So I made the mistake of listening to an American history book on CD while driving to Florida and have come to two conclusions: firstly, that the Union and the Confederacy should have just gone their separate ways, and secondly, that America has a profoundly unhealthy obsession with making money. But as we crossed state border after state border, the only real opinions I could generate about each state were based on the billboards that stretch along the I-95. They started off with nuance and wordplay, hinting at what they were selling without insulting the driver’s intelligence, perhaps even resulting in a dry chuckle or a whispered “touché”. The chic Audi billboard “Your move, BMW” and the suave reply “Checkmate” got our trip off to a sophisticated start. I nearly had to roll down my window and light up a cuban while pretending that my Subaru was the 2012 Audi A4.
After driving past billboards for ipods, itunes, ipads and all things apple, and at least three billboards for Breaking Dawn: Part 1 that read “forever is just the beginning” followed by a not-so-brief desire for my husband to become a vampire (translation: Rob Pattinson), we reached North Carolina (we don’t need to mention Delaware because I’m fairly certain that no one lives there). This is when we began to see signs like “When you die, you will meet God” interspersed with South of the Border’s witty one-liner’s: “You never sausage a place, you’re always a winner at Pedro’s” and “Pedro’s weather report: chili today hot tamale!”. I quickly found that the combination of the billboards and the increasing heat slowed my brain function, and as we continued south, confederate flags began to crop up on the backs of trucks and Darwin fish were replaced by Jesus fish. Religious billboards continued to multiply like pine trees with bold statements like “Where are you going? Heaven or Hell?” and “Anti-God is Anti-American” (ironically, when we stopped for gas in Georgia, I went into the store and, in addition to the usual items, were a string of occupied slot machines and a neon sign that read “Playboy” above a vast selection of colorful magazines (translation: the billboards aren’t working).
Florida brought with it a slew of ads for community living with walled-in pink stucco houses, palm trees and neon grass. Everyone featured in these ads was 106 and had replaced their cadillac with an electric golf cart, and find bridge absolutely scintillating. There were a few ads for Ron Jon’s surf shop featuring the nearly extinct sun-bleached surfer dude (who I suspect has been hunted and turned into egg-salad sandwiches and prune juice).
Driving down the I-95 and feeling bored? Whip out your waffle iron (which you obviously packed in your suitcase) and make a batch of yummy waffles! These waffles are hearty, crunchy and have just the right amount of sweetness to make you dream about breakfast every night. This recipe is adapted from the fabulously vegan Post Punk Kitchen.
Buttermilk Pecan Waffles with Blueberries
2 cups nut milk (I use soymilk)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder