Thursday, September 07, 2006

the 5 things to eat before you die meme

Started by The Traveler's Lunchbox, this has been variously and wondrously interpreted by bloggers, including Faith at Mekuno Cooking (who tagged me); Karina at gluten-free goddess (she gives 5 foods to live for); Cookiecrumb (who includes a deathbed wish); and kitchen hand at What I cooked last night (he has 5 meals).
I had trouble coming up with my own list--too many wonderful things, of course, but also, how to interpret it--personal foods? universal foods? unique and amazing foods? My list turned out to be personal, but somewhat accessible.
1. Pizza in Italy. I didn't really know how good pizza could be until I went to Italy. The 1st one my sister and I had (a Pizza Margherita in an 8-table restaurant in a Roman alley) was a revelation that swept aside all the unsatisfactory experiences with Domino's and their like. (Actually, any food in Italy would be a good list item--almost everything we ate there was wonderful.)
2. My mother's torte, made always for Christmas dinner, and occasionally on other state occasions. We learned that my sister couldn't have it for her June birthday though, since the heat tended to uncrisp and even melt it. When we were young, the torte seemed like a miraculous and unique creation, but I know it now as a variety of dacquoise, meringue layers filled and frosted with whipped cream flavored with cherries and pineapple. It's one of those recipes that turns out to be more than the sum of its parts.
3. Warm bread you've made yourself. The taste is wonderful enough in itself, good even w/o butter (although butter is welcome), but it's even better because of the sense of accomplishment. I waited a long time to taste this because of my fear of yeast, one of several food-preparation fears I had: fear of yeast, fear of canning, fear of pressure cookers, and fear of deep-fat frying. I've conquered the 1st two, and I'm contemplating learning how to make doughnuts.
4. Pierogi, an eastern-European kind of filled dumpling for those of you whose grandma didn't make them by the dozen, filled most often with potato and/or cheese, but now available in other flavors. I'm part Slovak, and my grandma and aunts were great pierogi makers. I myself am a great pierogi buyer. Hmmm--maybe I have a fear of pierogi? Pierogi should ideally be served with fried onions, some sour cream, possibly sauerkraut, and some kielbasi sausage. It's a dish that will turn you Slovak (or Polish or Hungarian).
5. A BLT, with homegrown tomatoes and lettuce, which incidentally we had last night for dinner--tomato slices as large as dessert plates, Red Sails lettuce, bacon from The Sausage Shoppe (home-cured), and bread from one of my favorite bakeries, the Stone Oven. I was starting to feel sick last night, and the BLT made me feel cured, for a while at least.

Bloggers I'd like to tag (and who I'm pretty sure haven't posted on it yet): Barbara at Tigers and Strawberries; Liz at Pocket Farm; ladygoat at Foodgoat; Queen of the Kitchen; and Gina at Crazy Diamond.


Liz said...

Mmmm... pierogies. You've just described one of my favorite meals. Maybe some applesauce, and the kielbasi should be smoked. But that's Slovak? I always thought Polish because that's all my Polish Babci knew how to cook. My Slovak (well, really, Czech) grandma made other fabulous things that I can never remember the names of: like these dumplings that have a plum inside.

Thanks for tagging me! I'll have to put on my thinking cap. ;)

erieblue said...

Well, even though you haven't tagged me, I think 5 is not enough. Surely pompushki (sp?) should be on that list. And if you've really conquered fear of the deep fat fryer, well . . . Also, I'm shocked that apricot chiffon pie is not on your list. Or lime angel fluff!!

Gina Ventre said...

The potato pizza in Rome is amazing. I've never had anything like it. Also - the prosciutto, tomato, and mozzarella pizza. MMMmmmm.

Pierogies and sausage is my preferred hangover meal.

Brian Kornell said...

I can't wait to try the pizza in Italy or really any of the food in Italy.

Karina said...

Ah, pierogies! I do miss them [having to be gluten free] and I'm glad to see them make the cut! Nice list!

lucette said...

Liz--I've heard of those plum dumplings, which sound really good. I had Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Slovak relatives, and they all ate pierogies and kielbasi, in slightly different ways.
Erie--yes, the apricot chiffon pie! having to choose was hard.
Gina--pierogies as hangover food sounds right; not sure about sausage--too aggressive?
Brian--and you'll have to post about it!
Karina--surely someone has come up with gluten-free pierogies by this time?

K-Oh said...

You're getting to be such a geek! What does it mean to tag someone?

I do adore pierogies. Definitely one of the plusses of having moved to Cleveland. Mmmmm.

kitchen hand said...

The pierogis sound wonderful.

Homesick Texan said...

Fresh out of the oven, warm, homemade bread is indeed one of the great pleasures in life. I'm a butter nut, so I like to top a slice with the stuff and have it melt a bit, but you're right--it's good enough without.