Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday 13 -- Favorite Foods

 

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Food is a thing for me.  I love eating out, always have.  I love all sorts of cuisines from home cooking to haute.  Food, in my brain, is connected to memories from my life.  I thought I'd look back at some favorite foods in my life, and see what burbles to the surface.

1.  Potato pancakes.  Or, as my mother calls them Kartoffelpfannkuchen.  She remembers eating these as a child and they were one of my favorite things growing up.  She would always let us choose our favorite meal for our birthdays, and this was ALWAYS what my brother and I chose.  It's very simple, potatoes and onion grated on a box grater, squeeze most of the excess liquid out, add egg and salt.  Fry in a pan.  Mom re-taught me how to make them a few weeks ago and it was like Scotty put me in a transporter and I was at our family table in Mississippi again.  Crazy how food can do that.

2.  Oysters.  My dad was one of those guys who knew ... everybody.  He had
a buddy in Biloxi who had an oyster business (back when Gulf oysters were the shazam), and we'd drive over there and get a bushel every now and again.  Dad would ice them down, shuck them, and we'd all sit around the table and eat them raw, as fast as he shucked.  Good thing he was good at it, lol.  I like mine with a dab of remoulade and a squeeze of lemon.  Mom and I found a place in Boston on our trip that had a $1 per oyster happy hour and we indulged heavily.  Yum.  Weirdly, I do not like them cooked.  The texture is weird (I know that sounds like an oxymoron).

3.  Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.  I think every kid in the world probably likes this.  We actually had it the other night, although I gussied it up with sourdough bread and gouda, sharp white cheddar, and Kraft single for old time's sake.  I've come to prefer Progresso over Campbell's, but either way, it's good eating.

4.  Wild salmon.  When we moved to Alaska in 1997, I had never had wild salmon.  Let me tell you, the first time was a REVELATION.  I mean, it doesn't even bear a passing resemblance to the stuff you get in the grocery store, much less the stuff in the can (which is what people in Mississippi ate when I was a kid, in patties).  The same can be said for Halibut, Alaskan Crab, clams....no comparison.

5.  Steamer clams.  Or, as my brother and I called them "clams with the bellies on".  We only got to eat these when we left the South and went back to Massachusetts to visit relatives.  My parents would make a beeline for their favorite clam shacks literally before we got to where we were going.  Mom and I ate several pounds of clams whiles we were in Boston, lol.  Oh, and they absolutely, positively MUST be fried.  To.die.for.

6.  Seafood Gumbo and Courtbouillon.  The first is self-explanatory.  My mom made hers with a whole blue crab, shrimp, and lump

crabmeat.  Courtbouillon (pronouned koo-bee-on on the Mississippi Gulf Coast) is a tomato/roux-based redfish stew.  Back before Paul Prudhomme almost destroyed the redfish fishery on the Gulf Coast.  I want to make this soon--but you do need red drum/redfish, so I'm waiting until I can afford it, lol.

7.  Pizza.  I've always liked pizza, but I REALLY like the wood-fired, smaller, and thinner ones that are more popular today.  I love the curated toppings.  My favorite place for this is a local chain, Il Vicino.

8.  Green Chile Cheeseburgers.  This is a quintenssential New Mexican thing, and in my opinion, the best come from the Route 66 Pitstop Laguna Burger.  They are enormous and oh so very juicy and tasty.  It's just a counter in a gas station, but they are worth the trip to get one.  My cousin came to visit a few years ago and we spent a wonderful day exploring Sky City at Acoma Pueblo.  We shared a Laguna burger after.  It made it perfect.

 

9.  Green Chile Stew.  Another New Mexican icon.  It's made lot's of different ways, but I like mine with hamburger.  When I first moved here, my new boss took me to Golden Pride and bought me a cup for lunch.  I was hooked.  It's my favorite winter meal. 

10.  Mexican or New Mexican food (they are quite different).  In general.  The first time we had Mexican food, I think I was about 10.  I was like, chips and salsa, where have you been all my life!  When I was first married I was poor as a church mouse, and had an equally poor best friend.  We would pool our couple of dollars, go to Chi-Chi's (remember them), order 1 cheese enchilada for the 2 of us, and eat about 10 baskets of chips and salsa.  For that day, we didn't FEEL poor.

11.  Lexington-style North Carolina BBQ.  Pulled pork, baby.  On one of our first dates, hubs took me to this little BBQ joint in Mt. Airy, NC for BBQ.  I can STILL remember how it tastes.  That style of BBQ is all about the pork, pulled or chopped, covered in a vinegary, spicy "dip" with a touch of tomato.  Classic way to eat--on a bun, with a heap of slaw on top.   After hubs moved to Florida, he'd buy gallons of the sauce when he was home visiting.  Sadly they closed some years ago, but I'll always remember how it tasted.

12.  Hubs' chicken wings.  Naked, and perfectly crispy, covered in Frank's Red Hot mixed with a stick of butter.  Served with celery and blue cheese.  Always delish.  He has the crazy process that takes 2 days to make them, but damn, it is worth it.

13.  Hot and sour soup and dumplings at Pop-Up Dumpling House.  This is a little joint inside our local international market, Ta-Lin Market.  This elderly Chinese lady and her husband run it.  8 steamed pork dumplings and a bowl of hot and sour soup for $7.95.  Best meal deal ever, and her soup is literally the best hot and sour soup I have ever eaten anywhere in my life.  When I feel crappy, this is the meal I want.

4 comments:

  1. Can't find fried clams anywhere on the VA NC coast but I get them whenever I go home to MA. I had the best oysters at an oyster house on the way to New Orleans and have been trying to find anything close since.

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    1. The best oysters I have ever had in my life were a few months ago in Boston. Farmed in Duxbury, MA. My Mom asked where the oysters were from, and the waitress said "Duxbury". Mom having much knowledge of Duxbury from her youth, whispers to me "they don't have oyster bed in DUXBURY!" Well, they were small compared to Gulf Coast oysters, but OMG, sweet and salty. Damn fine, and you can order them online. https://islandcreekoysters.com/

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  2. In my family potato pancakes are made with leftover mashed potatoes the next morning. Add in an egg, some flour to bind it, and pan fry in melted butter. Extra good with melted cheese on top! I never buy farmed salmon, for the conditions they're kept in. And the wild is such a beautiful color!

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  3. I love this! Smells and sounds bring up some good memories. I have never liked oysters and now I'm allergic to shellfish so there's that. Maybe that is why I didn't like oysters to start with. Great entry.

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