Aretha Franklin, Respect
Gertrude Stein’s remark, “There is no there there,” about her Oakland, California hometown, has been borrowed by the Justice Department to throw out bribery charges, used by political candidates to discount their opponents, and rewritten by Madison Avenue campaigns to disparage rival hamburgers. The City of Berkeley went so far as to commission a large outdoor sculpture, “HERETHERE,” to let people know that they were “here” in Berkeley and not “there” in Oakland.
Other cities suffer from the same lack of respect: Seattle is cool, Tacoma is not; Portland is cool, Vancouver WA is not; Olympia is cool, Lacey is not; San Francisco and Berkeley are cool; Sacramento and Oakland are not—you get the drift.
But the not-so-cool kids are rising up: Tacoma’s real estate prices are steadily increasing; Sacramento recently showed up on a “Best Cities To” list; Vancouver is being touted this year as a “foodie” city; Lacey—no movement yet. Sacramento doesn’t get the same respect and favor shown to San Francisco, but the downtown has character and a defiant sense of pride.
Our Midtown neighborhood has that character plus a high walkability score, so I do just fine without a car—take today, for example. Given the size of our refrigerator, a daily stroll to the Grocery Outlet is routine. On the way to the store I stopped by the Goodwill to see if there was a grater for sale, not so much; but you would not believe the rack of wedding dresses!
Next stop: Old Soul, the neighborhood coffee roasterie, buderie, brewery, and bakery. Cool to the max with prices to match: $3.25 for a pour of coffee, $8.00 for a loaf of whole wheat bread!
So my $8.00 bread and I continued our errands, walked through the neighborhood to the Grocery Outlet, where we picked up an onion, a few carrots, a bag of candy corn, and strolled on home through the rose garden.
It’s that time of year, so buy some candy corn, some salted peanuts and get ready for a quick, easy, pre-Halloween snack.
Peanuts and candy corn
The taste of the finished dish will reflect the provenance of the ingredients and the ratio of candy corn to peanuts. My friend RA (expert on all things candy corn), recommends using this year’s corn crop; my daughter Bridget, who gave me this recipe, uses Costco’s tinned salted peanuts; and I would never buy candy corn packaged in a cellophane bag, sealed with a twist tie. (Look for those telling broken white kernel tips at the bottom of the sack.) The quality of candy corn bought from a bulk bin is inconsistent and should be used with reservations.
1 part local, farm-to-table, sustainably-grown candy corn
1 part Costco tinned, salted peanuts (jarred Planters can be used in an emergency)
Shake candy corn gently into an upturned palm, shake equal amount of peanuts into the same palm. Consume in one shot or pair individual pieces, as desired.
For large groups, pour 1 part candy corn into bowl, add equal amount of peanuts, stir to mix, and serve.
TJ update—just read that there is candy-corn flavored popcorn!