Guiltless(?) Eating

Situation; Monday morning, 7:00AM, byline; Red Bay, Al. 
Our Motor Coach is in the repair bay at Tiffin Motor Homes and we are on our own for the day on a search for breakfast in this southern hard scrap working town supported by two major manufacturers: Tiffin and Sunshine, a major brand of dog food. Breakfast choices become a different breed in this town—no bagel shops, coffee houses or upscale restaurants, just a few chains, Subway, McD’s  and 2 down-home southern eateries–Jacks, and Swamp Johns. They have atmosphere with several cars pulled up to their doors. Jacks it was, a shorter drive. 

I studied the menu board long and hard. Two issues, I am a veggie with a small capacity and I harbor a dread of too much salt, sugar, fat and feel guilty when I do indulge.  The counter waitress was very patient with me and I was able to order a listed menu item with caveats.  A scrambled egg plate without meat. Two large bowls were set on my tray, 1 with scrambled eggs, and a bowl of grits in melted butter plus a to die for biscuit which must be made with all butter, hot, soft and tasty. Paul had similar with no meat but his also included deep fried rounds of hash brown. I was determined to enjoy and giggle my way to feeling guilt-free and just have fun. The food was very filling and delicious, the ambiance homey, engaging and rustic.  I managed to bury and rise above my qualms.

We left Jacks in time to take the Tiffin factory tour at 9:00 outfitted with headphones and safety glasses, focused on the tour until 11:15.  The staff set us free, encouraging us to return to any work station, ask questions of the crew while they worked and then tour the rigs in the finishing stations or lined up on the “yellow brick road” just hot off the production line. We learned that our coach has 2 miles of electric wire, thousands of nuts, bolts and latches, and a potpourri of machinery and parts beyond the ability to comprehend. Somehow it all works most of the time. 

Current time; 12:35 pm. To the Jeep to look for lunch. I had apples with me for fall back as we  elected to try Swamp Johns a bit out of town  but arriving at closing time—their hours 5:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Back to the Jeep and skipping Subway, we headed right back to the other home owned choice, to Jacks. Paul had a burger and I ordered another biscuit and loved it with the juicy Braeburn apple that I shared with Paul. I confess, I succumbed (burying my “guilt” once again) savoring a scoop of Blue Belle butter crunch ice cream. Delicious. 

Tiffin repair work stops at 3:00 PM, so we picked up our rig and set up our campsite for the 6th or 7th time with more work time to come. Tomorrow to McKinneys paint shop by 8:00 am for repair work. Breakfast will be cereal on board, Lunch, most likely another battle with my psyche, but I intend to enjoy every bite. Back to exercise and whole grains, yogurt, tofu and my full share of fruits and veggies after our stint in Red Bay. You would be amazed at what there is to do in this seemingly remote spot in North Western Alabama. Off to the local history museum with a special room devoted to their home grown celeb, Tammy Wynette.

Ann Carol Goldberg

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