Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Cider

When I was eight, my family took a summer vacation to Ireland.  My grandparents, my parents, my uncle, my two young siblings, and I drove around Ireland, Wales, and England for a summer in a 1984 VW Quantum.  The three kids, me included, piled in with the luggage in the trunk of the station wagon.   Besides the close confines, another problem reared its ugly head -- I got car sick.  All the time.  My Grandpa joked about making a map of all the places I puked throughout the trip.  Whenever I got sick, my Grandma would move to the back seat and my Mom would move to the trunk with my brother and sister (ages 5 and 3) and I'd get shotgun, with the window wide open and a trash bag on my lap.

Being in Ireland, we stopped for lunch at pubs and had 'pub grub.'  My parents would get us either a half pint of lemonade (generic 7-Up from a soda fountain) or cider.  Everyone in my family believed it was apple juice.  When I told them it tasted yucky, they told me to stop whining and drink it, it cost money.  Of course I was also complaining about the butter on my sandwich and the lack of ketchup for the 'chips,' so I don't blame them.

In the USA, cider is a non-alcoholic beverage.  We specify hard cider when it is alcoholic.  Not so in Ireland.  Yep, my family was giving their kids booze and the Irish bar tenders at the little pubs we stopped at probably thought it was funny. I cannot say whether or not there was a correlation between my cider intake and my car sickness, but it's possible.

I write about the Elizabethan era.  Water was not for drinking -- water caused dysentery and worse.  People started their mornings off with a small ale.  Of course, the alcohol content was less then than it is today (a small ale being very much like a near-beer).  In order to write the era correctly, I had to find out about what the various classes ate and drank, how it was prepared, and how it was stored.  Let me say, the Elizabethans had to have strong digestive systems.  Their nutritional habits truly tested the theory of survival of the fittest. 

I chose my topic for today's A-Z blogfest because I am currently drinking Fox Barrel Black Currant Cider.  I do not think it is yucky and I plan to drink the whole thing.


Spanj said...

What a great story, that did make me laugh. In the UK (possibly in Ireland as well) a child can drink alcohol with a meal.

I remember those kind of trips; my brother always got travel sick and had to have a bucket in his lap whenever we went anywhere, and the whole car always smelt like sick!

A.T. Post said...

Speaking for myself, Irish hard cider always CURED my carsickness. Magners was good stuff...

February Grace said...

Loved this post- so sorry to hear about the Cider incident...I would love to see Ireland but not quite like that!

I would never have survived ten minutes as an Elizabethan, that's for sure. I'm a genetic mutant (or Muppet, as I prefer to call it) basically I can barely hold my body together in this era of purified bottled water!!! I am pathetic.

Great, entertaining post!


Eric W. Trant said...

Funny about the cider! About the Elizabethans, I've thought it would be interesting to create a futuristic allegorical world to the E-beth era, where food and water are tainted.

- Eric

Kathleen said...

Another awesome story. I think hard cider is absolutely disgusting, and I think it actually caused the "car" sickness! Just another parental abuse to go into counseling over, right? I always tell my kids I'm saving to pay for their college AND their therapy to get over my poor mothering skills!

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