It’s official. Lucy, mistress of the Australian and nearly vegetarian Nourish Me, has kindly tagged me for my first meme. While I share with Lucy a love for drawing in black and white and clever conversation with my own beloved pet, I’ll stay the course and focus on food:
- Though everyone either snickered or questioned my sanity, I had every intention of baking my own cake for my wedding last year. Months before the great occasion, I would walk a new test creation to the office every week, dangling a cake box as if it was a parrot in a cage. The cakes were a great hit. I was exhausted. Two weeks before the wedding, I walked myself right into a bakery and ordered the cake.
- The best meal of my life. Enjoyed with my family when I was around eleven years old at a beaten up seafood shack, precariously poised on a pier jutting over the Atlantic at the Jersey Shore. We were very sunburned and sandy, gathered around a big table crowded with fried clams and shrimp. With the waves literally crashing beneath our feet, and the steady breeze whipping across the water, we were lulled into a place of perfect tranquility and bliss.
- I have deliberately passed up restaurants billed as among the finest in the city in favor of Cuban rice and beans on the East Side, a thick panroast at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, or falafel downtown.
- If given a choice of seating in a restaurant, I will always prefer a table tucked into a corner or a booth.
- Some years ago, I played hooky from work and took off with a friend up the Hudson River Valley. After spending hours roaming the historic Roosevelt and Vanderbilt estates, we wound up at the CIA (the Culinary Institute of America, not the other one), where we enjoyed an excellent late lunch amid all the chefs in training. I was memorably impressed by the hard work, hospitality and enthusiasm these students shared with us in one of the several charming and well-run restaurants on campus.
- Since my mother and I knew we weren’t going to Paris any time soon, we embarked on the extravagant baking expedition known as gâteau Saint-Honoré. Sharing a kitchen, we worked in shifts all through the night, taking turns filling and gluing the cream puffs, sipping tea, and napping on the couch. It was a raging success. I have not made pâte à choux since.
- No matter how slopped up I get, I have never outgrown my love of eating in the car. Since before I can remember, my grandfather would load us up in his tiny box of a black sedan and take us on road trips into the countryside. Invariably, we would wind up at Mom and Pop burger or hot dog joints along the way, with one final stop at an ice cream stand. These spots are long since gone, but I still remember the tangle and smell of a pile of fries in one hand and the feel of the soft bun of a burger in the other.