There is some vagueness to this holiday. Julienne is a culinary knife cut in which the food item (potatoes in this case) is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks. Some people also call these fries Shoestring Fries. Now I’m familiar with all these terms, but when you look up images of these items, you see a considerable difference in fry width, hence the confusion. The classic shoestring is very thin, but more traditional varieties are typical fry-size (like McDonalds). So what to do?
We decided that typical fries are indeed acceptable under the category for Julienne Fries, so celebration on! I was glad too – I didn’t have a search for an elusive French Fry in me today (been a long week). Today was also another holiday that we decided to combine for one big celebration. It was National Middle Child Day (naturally Middle Children have to share their holiday with something else). I am a middle child – a year younger than my brother and a year older than my sister – so I needed to celebrate. I naturally immediately thought of Lola’s sister Katie too who is the Middle Child from her family (with two older sisters and two younger sisters). Katie and I are simpatico that way. We give each other the secret MC handshake at family parties. We go to MC Anonymous together (should I have told you that?) We raise money at the annual MC Bake Sale. We’re in the club.
Katie was the first of the Mellow sisters I ever met (outside of Lola of course). That was 15 years ago! I was coming to visit Lola for the first time at her home (this home), and when I got there, Katie gave me the warmest of greetings. Then, what could have been an awkward situation amongst me, Lola, her parents and Katie all meeting for the first time in the kitchen was quickly defused by Katie who immediately suggested we take a walk outside together. Katie, Lola and I then strolled around the yard, developing a special little friendship that began on that very first day. Over time, I would learn that Katie too was the middle child. Katie was the first person I know to talk about birth order and how it affects personality and behavior. She had me pinned for a middle child right away and explained the traits of a middle child to me: people-pleasers, pacemakers, somewhat rebellious, etc. Katie always researches subjects that are interesting to her and her life. She likes to have the facts before talking about something, and she shares her knowledge too. I like that about her.
In any case, we invited Katie over to celebrate our day. The negotiation of the celebration had typical middle child feel to it:
Where do you want to go?
I don’t care. Where do you want to go?
Is 10:30 am ok – no pressure?
How about 11? But I can totally do 10:30 if it doesn’t work.
Any chance you want lunch instead? Only if you do because we can completely skip it.
I paraphrased, but that’s the gist of it. We landed on getting lunch from around the corner and eating it outside in our yard picnic style. Katie was coming over with her kids Savvy and Eva and stepdaughter Ronnie who was visiting before heading back to Atlanta for school. We got some Lobster Rolls from Flo’s (a Portsmouth institution) and a few other tidbits from their next door neighbors Schultzy’s. That’s where I got some julienne fries.
While I may be unsure if the fries technically met the criteria for julienne fries (although I am saying they do), I am sure we celebrated the spirit of the holiday because as soon as we sat down, Savvy and Eva (the “dookles” as Lola calls them) started stealing them, and if you want to celebrate any French Fry, you have to have ones that bring smiles to little faces. I loved that they stole bites. I feigned anger giving them a “Why I Outta!!” shout along with a fist shake, but that only made them come back for more. I love those kiddies. For the record, the fries were good too. Hot, fresh, lightly salted. Can’t go wrong with that combo.
Savvy is also a middle child too and she was excited that today was a day to celebrate. She even wanted to make a toast on this special occasion, but when we went to record her, she got a little uncharacteristically shy, so Lola gave one instead. I’m sure Savvy’s toast would have been pure gold, although Lola’s was most adequate. Then we all ate our lunches in the shade on a hot afternoon basking in the joy of this special day. Can’t celebrate better than that.
I had a couple of other middle children reach out to me today too and I really know I am in good company (looking at you JDB and JoLo). I’m glad we get a holiday just for us! And for all those Middle Children out there that are still dealing with your situation and have yet to embrace your middledom, just know one thing: it gets better. See you at the next meeting.
And just for the dookles:
Tomorrow: National Prosecco Day and National Left Handers Day. This one’s for you MB!