Remembering Vittles Past

My friend Anne Carter Jacobson, now of Columbia MO, sent this story about our days in Phelps County long ago. Cathy and I lived there for almost 30 years and still visit whenever possible. Wonderful town w/ great folks!!

One thing about Alex Stub Primm, is that he knows good food. He was a founding member of “The Gourmet Eating Club” in Rolla, way back in 1991. At the time, there were few restaurants and no Kalamata olives and such in Rolla, so we decided to make the meals we could not find.

The founders were- Cathy and Alex Primm, Anne and Robb Jacobson, Mary Lou and Art Corn, Lindsay and Kent Bagnell, and Phyllis Meagher. We got all gussied up for our food celebrations and sat down to about 30 most amazing meals over 6 years.

The most memorable meal at Cathy and Alex’s house was the Chinese hot pot, where authentic hot pots were borrowed from Alex’s Chinese friends, and we experienced the unique technique of cooking your food assortment, right at the table, in the communal hot pot. A rich broth was created in the end for a
fabulous soup.

The other most memorable gourmet experience was not “gourmet” at all, but Ozark homecookin’ of some kind of vittles and cornbread. This meal was highlighted by the group doing a reader’s theatre of “This is the Rill Speaking”, by Landford Wilson. Through fits of laughter, everyone dramatized several eccentric characters in our reading of small-town life in the Ozarks. It was recorded on a cassette tape which is in one of those boxes.

But the MOST memorable food encounter was anti gourmet. The Food Fight of 1994 at Windy Hill Farm. This was Alex Stub Primm’s big idea! Thanks to a photo of a food fight he came across in a magazine, which he showed little Alex Jacobson (then 4 yrs. old), and said “How about it?” Little Alex was super excited, and so was his big sister Sarah, 5 yrs old.

At first I said “no way!” Then Robb and I thought, “Well, never before…. but one should have this experience once in their lives” So we bought up all kinds of things that would be fun to throw at each other; marshmallows, whipped cream projected from the can, jello, cakes, cream pies, Twinkles, and the fight began in the front field! There was a lot of screaming and hysterical laughing and all of us were covered with goo. Alex and Sarah licked themselves like puppies. I couldn’t wait to get into the shower….there is something about the smell of hydrogenated oils…

One thing about Alex Stub Primm is that he can take food to to its highest level and bring it down to kid level fun. Thanks for inspiring us with your culinary adventures for the past 24 years Alex! To an inspired chef, we have so much food fun with you.

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