I can’t like olives.

Notice I didn’t say, “I don’t like olives.” Instead I said, “I can’t like olives.” The reason I said, “I can’t like olives” as opposed to, “I don’t like olives” is because I want to like olives.

But I can’t.

I want to like olives, in part, because I think should like them. People do neat stuff (Ha!) with olives. They stuff olives (thus the “Ha!”) with neat things which is one way to tell if you should like something.

If it’s stuffable.

They put olives on pizza. As far as I’m concerned if something can go on pizza it’s probably good. Well, except pineapple. I mean, I like pineapple in its place but let’s face it pineapple’s place is not on pizza.

Same goes for cauliflower.

And proof of all proof that I should like olives is because they put them in martinis.

I also want to like olives because so many people I know and whose tastes I respect love olives.

So I’ve tried to like them. Often.

I’ve tried to like olives more times than some people have tried to quit smoking. But I can’t.

Like olives I mean.

By the way, expressing a food taste opinion-solicitated or not-is a sure-fire way to have your opinion thrown right back into your face.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Normally I try to avoid expressing food taste opinions in casual conversation. If someone offered me an olive, rather than say, “I don’t like olives” I would go with the more polite, “No thank you.”

But if the olive pusher declines to accept my polite refusal and, instead, continues to try and force an unwanted olive on me I might be forced to say “I don’t like olives” even though I know what the overly aggressive olive pusher will say.

“YOU DON’T LIKE OLIVES?!!!”

To which I’m always tempted to say, “Amazing how you were able to sort that out based solely on my cryptic statement “I don’t like olives.”

But I didn’t intend to talk about olives here, I intended to talk about the Josie’s Ristorante lunch my wife and I enjoyed in our outdoor kitchen Saturday afternoon.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking, “But Mike, isn’t Josie’s Ristorante in Scammon, Kansas and not in your outdoor kitchen?”

To some of you thinking that I say, “We didn’t go to Scammon, Kansas to get our Josie’s Ristorante lunch we went to Macadoodle’s Fine Wine, Beer and Spirits in Joplin.”

I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking “Huh?”

What happened is my wife and I were in Joplin Saturday and decided to stop by Macadoodle’s to pick up some wine.

And beer.

As we pulled into the Macadoodle’s parking lot we noticed a trailer sitting on its south edge. It was the Josie’s Ristorante food truck. The one the nice folks at Josie’s use when they take their food on the road.

See, when the pandemic struck Josie’s, like a lot of restaurants, was forced to close for a while. While closed they decided to bring their great food to their customers and now, even though the restaurant is  open (and following proper mask and social distancing rules) they still occasionally take their food truck on the road.

The only catch is Josie’s encourages folks to pre-order their food via their Facebook page something we neglected to do.

Not to point fingers here but the fact we didn’t pre-order food from Josie’s was my wife’s fault.

I mean, she’s the Facebook person.

After admitting she missed Josie’s Facebook announcement about them being at Macadoodle’s Saturday my wife said, “Maybe they packed extra food.”

“I doubt it,” I said.

But my wife insisted we walked over to see if the Josie’s folks packed extra food.

They did.

So we wound buying some fried ravioli, some antipasto and several jars of the famous Josie’s sauce.

When we got home, I opened a bottle of Chianti while my wife heated the ravioli, some sauce and portioned some of the antipasto into two separate bowls being careful to try and keep olives out of my bowl.

We then sat outside, ate our lunch, sipped our wine and tried to ignore our dog Caicos begging for her cut of the meal.

a plate of ravioli, pasta sauce and a bowl of antipasto with a glass of wine. To illustrate our Josie's lunch.
Here is the Josie’s lunch as plated up by my wife. But hey, I opened and poured the wine.

 

I’ve had worse Saturday afternoons.

a photo showing our dog Caicos staring at the ravioli in my hand hoping to get her cut.Cacois s
Here is Caicos intently eyeing the fried ravioli in my hand which she feels rightfully belongs to her.

While we were eating, I noticed a couple of small pieces of black olives in my antipasto.

“What the heck,” I thought. “Maybe this time I’ll like them.”

But I didn’t like the olives and you want to know why?

Because I can’t.

 If you want to find out when and where the Josie’s food truck will be visit their Facebook page at Josie’s Ristorante.