mart" instantly sends me reminiscing upon days spent driving around Knox County with a cute blues-organ-and-harmonica player, his recently broken foot and crutch sticking out the window, trying to locate a Pilot gas station where he could stock up on American Spirits and I could refill my ever empty 99 cent Icee Big Gulp (the Icee Corporation lost so much money on me and that cup that summer). While the title sounds a lot like a gift book an aunt would give you for graduation, it's actually a pretty funny, tongue-firmly-in-cheek (I hope?) guide to haute cuisine a la the industrial Cuisinart sandwich toaster next to the rotating weenie display at your local 7-Eleven.
Anything! Is! Possible!
|Gallatin Goodwill, 99 cents. I bought this and a ceramic, roaring bear's head. Good haul.|
I remember in the Townes van Zandt documentary Be Here to Love Me, TvZ's son (of TvZ himself?) mentioned his family shopping exclusively at convenience stores throughout his childhood. While I was taken aback at first, the practicality of it slowly dawned on me.Think about, if you were really set your mind to it, how many things you can buy at a convenience store that would save you a trip to the anxiety-inducing mega-grocery-store closest your home. Eggs. Milk. Bread. American Singles.Frozen dinners. Besides the standard fare of slushees and Mars bars, there's a world of culinary opportunities awaiting you in those bite-sized aisles. Authors Christopher Rouser and Victoria Traug offer up wryly titled recipes ("New England Spam Chowder", "Tuna Sasserole", and my personal favorite, "Banana Nicole Smith") that use equipment and ingredients found solely within the confines of your local stop-and-go. Wanna see some pics? You know you're deadly curious by now.
|"Congealed" is the word that comes to mind...|
The "Tooth Grinder" is a submarine sandwich made of one packet mayo, 1 packet mustard, 1 hot dog bun, assorted beef jerky sticks, American cheese, FUNYUNS (really? REALLY?), and optional Italian dressing. Again, I am reminded of wing ding foods made for me by other people's parents on playdates in the mid 90's...you know that mistrustful feeling you had as a child when a strange looking plate of (usually cheese laden) food was placed in front of you and you didn't want to be rude, but you also didn't want to ingest items not-prepared-by-your-own-mom? This would be, like, the KING of those kind of foods. "Try it! You'll like it!" ....Or will you! I think that also may be a Diet Rite in the background....the "cold drink" of choice of either of my diabetic maternal grandparents. "Go get me a cold drink in yonder!" translates to "Can you bring me a Diet Rite from the refrigerator?"
|Turn a brighter....shade of pink....|