Last year I wrote about some of the podcasts I listen to while I'm driving. One of them is The Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. It's fabulous.
When I was little, my grandfather had a grape arbor in the backyard. We played underneath it and ate the grapes from it. They had a very distinct smell and taste, and were not like any of the grapes you normally find in the grocery store. It was probably 35 years before I tasted that grape again - in the form of wine I found in Tennessee; a sweet dessert wine, only tolerable in small quantities. Muscadine wine. I'm not a wine drinker, but the smell of the wine brought me right back to my childhood.
I smelled that smell again recently when I was in a grocery store in North Carolina. They were selling Muscadine Grapes - both the black and the bronze variety (the bronze are also called scuppernong grapes) - and I was shocked, as I had never seen them anywhere before. I bought the black ones, because those are the ones my grandfather had in his backyard, inhaling their smell through the vents in the plastic container.
They're a very big grape, the size of a kid's gumball, the ones you get for a quarter out of those machines you see in grocery stores or restaurants, and they're very round.
When I got my find back to the truck, I bit into one of those grapes, through its tough, almost rubbery skin, and let the weird sweet earthy taste fill my mouth. I don't know that I'd say it's the most delicious grape I've ever had, as I think it's an acquired taste, but it's got something. It's also got pits.
I couldn't really think of what to do with them, as I've only seen then made into wine or jam, and I wasn't going to be making jam or wine in the truck, so I needed another idea. I knew immediately who to turn to. The Splendid Table.
So I went to the website and sent them an email asking what I could do with Muscadine Grapes. Not long after, I got an email back asking me if I would be willing to call in and be on the show. I get to talk to THE Lynne Rossetto Kasper?? Uh, hell yeah. That's a no-brainer.
I was given a date and time to call, and at the appointed time I dialed the number I knew by heart, as I heard it recited numerous time each week when I listened to the podcast, 1-800-537-5252, and waited to be put on the line with the host of the show.
We talked, we laughed, she did what she does best, and we said goodbye. I was a little starstruck. I might have babbled. Or giggled. I didn't even care if my call ever made it on the air, because I got to actually speak to LRK!
But my call did make it on, airing a week ago on the October 6, 2012 show. You can listen to the entire show on the website, but if you want to just hear me in the phone calls segment, click on the embedded link below. My call starts at the 37:19 mark.
Now if only I could really get Lynne Rossetto Kasper to come on the road with me! What a dream trip that would be!
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2011: Hard To Get Close To
2010: Lunch In Fossombrone
2009: Taking Carving To A Whole New Level
2008: Is There Enough Yellow In THIS One For Ya?
2007: I Didn’t Realize Railway Workers Were So Frisky
2005: Text Me
* All photos courtesy of Google Images.