Best meal I ever ate:
tiny restaurant, south of France, 1984
My current drink of choice:
water with lots of fresh lemon or lime juice. occasional blood orange martinis are nice too.
I really wish I could:
have been dx 20 yrs ago so my family and i would have had the life we should have had. i miss my 20' by 40' garden. so much to share. living on pizza and chinese because you are too sick to cook sucks. and not able to travel and expose my kids to such a -oh, i go blank on words, so i'll just say - diverse world.
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
not sure what the question is asking, and being so sick, i do not go out that much, but my favorite dish to bring to gatherings recently is salad grns ( a dark green sort of lettuce, don't know what it was, i did not grow it from seed, got the seedlings from the local farmers market. i dressed it with a homemade shallot vinegrette. yummy! and much needed when the other usual dishes were curious pasta dishes in tinfoil containers warmed with tea light candles or chilli in a crockpot or cakes, cookies, chips.
My favorite comfort food:
well, usually was mashed potatoes and peas. i used Yukon Gold potatoes and buttermilk. and frozen petite peas. organic really do taste better! my mother hated to cook, and i think mashed potatoes and peas are what mostly nourished me. at least the potatoes were always made fresh and it became my job around age 9 to make the mashed potatoes and also popovers. and at some point i did somehow pursade my willful mother to go with frozen peas instead of the mushy canned peas. but also, skinny as i am, for a quick fortification, whole grained or ( when i was healthier) homemade pasta and creme freche or sour creme or light or heavy cream with baby peas and lots and lots of really good ( or lesser quality in desperation ) parmesian reggiano.
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
zoubi restaurant and bar was where i had my last super yum meal just with the baby bok choy that came with the delish trout was more than just a decoration. i do like my vegies! and i had to ask for my beloved mashed potatoes on the side as it only came with the fish entree and bok choy decoration. just a couple of bites of potatoes satisfies me, but no starch or grain included, maybe there were white bread rolls, but they don't count. i ususally don't eat them. well, this was quite a number of yrs ago, we just lucked out on this little restaurant in old philly, and being big time music fans, i should know how to spell it right, but i can't spell anymore, but it was called django's. amazing. i had halibut. really really good! if you want to eat well, and can, travel to France. had really good sushi in la jolla, ca. and of all places park city , utah, but that was the old days before our visit to nantucket island, just after my first child was born. no memorable meals there. did dine at the second floor restaurant "that you must dine at" at both visits to the island. i can cook better than that! wish i knew what that weird rash was! locally, before babes, going back to 25 yrs ago ( am i really old now?! well, as long as no one else notices. ) 25 or so yrs ago we discovered Hamilton Grill room in Lambertville. they were great for a few yrs, but then they got discovered and strange people thought they were eating at a great restaurant because they read reviews. if you wanted a good meal and good dining experience, going on a thursday was your best bet. and sit at the grill bar. order the raw bar multi-appitizer as well as the griiled shrimp w/anchovie butter. but we are going way back. our daughter was born in 1990, so the best was in the '80's. only a few times since then. not sure if we have even been back there since 2000. oh, but my memory has just been jogged. last summer, our kids teens off doing their own thing, lovely summer evening, we decided to head up river and go out to eat. and where we live, you would think there would be a plethora of choices, but not really. we ended up checking out a place called DeAnna's. eclectic decor. but then big loud middle age lady with power suit and big handbag with also big loud boyfriend-possibility disrupting the peace. then, even worse, big loud lady's big loud girlfriend spontaniously enters the restaurant, givin a big loud gretting by big suit lady and heartily encouraged to join them. the waitress will just pull up a chair ( in already crowded seating. they were inches away from us. my husband and i just looked at each other thinking "why us"). fortunately, the hostess realized big loud party of three would be more comfy seated somewhere else. from there, we enjoyed our meal. the food was extremely good. despite mixed reviews i did read on line, i would go back in a second. very good food. very good experience despite earlier threat by big loud people.
