Tag. You’re it.

My friend Pat tagged me for a meme back in January. I’m not usually into this sort of thing, but I thought you might get a kick out of the answers. And truthfully, I’m hoping that sitting down to think about the foods I love will liven things up a bit around here.

I know it makes me a spoilsport, but I refuse to tag. Bloggers, take that as your cue: Meme away. Say I sent you. And heck, if you’re not a blogger but want to respond, by all means, answer the same questions in the comments section below. Type your little heart out.

What were you cooking/baking 10 years ago?
February of 1998, I was cooking dinner with my friend Michaela for a big group of folks for Middlebury College’s winter carnival. Michaela was in charge. We made pumpkin risotto, I think, and something that required beef stock, for sure, because Eric thought the bouillon cube was chocolate and ate the whole thing in one bite. Haven’t seen a guy cry so hard since.

Or wait, was that 1999?

What were you cooking/baking one year ago?
Soup for Peter.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Chicken salad, straight from the container
2. A cheddar cheese quesadilla (corn, of course)
3. Greek yogurt with walnuts, fruit, and honey
4. A dripping-ripe nectarine
5. Chocolate croissant

Five recipes you know by heart:
1. White bean dip
2. Roasted chicken
3. Vinaigrette (but more like by feel)
4. Brussels sprouts with bacon
5. Pie crust

Hmm, sounds like dinner.

Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:
1. Feeding the people who can’t indulge
2. Unlimited triple cream cheese, followed by liposuction
3. Egg ducks (and the yard space, including pond, to accompany them)

Okay, on second thought, I’ve decided I object to this question. I don’t think I’d get liposuction, for one, and I think having culinary luxuries is more a state of mind than one of finance. Of course, I (like you, probably, if you’re reading this) have the fortune to be in a situation where I can eat a wide variety of foods, don’t have to live on rice and beans, can afford to buy fruits and vegetables, etc. That said, culinary luxury is (to me) about having the time to enjoy the food you have, not about money. So, I’m changing it (yes, I was always the kid who changed the rules in the middle of the game):

Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you had an extra four hours in the day:
1. Savoring the texture of an entire serving of Greek yogurt, one bite at a time
2. Plunging my hand into a new bag of flour. I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like but never wanted to waste time cleaning it up.
3. Smelling all the fruits in the grocery store
4. Rubbing my hands in our rosemary bush, every day
5. Stirring a pan of oatmeal and sticking with it, smelling the way it changes as it cooks, instead of abandoning it on the stove

Five foods you love to cook/bake:
1. Chocolate chip cookies
2. Granola
3. Potato salad
4. Fruit crisps
5. Pasta

Five foods you cannot/will not eat:
1. Eggplant. Okay, will eat it, but have lots of trouble enjoying, unless peeled, pulverized, and rendered unrecognizable.
2. Tripe. The texture kills me.
3. Mayonnaise, if I can see it.
4. Fugu. I’m just not that much of a risk-taker.
5. Polychaetes. Never tried, never will.

Five favorite culinary toys:
1. Microplane
2. Small offset spatula
3. Immersion blender
4. Stand mixer
5. Kyocera mandolin

Five dishes on your “last meal” menu:
You know, a friend of mine recently asked me what I’d eat for my last meal, and I refused to answer. The food I tend to love most is happenstance. I’d love to eat whatever I felt like in the moment for my final meal, and I hope that if I somehow knew it was my last, I’d be content to eat anything from foie gras to homemade pizza to Chinese take-out. I think a more appropriate question is who you’d like to eat with, but I get sad just thinking about it, so I’m not going there.

That said, there are, of course, a few “dishes” I really, really like. Okay, more than a few. Here are five of them. They’d make for a really strange menu if they were served all at once, but I really don’t care. So there.

1. Pasta Bolognese, made with a mixture of pork, veal, and lamb
2. Willow Tree chicken salad, on lightly toasted wheat bread, with lettuce, pickle, and tomato
3. Crème brulee
4. A burrito from Anna’s Taqueria
5. Coq au vin

Burritos and creme brulee. Eww.

Five happy food memories:
See? This is why I hate these things. Why five?

1. Eating a five-course tofu meal at an organic restaurant in Kyoto, and washing it down with a Wolaver’s
2. Spreading Nutella on lemon-poppyseed bread for ten consecutive meals when Jim and I were traveling in New Zealand in college (it seemed like a good idea at the time)
3. Cutting into our wedding cake and realizing that the cake in the entire middle layer was charred to a crisp, and that the filling was the wrong flavor, and not caring
4. Catching a delicious bass for dinner in Woods Hole
5. The cookies my neighbor brought me last week, when I really wanted a cookie

Tag. You’re it.

5 Comments

Filed under commentary

5 responses to “Tag. You’re it.

  1. Julia S

    No eggplant?? Did you know my dad is “allergic” to eggplant? You definitely are related!

