Thursday, June 20, 2013

"If we don't travel carefully and tend to those with whom we have contact, we will perish."

Fan Feature: BONNIE

This is the first in a series of Fan Features, which are short interviews about the blog's biggest fans. Fans share their adventure stories and/or favorite recipes. Drea's Food Adventures' very first fan is Bonnie -- her story really makes me wish that hitchhiking was still a safe thing to do!!

I know Bonnie personally and she is a fantastic cook. Her daughter, one of my best friends, told me all these 'crazy stories' about her mother when she was younger but I didn't really know the details. Until now.

So, allow me to present Bonnie: a very caring and free-spirited, hardworking individual who knew how to have a great time in the good days of the awesome seventies in the U.S of A.

Bonnie and Wags know how to chill!
Q: What is your favorite adventure of all time?
My favorite adventure of all time was from when I was 19 to 23 years old. At 19 I had finished my freshman year at Ohio State University where I protested against the war and for our environment and civil rights. 

Q: What inspired you to go on this adventure?
I was inspired to travel away from my home state by a desire to escape suburban sameness, explore hippie culture and make sense of what to do with life's journey.

Q: Details, please!
I boldly left campus with Wags, my rescued terrier mix. We hitchhiked down the east coast camping along beaches from the outer banks to the Everglades. We hitchhiked across the deep south with urban stops in St. Louis and New Orleans. With help from a wandering member of Morningstar, an open commune, we made it to the ultimate hippie experiment where everyone felt right at home. The adobe huts were populated with artists, musicians, storytellers, your stoned, your tired and your poor living on food stamps. We cooked our beans, potatoes and chilies over an open fire and bathed in an afternoon monsoon or mountain stream. Camping in the majestic Sangre de Cristo mountains made me feel like I was experiencing the four seasons daily due to wildly fluctuating temperatures.

From New Mexico, Wags and I rambled to our next destination of Cape May, New Jersey via stops at the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Chicago and Cleveland. I realized it's a small world when a woman picked us up during rush hour in Cleveland, Ohio who turned out to be my brother's friend.

Once in New Jersey, I fell in love with the coast and established residency. I returned to college life at Richard Stockton State College in Pomona and put my primitive camping skills to use reducing expenses by living in a tent on a wooden platform behind an abandoned farm and preparing beans from the campus food coop.

This adventure started in 1971 and ended 1975 when Wags and I returned to Ohio.

Q: How did this adventure change or impact your life?
This adventure changed my life as I realized not all folks who wander are lost, that truth is the road not the destination. Being right isn't as important as being kind, gentle and loving. I learned to choose a path in life where the door of my heart is open to helping others. Wags and I completed our circle tour of America by returning to OSU to study for my Masters of Social Work. I had graduated from Stockton College with a BSSW and work experience helping folks having problems with drugs, alcohol and mental illness. I had also supported myself as an Aqua Maid doing synchronized swimming at night while being the first female New Jersey Marine Police officer by day! 

Q: Up to now, do you have any regrets?
I really don't have any regrets, but I am saddened by my lack of endorsement of this kind of adventure today due to its potential for exposure to senseless violence. I feel gratitude for encountering only helpful, gracious and compassionate folks on my circle tour adventure. If we don't travel carefully and tend to those with whom we have contact we will perish.

Q: What's your favorite recipe? Please share!
I bring forward a love of vegetarian meals and leave you with my favorite bean recipe.

Mango/Pineapple Bean Salad

Mango, peeled and diced. Pineapple peeled and diced. Red onion chopped fine. Cannellini beans drained and rinsed. One half cup of cilantro chopped fine. Zest and juice of a lime. 

Combine all ingredients and serve on a bed of arugula or baby lettuce. You can adjust the amounts depending on how many people are eating. I have made this to serve one or thirty. Enjoy!

Thank you Bonnie for sharing your adventures and Bean Salad recipe, but most of all, thank you for being a fan of the blog!   
Have you enjoyed reading Drea's Food Adventures? Let me know if you're a big fan and would like to share your story.

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