I was shopping at Woodman’s the other day when I picked up a bag of Tater Triangles. And just like that, I was back in college.
But in college, they were listed on the menu as tri-taters and they were always served with corn. Probably the meat was chicken or hamburger.
Anyway, I loved tri-taters. Everyone who ate with me knew that. I liked them even more than the endless sundae bar and always went back for seconds.
So seeing that bag, I had to buy it, because it reminded me of one college day in particular.
I was excited because my sister was coming for a visit and I was violently homesick, so this was going to be a highlight. But she called that afternoon and said she wasn’t coming because her best friend would be home that weekend.
I hung up the phone and had a crying jag, which upset my whole floor. So they decided we would all go eat together. And that night, they happened to be serving tri-taters. One by one, my dorm mates forked over their tri-taters onto my plate until I had a stack so high I couldn’t possibly devour them all. Maybe those girls couldn’t say what they were feeling, but they knew how to show me.
That one thing has stuck with me all these decades because it was such an obvious sign of support and friendship. And that was when I first realized I had made many friends at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
So when I saw that bag of Tater Triangles in the freezer case at Woodman’s, it was if all those girls were back in my life, supporting me.
Sadly, I have lost touch with all of them. But when I eat tri-taters, I have them back for a moment.
And that’s the taste I remember.