I was about ten years old, and just getting over the mumps (which I caught at the hospital while having my tonsils out). I hadn't eaten anything for weeks, it seemed. I was just well enough to go visiting and we went "to the country" to visit my aunt Josie. She made rare steak with spaghetti and butter. I don't know if it was because I was so hungry, or the fresh country air, or what, but that was the single most delicious meal I ever remember having. In all the ensuing years, I've eaten great meals all over the world, but for some reason, when I think of my favorite, that's it.Today my favorite meal is all shellfish, all the time. Steamed clams, Pasta Posilippo, bowls of garlicky mussels, teeny winkles and a pin to pick 'em...and plenty of bread and butter and cold wine or beer. Those big tiered trays of seafood one gets in France also rank right up there. Doesn't get any better.
My current drink of choice:
Martini, the grown up kind, without chocolate or syrup or a marshmallow on top. Just gin (not vodka), a touch of good vermouth, and a couple of olives. If I'm feeling frisky, I'll take a splash of olive juice too. Straight up, please. And you can stir it or shake it, just make sure it's icy cold.
I really wish I could:
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
Does this mean the dish I bring? If so, it's a pork terrine that's easy to make and foolproof. If it's to serve at home, Paella.
My favorite comfort food:
Pigs feet, saurkraut, mashed potatoes. Shut up if you haven't tried it.
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
Prune, NYC; Bilal Pakistani Restaurant (Inglewood, CA...and if you haven't eaten the cow shank and cow heel Paya, you're missing something); Pinot Bistro (Sherman Oaks, CA); Balthazar NY, Oso (L.A.)
My most tattered cookbooks:
The Joy of Cooking ('75); Delia Lutes "The Country Kitchen," "Polish Cookery" (Marja Ochorowicz)