Friday, April 15, 2011

So I really didn't dream that

For years I thought perhaps I had just imagined eating these chewy, slightly grainy, tube stick astronaut snacks. I remember they were always smaller than you'd think after you tore open the space-age foil lined tube wrapping. I actually think that there may have been a couple of iterations of them because just today I viewed a you-tube video of a  1970's commercial for them and it didn't look quite right. A friend of mine on facebook found the commercial because she too was haunted by the memory of these space sticks. So with the miracle of the internet I have been able to view 2 products from my childhood that all these years have only been a vague, elusive memory of childhood fun-food.
  The second product was Koogle! Oh, how I loved koogle as a kid. But all these years I've never met anyone who remembers it. I would occasionaly mention it at parties, after a few adult beverages, but no one seemed to know what I was talking about. So again, my facebook friend came to the rescue with the name of the product.
  Now, it sort of makes me wonder. If the only other friends that I know who remember the space sticks and koogle grew up on Air Force bases like me and shopped at the commissary like me , and now those products are banned ( or are they?)......was the gov't just testing these strange products on unsuspecting kids who loved space and airplanes? I sense a conspiracy in here somewhere....
   Well, I'm telling you if you never tried Koogle then you missed out on one of he delicious wonders of modern food science!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Space memories and Tang

That was a sobering thought. The first space shuttle launch and landing occurred 30 years ago. I'd like to say that I was a mere babe at the time but alas I was practically launched myself. What an exciting thing to witness. How fortunate we were to live at Edwards AFB and be a first hand witness to history. It's interesting to think about how much this event was so much a part of my life that I just took it for granted. Growing up my whole life surrounded by jets,  sonic booms and wide open spaces. Here comes this gigantic space craft that had been launched into space like  a rocket and was casually landing on a strip of dry lake bed like a jet airplane. Very cool, indeed.
   It's interesting also that this anniversary shares it's date with the 50th anniversary of the ride of  Yuri  Gagarin in 1961. Now for sure I was not even alive at that point so it doesn't resonate with me as strongly. That and the fact that he was Russian. So growing up, we pretty much ignored contributions from the 'commies'. But as an adult when I think about how awesome that must have been for humanity to realize that we were about to propel ourselves into the space age. Wow.

All of this space related reminiscing got me thinking about the food and snacks that we used to eat as kids that had some sort of space related theme to it. The most obvious example is of course, Tang. Geez, could there be a grosser powdered drink on the planet than Tang? We'd stumble into the kitchen where our mom had been up for hours already and there on the kitchen table the glasses of freshly stirred Tang were waiting for us. It was gross, Everyone knew it was gross. But we drank it anyways because it was cool. Hey man, astronauts drank this stuff and they are rock stars so drink up brother! Remember when you'd get about 80% finished and you'd have to catch your breath, because of course you had been secretly holding our breath trying to deaden your taste buds ability to function. Then you'd catch a glance of the bottom  f the glass. There it was. The grit. Giant piles of undissolved astronaut grit. You'd clear your throat and tell yourself "man up dude, finish your Tang, don't be a woos." One last swallow.
   So last night I posted a question on facebook asking my friends for an appropriate drink to toast to the 30th/50th anniversaries. I was just thinking vodka with the Russian connection. Then there it was. Someone suggested Tang. Then the suggestions started pouring in and the final version ended up being dubbed the Tang-tini.  Na Zdorovie.