Friday, February 11, 2011
Champagne Friday and the Chow Hall Goes Green!
It has been an alarmingly long time since I've personally had a Champagne Friday and we've never had one over here at 400 Wake-ups...so...allow me to baptize you in the time-honored tradition of Champagne Friday.
via Military Times
OK, it's not exactly champagne, but try Googling "Champagne + Soldier" and see what you come up with. I got a photo of a tiny, plastic Soldier floating in a glass of champagne. That's not really capturing the spirit of Champagne Friday. This, however, captures Champagne Friday. These are Soldiers stationed in Iraq last year during the Super Bowl. Generally, there is a No Alcohol, No Exceptions policy in the Middle East. But, in 2009, someone pretty high in the food chain pulled some strings and now the troops are allowed 2 beers each...real, actual beers...not "near beer"...for the Super Bowl. Although, the beer that is usually served is either Bud Light or Miller Light and that kind of is like near beer for those of us who have an established tolerance to alcohol...I give the DoD props for shipping in some Heineken for our boys in camo. Also, Neal said he would gladly forfeit his 2 beers in Iraq to be home with me. And bourbon.
Anyway, as promised...another story in the continuing saga of Neal @ Bliss.
When the same type of training happens everyday, bedtime and formation times are the same, and transportation around post is the same, that leaves very little opportunity for spontaneity in the conversation. So, I ask him about breakfast, lunch, and dinner because, although it is pretty consistently awful, at least it is not the same everyday. When Neal first got to Bliss, he was explaining to me how the food on the chow hall line is color-coded according to its nutritional properties.
Green = fantastically healthy. Your mother would be proud and your heart will be happy. Although your taste buds will throw you the middle finger and look longingly at that Ho-Ho.
Yellow = what most of us eat when we are "dieting"...mostly healthy with just the tiniest bit of breading and maybe an extra slab of butter...because what's a meal without a little bit of fat? And 1000 calories...
Red = Paula Deen couldn't do better herself. This meal was brought to you by Crisco and your cardiologist, who just bought himself a sweet little Porsche.
It all looks a little something like this:
I finally got Neal to snap this picture and text it to me after a couple weeks of prodding. I think, maybe, they don't really like for Soldiers to take pictures in the chow hall...something about national security...or holding up the line. But I consider myself an amateur journalist of sorts, so I pushed the issue...all in the name of education.
Now, Neal will eat green 99.9999% of the time...even when he's home...even when he's at Cracker Barrel. My theory is if it's breaded and covered in sauce, you can't possibly go wrong. His is if it's baked to within an inch of its life and seasoned with a little salt and pepper, that's good enough. The unexpected positive to this is that he eats everything I cook...even when it looks like it belongs on an M.E.'s table.
So, of course when Neal is training, he feeds his body that which will, in turn, feed his mind. And that is always green. Unfortunately, where the Army excels in information, it lacks in supply. For 2 weeks, the only green food on the menu for lunch and dinner was fish. It's a good thing Neal is not pregnant. He has eaten an alarming amount of Bliss fish. But when he comes home, he will be a Skeletor version of himself...whereas I will try very hard not to be a Roseanne Barr version of myself (although...have you seen her lately? She was on one of Larry King's last shows and I almost didn't recognize her. I wouldn't say "smokin"...but I wouldn't say "straight from the diner" either. Way to go, Rosie!)
Happy Champagne Friday to everyone and after you click away from me, you should absolutely go check out Robyn @ Fojoy. She gave me an award approximately 482 years ago and I can neither remember what it was nor find it on her blog now. But the award, while much appreciated, is not really important. What is important is that you spend a few minutes reading her wit (albeit Canadian but as I'm learning...they are actually a very witty breed...like the British) and her adventures. I promise you will not regret it. And would I lie to you on Champagne Friday? Champagne is truth serum...so try not to drink it with your dashingly handsome boss or the girl who sits across from you on the train.