  2. Ooh, yes then, I must be allergic also.

  3. Roxanne

    10 years ago: quesadillas (flour)
    1 year ago: quesadillas (flour)
    five snacks: quesadillas, brie with anything, fresh baguette, carrots that someone else peels, cold pizza
    recipes by heart: challah, quesadillas!, pizza dough, crepes, marinara my way
    $$luxuries: being able to fly my daughter home to organize my kitchen drawers whenever she wanted to
    time luxuries: being relaxed when I eat; being able to plan meals; being able to linger in the grocery store; having time to even have friends to invite over
    won’t eat: fish, exotic meats (that some cultures live on), really hot, spicy sesame oiled asian foods, most pork, fatty beef, and I would not attempt anything you won’t eat either
    love to cook/bake: omlettes, quesadillas in my quesadilla maker, panini in my panini maker, challah, a meal that I have time to cook
    last meal: not going there, I would probably be to sick from sadness to eat
    culinary toys: silicone spatula,no stick cookie sheets, microplane, french whisk, sharp knives, platter that is big enough
    memories: crepes in Paris; my daughter’s 21st birthday at a restaurant upstairs that is no longer there, way too much to drink; pizza on moving day on Charles street;Italian Bistro on Charles street; my kids making their lunches for the whole week, putting the bags on top of the fridge to divy up the chips, cookies, etc., waiting to add the sandwich daily; anything my daughter cooks; Thanksgiving 05; Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara; long long ago when bagels were good–in the 60’s with my mother and making what Julia made–croquenbouche, buche de noel, petits fours; kicking my allergy to wheat when I was 12 and could eat white bread (home baked only), San Francisco bakeries that make chocolate croissants, L.A. Farmers Market watching them make peanut butter in the 50’s, Pastrami sandwiches on Fairfax; glazed do-nuts at my friends house in L.A in the 50’s, whose father was a movie star and the Helms man delivered do-nuts to her house after school and her maid and butler served them–too bad her parents were never home but I was never allowed to have do-nuts or anything that wasn’t home baked for that matter–and they had bottled orange jucie and you could have a whole glass instead of milk. Nobody drank a whole glass of orange juice in the 50’s.

  4. From a reader in DC:

    What were you cooking/baking TEN years ago?

    cupcakes for classrooms

    Five snacks you enjoy:

    good cheese – any
    Nachos with losts of good guacamole
    honey wheat pretzels
    comforting soups
    yogurt (any kind will do)

    Five recipes you know by heart:

    Bobbie’s chicken (from Silver Palate – or at least my version thereof)
    Fruit pies
    roasted new potatoes
    pureed carrots
    frozen pizza!!

    Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:

    1. Feeding the people who can’t indulge
    2. Feeding the people who can’t indulge
    3.Feeding the people who can’t indulge
    4.Feeding the people who can’t indulge
    5. Embarassed about this one – but more already made stuff from Whole Foods

    Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you had an extra four hours in the day:

    1. savory chicken stews (like Bobbie’s chicken)
    2. Feeding friends
    3. fresh baked breads
    4. roasted veggies (I know they don’t take long but I often don’t even have that amount of time)
    5. Salads that are not just opening a bag and dumping into the bowl

    Four foods you love to cook/bake:

    rolled cookies
    fruit pies
    soups
    roast chickens (any)
    Christmas Eve dinners (except when I goof)

    Three foods you cannot/will not eat (I really think there are only three):

    1. Peanuts (that is a NO DUH for me)
    3. Anything with Peanuts
    3. Eggplant. Okay, will eat it, but have lots of trouble enjoying, unless peeled, pulverized, and rendered unrecognizable.)

    Five favorite culinary toys:

    1. Microplane – if that is what I just bought
    2. Cuisinart
    3. my cup measuring cup (DUH)
    4. my large scraper
    5. corkscrew

    Five dishes on your “last meal” menu:

    1. seseme bagel with good smoked salmon, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and lots of capers
    2. anything smothered with lots of slowly cooked onions
    3. wine – I know it is not a dish, but . . . . I have to have it at my last meal
    4. Thai lemongrass soup
    5. Coq au vin

    Five happy food memories:

    1. I am sure an Indian restaurant was involved
    2. I don’t know why I am saying this but having a dinner in Thailand with D and M and M commenting just like mom would have “That was very very mediocre” In fact it was pretty awful, but I still remember the evening with fondness and laugh when I think of M saying that.
    3. On a camping trip once I was so thirsty that TANG tasted like heaven. I will never forget that.
    4. really good pizza (not the Domino’s kind)
    5. dinner for 12 (many times) around our dining room table

  5. A couple responses:
    1. I have a pint of Willow Tree at all times in my fridge, in your west coast honor.
    2. I fondly remember the Middlebury incident. Burned risotto & tongue.
    3. Polychaetes. That is the most distgusting thing I’ve ever heard of. Second is the putrified shark that they eat in Iceland. It’s poisonous – so they bury it for six months so the poisons can leach out of the skin…and THEN they eat it.

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