Tag Archives: jack burgoyne

Camping Meal Memories

Example deal from woot.com
Example deal from woot.com

I check woot.com every day and a lot of time they have deals for dehydrated meals — the kind you might take camping or have in your pantry to prepare for a disaster. My brain always says “yuck” but something else in me says “yum.” A couple of years ago, visiting the family lake house in Wisconsin, I saw a container of dehydrated beef stroganoff and had a strong desire to make it, but it was there for my nephew to make in case of an emergency, not for me to make because I wondered what it tasted like. Besides, I told myself, it probably was disgusting.

Jack and "Cinder"
The cook, not cooking

Why, then, does part of me that want to eat dehydrated food? Not because I am a wilderness camper. Not because I like disgusting things, but because I have a memory of loving the food that Jack Burgoyne made for us in 1976 when I accompanied his family on a “caravan holiday” in Scotland. Normally his wife, Pat, cooked but when on vacation — at least that one– Jack made dinners and they were, as far as I recall, always from a freeze-dried packet. And, to me, they were delicious.

So that’s why I always stop and ponder buying a bucket of freeze dried lasagne or curry or Jamaican jerk rice with chicken from woot.com or consider making freeze dried beef stroganoff on trips to the lake house — memories of a long-ago trip to Loch Sween and a week in a mobile home on the grounds of an ancient castle and meals made by a kind and good and funny and wonderful man who left this world too soon.

Where’s Your Mecca?

This morning as I gazed sleepily at my Moosewood Restaurant coffee cup I remembered fondly the time I dragged my husband, young children and mother to the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. We were on our way to or back from Toronto and, since I’d been a loyal fan of their cookbooks for several years, I wanted to eat at the restaurant — something that had been on my wishlist for years — so the detour was made. The food was great and just being at the restaurant was special, so I think the detour was worth it.

The only other Meccas for me were C. S. Lewis’ home and Watership Down — both of which I visited in the late 1970s when Jeremy’s father drove Jeremy and me down the backbone of England to visit relatives near Dover. He asked if there were any [literary — he was a librarian] sites I wanted to see and of course I said Oxford and then added Watership Down since that was nearby. I believe we also visited Stonehenge on that trip. So, I suppose we hit three of my Meccas that year.

This post makes me want to revisit (in this blog) every place Jack Burgoyne took me. He was a huge influence on the adult I became. While I don’t regret my decisions about his son, I do regret that meant I lost Jack.

Do you have a Mecca? Where is it? Have you visited it? Did it live up to your expectations?