Thursday, May 17, 2007

The “IT” Girl – 7 Random Facts About Me

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. If given a choice of seating in a restaurant, I will always prefer a table tucked into a corner or a booth.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
Time to tag the next IT Girls:

Christina, Cynthia, Riet, Anne, Shn, Dani, and Jenn!


  1. Thanks for tagging me!
    I will have to work on that one! :)
    Hope you enjoyed the berries!

  2. Give me one of those intimate corner spots any time.

    Can't believe you went to so much effort to make your wedding cake - no wonder you ended up ordering one. That is the most beautiful wedding photograph I've ever seen. Lovely.

    Great drawing by the way. Indeed, Susan, we MUST talk!!

  3. Everyone of you items are top class, such a wonderful response!
    Now If you come to Dallas, I'll take you to a wonderful hamburger drive in where they even sell beer and the only place to eat is in your car!!

  4. Jenn - Happy to. The berries are great. We'll be getting the best of the fresh ones soon.

    Lucy - Even though it was an intimate wedding, it was far more work than I expected, all of which I did myself save the cake and flowers. It went off without a hitch, but there's a reason getting hitched by Elvis at the drive-thru chapel has its advocates.

    We were lucky enough to have an A-List photographer. Everyone loves that shot.

    That sketch is one of my favorites. I look forward to comparing notes with you.

    Tanna - Thanks so much for your kind words. Beer at a drive-in? Well, since I'm not a kid anymore, I'm going to have to take you up on the offer.

  5. First time to your blog and am bowled by the Mee. Your food memories are so comforting

  6. Welcome, Sandeepa! Food is so full of all kinds of feelings. I'm so glad you found comfort in mine. Remembering these snapshots comforts me, too, but can be wistful at times.
    Thank you for your kind words.

  7. Aahhhh, now I understand what a "meme" is ! When you left me a comment about this "meme", I really wondered what you were talking about ! A "meme" in french is a grand-mother, lol !!

  8. Susan,Thanks for tagging me, will take it up sometime soon :)
    Hey one doubt, where did you buy berbere seasoning from? I stay at mid-west and tried checking at the shops here but couldnt find anywhere..if it's part of some popular food store chain, perhaps, I can check there if u can suggest few names!


  9. Thanks for the tag--I'll get to it as soon as time allows. I'm also trying to gather my ideas for another type of post, so we'll see which emerges first.

    It was fun to read your memories. I felt for a moment as if I were in your grandfather's black sedan.

  10. Anne - And I always thought Grand-mère was grandmother in French. Now I'm the one LOL!

    Shn - I'll do some research re: berbere and leave a comment on your blog.

    Christina - I look forward to your next post, whatever it is.

  11. Susan - These memes are probably more meaningful if kept to food, as you did. I love that you worked so hard to trial wedding cakes only to decide to order one - it looked lovely, by the way (and I love the shrug). Eric and I have been to the CIA in California. I don't remember much of the meal except the dessert, probably one of the best I have ever had in my life with French press coffee that just about knocked our socks off (in a good way). I love hearing about your life in New York. Eric and I will get there one day soon.

  12. Oh Susan, how funny! And quite typical, #1 and 6, enjoyed reading your meme!

  13. Thank you, Shaun, for your generous words. The meme was certainly easier to write on topic. It was fun for the novelty, but it's the recipe posts that really resonate with everyone.

    I'm glad you've come as far as California. New York is another five hours away. From what I hear, the flight over the Grand Canyon is not to be missed. "One day" may very well be sooner than you think.


    Hi, Sra! Now that these "projects" are over, I can look back and laugh. : )

  14. Dearest Susan, thanks for tagging me. It is going to be my first meme too :) another connection? :)

    I'll think about it and get to writing soon.

  15. Happy to, Cynthia. Yes, another connection. : ) I look forward to reading yours when you're ready. Does take some thought. By my fifth meme, maybe I'll just tell people what color socks
    I wear. ; )