As a kid growing up in SE Idaho going out to eat was a rare treat! Other than an occasional hamburger and a root beer float at the one of the local “drive ins” as they were called back in the day, our family typically dined out only when travelling or for very special family events.
More often than not when travelling we ate at truck stops. Call it a rivalry of sorts but truck stops went to great lengths to entice drivers to stop at their establishments and one of the ways they did that was by having great food. A parallel today would be the food buffets at casinos. Regardless of the business, good food at a reasonable price will get folks in the door, which the truck stops hoped would result in additional sales of fuel and tires. In the case of casinos their expectation is the customer will gamble as well.
Having just spent two months on the road I can tell you there are very few truck stops left that have sit down restuarants anymore. Anyway…the days when truck stops and country diners were good places to eat out have pretty much gone the same way as the manual typewriter.
In my life eating out changed gears when I went off to college, drove long haul trucks for an uncle and started travelling more for summer jobs. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was broadening my culinary horizons by being able to sample cooking from different geographic regions of the country. However, it was some years later I learned the proper term was cuisine!
In addition to tasting regional cuisine, travelling around the country allowed me to try ethnic foods that weren’t part of the culinary scene in SE Idaho.
A permanent job and having my own home resulted in two things related to “eating out.” One, I did much less travelling and secondly I did a lot more cooking. Call it a function of the way I was raised but I still found myself eating out more for special occasions than as an alternative to staying home and cooking. I do admit though I may have eaten out more over the years except for the cost! But…as the years went by and long before I wrote my first cook book I found I preferred home cookin’ best.
Perhaps it’s because Pen and I eat out so infrequently that when we do it’s a much more memorable experience. For myself as a cook book author and her as the publisher we savor our eating out not only as a dining experience but also as an opportunity to relish some one else’s cooking and to educate ourselves in our search for new ideas to try in our Dutch ovens!
So…don’t get me wrong! Eating out is GOOD!
What are your thoughts on “Eating Out”?