My most tattered cookbooks:
this is frustrating, i don't know how to make changes without rewriting everything. my mom is the Itallian side of the family, and believe it or not, even hated garlic. salt, was the only "spice" she used. my red "good times" silver palate cookbook was even signed by the author. i was really into cooking - well as far back as my play plastic cookware things in kindergarten. loved books and the library also. found lots of good books there but of course, had to give them back. well, i will edit this from the beginning since i can't figure out how to edit it from the end without erasing all i wrote which takes a lot of effort for me. i get a lot of ideas and influence from cookbooks. i had some really good obscure ones like one called "Cold Foods" from at least 25 yrs ago. had some really good recipes for things like gaspazo and seviche. but got lost during our life changes and moves. most of my cookbooks are gone. wish i had rescued a really old cookbook my paternal grandmother gave to my mother i guess in a losing effort to interest her in acutally cooking. weird, because her mother was born in Italy and was an amazing cook. grandomom Susie could put Geoges Perrier to shame. ( and i have sampled his food. back before undx lyme disease ruined our lives - see, even the food industry is affected. we hardley ever go out to eat and pizza and take out chinese has been mostly our lives. too bad.) my aunts and English/Dutch grandmother were also great cooks. actually, excellent cooks. i'm not much a fan of deserts, but my aunt who died recently, it was noted she won awards for her pies. yeah, i remember her blueberry pies. yum! in my 20's i had the silver palate cookbooks. the white on and the red "good times" cookbook. out dog bob ate the red one. i remember doing several recipes from that one. the steak tartare burgers. some sort of chicken fingers with pecans in the breading and a frightful salad of some sort with peas and sour cream that i would not touch, but some people actually ate. don't know what happened to the white cookbook - maybe bob ate that also? i had the "Joy of cooking" cookbook to know how to cook meat since i mostly don't eat it and am married to a carnavore. Bob ate that one. Bob was a shepard/collie mix that adopted us. at least he did not eat our 5 1/2 pnd kitty Panda Bear (hymilayn sp? fur fluff) when she'd smack him on the nose when he tried to eat her food. i liked my early cookbooks from the 70's. mollie Ka..? the broccoli forest and one named after the vegie restaurant in upstate NY. those are gone too. Bob did not eat them. Frog/Comissary? - well, at this point i have to tell you my problems with memory and problems with spelling are that i contracted lyme ( and other tick-bourne infections like babesia - so common on Nantucket Island where we actuallly took photos of me with the classic bullseye rash, but did not know we had til yrs later. and it is endemic where we live. and i am or was the outdoorsy type. all i can say is don't go to UPENN drs. well, i had the original version of the Frogg/Commissary cookbook. illustrated by Becky Roller. we, in our early twenties, ate regularly at Rollers in Chestnut Hill where we lived at the time. Paul Roller catered our wedding. my cookbook came apart when it was new. funny, i thought it was somehow my fault, but it apparently has been reissued and i read posts of others saying the binding was so bad, their original cookbooks fell apart when new also, the binding was so cheap and so bad. i think since i cannot afford to buy a new copy, since my first one was defective. the recipes? well, spanikopita triangles, but actuallly i already was making spanikpita and did not need a recipe. but the recipe for the swordfish in lime,tamari sauce ( though i usually used tuna steak ) was a tradition as soon as it got warm enough to use the grill. and before this cookbook, i did not know what peanut satay was - however, a restaurant also in chestnut hill in the '80's (ellen's?) used to make really good chicken kabobs with peanut satay. the cookbook fell apart before i was able to explore much more. too bad. but this did make me think of this restaurant in chestnut hill when we lived there in the early to mid '80's. Under the Blue Moon. really good restaurant. then chestnut hill kinda died. became a mall of sorts. friends of my husband's parents started showing up at McNally's and ordering wine by the glass. a neighborhood speakeasy that only locals like us knew about. a roach fell out of a vent in the ceiling last time i ate there. sitting next to big loud people, just my husband and i getting a sandwhich and pint of Ginnis to calm our nerves before reclaiming our beautiful daughter from the scary ones. flying fish was good last time we were there - 1990 - very pregnant with my daughter. i ordered some kind of fish with cream sauce and though i am not much of a desert person and small appitite that i have ate really healthy /no deserts while pregnant, the old guy at the OB/GYN scolded me for gaining 6 pnds in one month. at 5' 6" and now finnally weighed 122, he should have congradulated me! stupid, i even shared my fears that i still had such small hips and my husband's family is big boned, and only place i gained weight was in my now huge belly. my baby ws delivered by forceps. emergency. nazareth hospital. and i knew my grandmother was an England. but recently traced back to John Chilcote, and well, eventually the Plantagenet's. we have small hips. oh, sorry, i get destracted, cookbooks. well, i don't usually use them. don't measure ingrediants. do get inspired by other's recipes though. strange my mother hated to cook and grey meat and canned vegies were her idea of a good meal. with uncle ben's converted rice. she was partial to brands. white rice. wouldn't buy brown rice when i requested it. "uncle ben's rice is our rice dear".