Most of you have never heard of Euell (pronounced You’ll) Gibbons. But almost forty years ago, he was on TV and in my way of thinking, out of step with the country. He was a naturalist, believing in healthy diets and exercise, the rest of us lived for French fries, Whoppers and supersized.
I have mentioned in past blogs that we summer in the upper Midwest. Actually, my employer transferred me (for good or bad) “up north”, there we resided for 12 years. While up north, we acquired an inexpensive little place on the lake. Most of the area visitors came from Illinois, Iowa or the Twin Cities. At the end of twelve years my job function changed and I was required to return and make my residence in Indiana.
Although there were numerous suggestions to relinquish the summer retreat, we kept it. Sure the drive was 13 to 14 hours, but the rest was worth it. Our vacations were for two or three weeks in the summer as well as the long weekends of Memorial and Labor day. Often I ventured up first, do to the rest of the family’s summer time work schedules.
There was this one summer when the wife decided (must have been the early onset of old age-for one of us) that I should not make that drive alone. So our youngest was elected to co-pilot. It’s interesting, our youngest was the only Minnesota born member of the family, yet has little to no interest in the fishing! Crazy!!
We spent the week bonding….sort of….I fished, he ran around the resort area. Our place is at a resort, fishing camp. The resort owners wife ran field trips and Euell Gibbon type things. One of Euell’s famous sayings was, “many parts of a pine tree are edible”. And so it was, in that week, that my youngest introduced me to making tea out of pine needles. He had read it on a information sheet and so boiling freshly picked pine needles we did!! I should have guessed when only ONE cup was on the counter! Yep, I became the taste tester, it had a piney aroma and a sappy flavor!
I don’t know if he garnered the distinction between dad’s doing things out of stupidity or out of love. Maybe now with his own children he understands.
Euell, I don’t care if many parts of the pine tree are edible, I’m not drinking that again!