Meals in Motion

One lesson I keep learning over and over on this trip is that my stomach seems to be much smaller than restaurants seem to think is normal. Yes, I'm talking about food again. But food is a key part of our social and cultural fabric.

Breaking bread together has long been a symbol of trust, goodwill, and fellowship, and is central to the rites of hospitality. During our travels in the Southwest we have eaten at a variety of wonderful restaurants. For example, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we ate at Zia Diner, featured on the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and in Tucson, Arizona, we ate at the oldest continually operated and family owned Tex/Mex restaurant, El Charro Cafe.
I could only eat half of the admittedly enormous piece of green chili meatloaf from Zia. It was actually really good!
At Pasta Jay's in Moab, UT I ate an entire bowl of penne and meatballs! And a bread stick! I even managed to go on a hike 30 minutes later without getting sick! A remarkable day in many respects.
The food at all of the restaurants was excellent, but there's a downside to being on the road and eating at marvelous restaurants: it's very difficult to save leftovers. The rare days that I manage to finish my serving in one sitting are notable occasions!                       
A less successful attempt, from the Bryce Canyon lodge. I ate all the fish, but couldn't get the veggies.
Normally, getting two meals for the price of one is a perk of eating out, but it's difficult when not all of the hotels have refrigerators, and fewer have microwaves. Additionally, lunch leftovers simply don't travel well.

I've had to come to terms with this dilemma over the course of the last two weeks, and have determined that I shouldn't make myself sick by trying to finish large dishes in one sitting and to just eat as much of the leftovers as I can, when I can. Despite my difficulties in trying to do justice to the quality and quantity of my food, I have truly enjoyed the chance to expand my culinary horizons in the Southwest.
 
At the Carver Brewing Co. in Durango, CO
Ultimately, a meal is about more than just serving sizes. It's about sharing stories, trying new dishes, fighting over the butter, and most importantly, making connections with each other. Throughout the Southwest, we've had the opportunity to meet locals, eat with with friends and family and connect to the country and each other through some truly wonderful dining experiences.

-Claire K-S

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