April 19, 2014

A Canuck in Kantuck: You’ve come a long way, baby

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In my undying effort to keep trim, and in a final push to be at my goal weight for my 37th birthday, I found myself wandering aimlessly around the grocery the other day looking for something delicious and low-cal. Probably, I should have looked no farther than the produce department since things like carrot sticks and apple slices are the only real diet food. But you know what? It’s April and the produce still sucks. After a while, the idea of having yet another banana makes you want to barf.

But then I passed by the organic dairy section and I noticed that the yogurt selection has grown considerably. I pass by this section often, and over the past year have increasingly been putting plain Fage yogurt in my basket. I find that when it comes to toning down a hot curry or adding excitement to a thick soup, it does a good job.

But this time I noticed Fage was now surrounded by several brands of flavored Greek yogurt, whether honey, vanilla, cherry, lemon or blueberry.

Thinking of Greek yogurt, I was transported instantly back to Mykonos. It was our first, bright day on the island and my best friend Kristin and I were marveling over how much cheaper Greece was than Italy. So cheap, in fact, we could afford a bottle of wine with our dinner. So we noshed on creamy, salty feta, cut into grilled beef that had been charred over smoky coals, peeled shrimp and dipped the pink meat in garlicky butter, and sipped on that lovely wine. Surrounding us were chatty locals and affectionate cats, who roamed comfortably among the tables while the warm breeze rushed through the huge open windows. Then the waiter — oh yes, he was handsome all right — suggested dessert and Kristin and I looked at each other.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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