I have never been a trendsetter, but I used to read about them. Then I would follow some of them in fashions, furnishings and even paint colors. Remember lime green and harvest gold appliances? Remember miniskirts, bell-bottoms and tie-dyed everything? What about shag carpeting, the kind that you raked rather than vacuumed?
No longer young and impressionable, my choices are more classic now. For instance, most of my clothes are black, which supposedly is a slimming color and easy to accessorize. My furnishings are often antique, which means real wood and more attention to detail. Sadly, I am not a detail-orientated person. When we recently purchased a newer car, I bragged to my sister, Julie that it had real leather heated seats! She asked me what color they were, and I said I didn’t know. She laughed and asked how long we’d had the car. “Two weeks,” I replied. Then she teasingly asked me how many seats it had. Four was the correct answer. Then she inquired about the number of tires. Four was again the correct answer. I do keep track of some details! I can tell a convertible from a station wagon.
As I age (gracefully) I have become more introspective and definitely (or probably) less shallow. I will now admit that I find ruts comforting rather than frustrating. I am a coupon-clipping, country bumpkin from a fly-over state. I will never be sophisticated or dignified. I have never even drunk a cup of Starbucks coffee! Hard to believe since there are 25,000 in 75 countries, with another 12,000 due by 2021. Well, they don’t have one in Houston, Minn., yet. Plus, I buy my coffee in the round red three-pound can. I have drunk flavored coffee in a real coffee shop, and I loiter in the coffee aisle at the store smelling the beans. I even have my own hand-crank coffee grinder hanging on the wall by my pantry. It is an antique. My husband has a few wooden antique ones in his collection. We are not barbarians. We are just frugal.
Imagine my surprise when I read a newspaper column written by George Will about “The Mill” in San Francisco that sells a single slice of artisanal bread for $4.00! I hope the butter is included. I can buy a whole loaf of organic, artisanal bread in the “fly-over area” for that price. We midwesterners were taught to value common sense over monetary status and to save for a “rainy day.” Many people in this area bake their own bread, which is totally delicious and has the added bonus of a delicious aroma.
If you own a very expensive luxury car; don’t expect me to recognize it except by color or whether it is a convertible or a station wagon. Call me a curmudgeon! I guess one consolation is that everything is recycled, from movies to fashions. How many sequels or prequels do we have to see? Crushed velvet is back. Macramé is back. Dried flower arrangements are back. House plants are back just as big as they were in the 60s. Personally, house plants never left my house, although I did stop doing macramé.
Trends for 2017, according to the internet, include more turmeric, which is a spice resembling ginger; dark chocolate, hand pulled noodles, Thai coconut soup, goat meat and rabbit. Wow, bunny butchering! Maybe squirrel will make a comeback. I ate a lot of that as a kid at the Firemen’s Squirrel Feed in Preston. I guess anything can be delicious if it is cooked the right way. Some things may have to become an acquired taste, like crickets which when ground up have a nutty flavor and are full of protein, or so magazine writers tell me.
If you were expecting an exotic recipe, I apologize. Remember, I am in a rut!
Baked Taco Chicken Fingers
Mix 1 packet of taco seasoning mix, 1/4 cup cornmeal, and 2 tbsp. of flour. Moisten 2 lb. chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips, with water. Coat with seasoning mixture. Place 1 inch apart on a foil-lined large baking sheet sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Spray chicken lightly with the cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serves 8.