When I learned that I had been chosen to be on this PHH Bolivian medical team I was not as enthusiastic as Naomi was about eating the Bolivian food. I have always been a picky eater (I'm sure my mom will want to chime in here), sort of a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I only like a few vegetables. I don't normally like my food too spicy and my choice of meats would be chicken, beef or pork The latter being in the form of bacon. My preconceived ideas of Bolivian food was it would be more like Mexican food, boy was I wrong there. In the weeks leading up to the big trip Naomi did her best to acclimate me to foods I had not tried before. Being that I was still trying to sell her a good impression of myself I tried every food group she
forced, tossed in front of me. The olives were way too salty, the quinoa she prepared before hand was pretty bland but quite edible. Seems like everywhere we went together for weeks before the trip she was stuffing some new taste to me in my mouth. Being somewhat of the survivor type I knew I was going to have to come up with a solid plan, just in case I really hated the Bolivian food and didn't want to starve completely to death. We had been told most people when they go on a humanitarian trip like this lost between 10 and 15 pounds which sounded pretty good to me but I didn't want to die either...
When I was growing up in Cave Junction there was the Taylor's Sausage Factory. Back then the local schools still had money for field trips and we used to get to go to the Taylor's factory each year and see how the sausage was made. The best part of the trip was we were each given one of their famous Pepper Sticks to gnaw on while walking back to school. As I grew older and was on the Forest Service trail-crew I used to pack Taylor's Jerky with me because it was light weight and didn't need refrigeration for those long ten day camp outs. Soon afterwards a new pizza joint sprung up in C.J. and it featured Taylor's meat products on all their delicious pizza's. Mr. Taylor was always so generous to the Illinois Valley Volunteer Fire Department too. Every year we would put on a big pancake breakfast in our community to help us raise money for some new piece of equipment or gear we needed in the fire department and he always donated the sausage for our important fund raiser. I never will forget the time I asked Mr. Taylor if I could use his house for a fire department training. He owned one of the only two story houses in the valley and I wanted to get the fire guys trained better on how to rescue someone from a ladder from a second story window just in case the situation ever arose. He said sure be my guest, what time do you train? We showed up in his driveway on Tuesday night, 7 o-clock sharp and lo and behold there his beautiful daughters stood in their night robes in their second story bedroom windows yelling for help. The fire guys talked about that training for years afterwards.
The moral to my simple story is if you ever find yourself driving through Cave Junction on the way to or from the Oregon Coast, stop in and see Mr. Taylor's son, Scott. Tell Scott that Billy Blaze told you that you guys have some of the best tasting jerky from anywhere around. Ask Scott for a sample and judge for yourself. Make sure to thank him for saving my life... again, while I traveled through the Bolivian highlands like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
|Alicia inquires politely,|
is that jerky I smell
in your swell tactical vest?
|Taylor's Country Store |
in Cave Junction