Birthday 45: The Food So Far

Jack's Donuts!

Partial sampling of the flavors and gargantuan portions at Jack’s Donuts.

It’s that time again! This week I turned 45 without entering true Midlife Crisis mode yet, and with only modest physical damage reminding me of the ravages of time. The knee I sprained in Elkhart two months ago has healed and regained more than half its flexibility back. My chronic back pain has left me alone of late. My poor sleeping habits have been slightly less out of control most of this week. The recurring heartburn that’s begun haunting me this year has subsided so far this month. The worst thing going for me at the moment is the giant eyelid pimple that greeted me in the mirror this morning and irritated me most of the day. And you can tell I’m getting old because here’s a short entry about food but the first thing on my mind is all my aches and pains.

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2016 NYC Trip Photos #2: The Kitchen and the Kitchen

Cesar Chavez Quote!

…and the people who charge you for their food would rather things stay “just business” between you. Nothing personal, of course . It’s not you, it’s them.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…

Our hotel of choice for the week was on West 44th Street, squished between larger buildings, on the east edge of the notorious Hell’s Kitchen. On Netflix’s Marvel’s Daredevil it’s a crime-infested urban blight magnet that muggers, robbers, and gangsters of various ethnicities wage war on each other for control because everyone among them knows Hell’s Kitchen is the place to be when you’re on the negative end of the Dungeons & Dragons alignment scale. You never see gangs taking over the shiny, upscale neighborhoods that would be a better fit for their expensive cars and even more expensive suits. The Triads and the Black Stereotypes and the Irishmen of Irishness never claim the Upper West Side as their turf or hold their knife fights in front of those fancy Madison Avenue stores.

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Indiana State Fair 2016 Photos #1: Our Year in Food

Double Barrel Burger!

We called it the “Goodbye Cruel World Burger”.

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. At least 70% of our quest is always food.

Right this way for a look at this year’s “Taste of the Fair” contestants!

The Springs in Fall * 2015 Photos: Circles of Sugar and Joy

Amy's Donuts!

Of all the food we enjoyed during our six November days in Colorado Springs, none made a more lasting impression than these six sweet, intricate, handcrafted circles filled with creative ingredients, sinful carbs, and a heaping helping of love.

Right this way for the names and my motives behind this purchase…

How Are YOU Celebrating National Donut Day?

Giant Amish Donut!

The monstrous “Amish donut” was offered for breakfast at the 2014 Indiana State Fair. It had enough calories to power you through a month of Olympic events, or you could use it as a spare golf cart tire.

It’s that time of year again! This coming Friday, June 5th, will be National Donut Day, the greatest non-federal holiday that Hallmark wishes they had invented. Imagine an entire line of National Donut Day greeting cards, with a saccharine message inside and an edible sugary breading on the outside. If Hallmark could spin it expertly enough, they could rake in billions and afford to ditch some of their fake calendar-padding celebrations.

Right this way for a very special MCC salute to donuts!

2014 Road Trip Photos #20: Monkey Donuts and the Rest Stop Lake

Mojo Monkey!

Two of the four creations we sampled at Mojo Monkey Donuts in St. Paul: Hanna Banana and the Maple Bacon Bar. (Click to enlarge! That way you get even more donut!)

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year from 2003 to 2013 my wife, my son, and your humble writer headed out on a long road trip to anywhere but here. Our 2014 road trip represented a milestone of sorts: our first vacation in over a decade without my son tagging along for the ride. At my wife’s prodding, I examined our vacation options and decided we ought to make this year a milestone in another way — our first sequel vacation. This year’s objective, then: a return to Wisconsin and Minnesota. In my mind, our 2006 road trip was a good start, but in some ways a surface-skimming of what each state has to offer. I wanted a do-over.

My wife and I awoke on Day Five in St. Paul a little grateful that our lodgers did not offer the sort of free continental morning snacks we’re used to seeing in our hotels every year. Being deprived of this standard money-saving amenity forced us to hunt for breakfast options in our surroundings, preferably on the imaginative side.

Right this way for more donuts and Minnesota greenery!

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