“Unsweet Tea, Please*”

Farmer’s Market grill:

fresh-made beef chuck burger, fries:

Dessert – onion rings!


  • (In much if not all of The South you had best append your iced team order with Unsweet, please, if you prefer to taste the tea instead of the usual sugary swill that just looks translucently dark.  At the former Mike West-run state farmers’ market institution the burgers are legendary…and if you order it differently prepared you get one right out of the cooler and not a lunchtime lineup.  The French fried potatoes would happily delay a run-amok fiend for a splash o’ ketchup and lightly re-salted slab or seven of the still hot planks.  Lettuce and tomato get pulled aside and seasoned and eaten as a salad, thus preparing the deceased cow for a proper funeral: mustard on the onion side, ketchup on the pickle side.  Find room on the plate for more red stuff into which you will dip the fries.  Sip – I quaff! sans straw – your tea to be sure it’s unadulterated.  My little brother takes – or at least used to before the ogres of health decreed otherwise – his half-and-half. Barbaric practice.  And my usual damsel of delight asks: “Dessert?”  But of course.  A few minutes later come the scorchingly hot after freshly dipped in batter onion rings, each separate and thick.  I keep the burger plate for more ketchup and salt and pepper – ginger with the salt, J – and my teeth cleave the first ring without an offending tail of limp, oil-soggy onion looking more like a sad redworm just removed from its fishin’ hook.  Soon as this is done I suspect I shall be – after a couple of beers to toast our Lord his birthday presumed though more probably in the Spring when shepherds in Galilee would so hoist their sheep to new pastures instead of frigid Winter when good farmers and flockmen kept their livestock penned under their homes in villages.  But that makes for poorer songs.  And so, a two-beer toast to all and to all a good day after Christmas! Especially brother Storm.)

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