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Hardcore Maryland Summer - let's have one


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Hardcore Maryland Summer - let's have one

Mr. Maryland here for FoodNewsie.com We haven’t formally met because it’s a self-appointed title; but don’t take it. Because it’s mine. I’ll tell you what’s it all about and hopefully you’ll get excited, apply for the Mr. Maryland the II title and follow along through this little venture that I’ll post to Facebook on Tuesdays as long as the spirit keeps moving me to do so. Health is a constant battle, diet is a constant battle and so too is content; but I think we’re on to something here that might stick.

Anyone with an active interest in the history and ways of where they live can certainly become a Mr. or Mrs. ‘where ever’ provided they have the right kind of care for their community. I am constantly learning about Maryland and its role in history, history’s role in Maryland and trying to combine that with food, farms and the delivery of good things to communities near and far. It’s fascinating and it’s changing and can’t ever stop or rest.

Personally, my attention is held by technology, history and food and when those three things come together, my mind blows-up. It’s not very often that perfect storm of interests comes about, but maybe, with a little will-power, I can author a few instances instead of just waiting around. That kind of initiative isn’t easy to come by but the more I see sedentary habits, growing meal portions, more food waste and even more convenience that feeds stockholders instead of caring for consumers, the more I’m inclined to get my ass in gear.

My plans for activity aren’t exactly “hardcore” to any extreme measure, but most anything will do with news stories online and on the nightly news reminding Americans to just get up and walk for health’s sake! So as an excuse to roam around my beautiful state and feed my jones for photography and driving, I’m painting myself into a few special corners to force some action – and action always calls for food.

Lazy? Try this travel trick…

Hardcore Maryland Summer - let's have one

Little Nipper regards the Craigslist acquisition, Lord and Lady Fox; Collectible 1980's statues too nice to go outside but not so fancy a couple they can't share an apple juice with a child.

My fondness for technology runs deep; it pays my bills. My technology also doesn’t travel well and I’m always uneasy about being away from my home base of computers for long without some motivating factor. So, I started small and began clearing underbrush to extend the grassy areas of my line of sight (I can’t actually expand my yard or annex common land, but I can remove briars and vines). That got me physical and yielded rewarding results; that’s very important in a goal-oriented society!

My next stroke of genius was searching Craigslist for cheap ornaments to put in my new cleared space. Turns out, people are getting rid of all sorts of interesting things that I happen to want! And they’re really far away but typically around a quarter tank of gas in distance.

Driving a quarter tank out of your car locally happens almost without your even knowing it. One day you fill up and a couple days later, you’re filling up again wondering where you’ve been. With the cheap purchase of Craigslist trinkets or gifts for others or rare and wonderful books you can turn around and sell if you want, you’ll know where you’ve been between fill ups.

Do the one-third thing…

Hardcore Maryland Summer - let's have one

Ruins in Maryland preserved by the history society. An old church at White Marsh on the way to the Eastern Shore. Just walls and foundation now along side one of the oldest cemeteries. I imagine the view today isn't much unlike the view when the mortar was still wet.

Letting fate and Craigslist pick a destination for me is only worthwhile if I’m wearing good shoes and find a friendly place to park. It’s said that WALKING takes the load of pumping blood off your heart somewhere to the tune of 33%. So for me, ‘shopping online,’ venturing out, giving myself a walking tour of Somewhere, Maryland and making it back home in time to play with my computers is absolute satisfaction; it’s educational and nutritious and healthy and expands my mind since I see how another facet of Maryland life shines.

The trip out isn’t worth it if I can’t walk around. “Downtowns” are typically small but a quick preview on the Internet will let you know if there are a couple square miles to explore before you commit to driving out. And I always put a little time aside to stop alongside the road and see one or two of those roadside attractions or historic sites that normally, I don’t stop for.

Food, man! Where’s the food?

Yeah, yeah, food! I know. But here’s the thing: Food is about one-third of what food’s about. There’s location, quality, preparation, season and how your body uses it! For me, stories behind food and stories about restaurant business models are fascinating. There’s no one solution to all the possible variations (which is what makes Big Food and Big Ag such a funny headache). When I travel, I typically land where there’s a specialist or an underdog – in Easton, Maryland, both types were nearly side by side. I found Emily, who knows Italy like the back of her hand, and a smoked meat vendor holding up the walls in a long-forgotten kitchen incubator where the only other vendor hawks gluten free baked goods.

Hardcore Maryland Summer - let's have one

A donated needlepoint hanging in Gaithersburg where University of Maryland's Ag Extension is headquartered on 500 acres preserved for farming history.

I skip the chain places and white tablecloths and opt for still water and relish eating on my own. All that non-work combine to draw out sincere stories from owners, wait staff, chefs and other patrons. But most of all, I don’t eat. I’ve found lately that one portion from a local foodery will equal about two or three sittings for me. It’s kind of a “me” problem that we’ll go into another time; the story includes surgeries and ends with some careful thoughts about what goes in versus how active I am. Too much of either can become unpleasant for me. But the stories I can hear!

So HMS, Hardcore Maryland Summer – what a way to explore, learn, teach, record and share and think critically about the many things the word food comes to mean. When I can be somewhere, I’ll try to include some good images and personal stories about food and eating places; when I can’t be there, I’ll just hat-tip the local activities and suggest a spot to eat sight unseen that has some bearing on the bigger picture. There’s no Pay To Play. Most HMS will be kept on our Facebook Page’s news roll.

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