October 3, 2012 § 18 Comments
I’m convinced that if food knows you’re afraid of it, it will, most of the time, rise (or is it sink?) to meet your expectations, and give you plenty of trouble. This is why, for example, you must be firm while rolling out a pie crust, even as you use a delicate touch, and why souffles are best made after 10 pm, with a generous glass of wine by your side.
I’ve feared a wide variety of foods in my time, but one by one, I have try-tried again, building up my nerve and feel for things, and I’ve eventually conquered most of them. Fried foods, though, have definitely still got my number. I feel a vague internal cowering even now as I think about searing bolts of grease splattering everywhere, and me screaming and running like a peasant in front of a hord of visigoths, trying to get away from the oily conflagration that could, in my mind, easily start out of nowhere in a split second, as soon as there’s more than about 2 Tbs. of hot oil involved.
I’ve never actually had any mishap remotely resembling that (I’m much more liable to shave off my fingertip or set a cake ablaze), but it still scares me. Suffice it to say, I don’t do all that much serious frying.
Even less so because I’ve never had much cause to. I love the results enough to slave away over improving my bread, even my radicchio experience I’m willing to work at, but on the whole I don’t like fried food. I don’t like the taste, so why bother?
I know I’m kind of weird, with this. I know that my general dislike of fried chicken, fried fish, pakoras, tempura, even French fries puts me at odds with most of humanity. It’s not a problem with the fat content or anything, cream being pretty much my favorite food group. I just don’t care much for the flavor. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 7, 2010 § 3 Comments
One of my most vivid food memories from when I was little was eating baked acorn squash filled with apples, sugar, and butter. It’s the sort of thing that sticks with you when your age is in the single digits – being allowed to eat something that tasted basically like apple pie, mushed into an edible golden bowl. It was one of the things I really looked forward to when fall rolled around, and was something that gave our family dinners, which I have already completely idealized in my hazy memory as these wonderfully cozy affairs a la Norman Rockwell (but which in reality I believe also involved quite a few lectures on why we should eat our vegetables, how unkind it is to mommy to say “yuck” when she has taken the time to cook you dinner, and how we really needed to polish our manners – proper use of the knife and fork, elbows off the table, do not burp…you need to know this because what would you do if you were invited to dinner with the king of Norway?!), an extra specially snug feeling. I swear, something about eating stuffed acorn squash tinges the evening with a friendly golden glow.
November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment
You know what’s not a very cost-effective food binge to go on? Crab. I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been lobster. But I don’t know, call me unsophisticated but I really like crab better than lobster. Anyways, while most people’s Halloween weekends were filled with chocolatey, peanut-buttery, crispy, fruity, caramel-dipped treats, mine was filled with buckets of crab. Tender, slightly sweet and buttery with just a hint of the sea, crab. I’d take it over a tootsie roll any day!
I guess it must have been a result of our proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. As I mentioned before, we road tripped down to the DC area for the weekend and while there we had to eat out a lot. At every restaurant, when I opened the menu, there was crab in some succulent sounding manifestation – chowder, salad, cakes, sandwiches – that I simply couldn’t resist. Our drive back up on Sunday was on a perfect slightly sunny, slightly grey turning the corner into November day, so we wended our way up north with frequent stops for coffee, leg stretching and a little exploration. We stopped for lunch in Delaware because, well, because none of us had ever stopped in Delaware. We discovered an adorable little coffee shop in Newark, DE, and there on their posted lunch menu was crab melts. Guess what we ordered.