Wednesday, November 16, 2005

100 Things to Eat

There's nothing like a good, old-fashioned, on-yer-hands-and-knees kitchen floor scrubbing to eliminate self-pity and feelings of victimization. As much as I hate house-cleaning of pretty much any sort, I get a perverse pleasure in taking on a major task like this. (My kitchen is pretty big and floored completely in white linoleum.) I may not be in charge of my destiny or the people in my life, but I can damn sure be in charge of how clean my kitchen is. I feel like my old self again.

So I've been thinking about composing my own list of 100 Things since like any blogger I am under the illusion that random strangers are interested in my life. But since I've been so very self-indulgent and whiney lately, and also since my favorite food holidays are fast approaching, I thought I'd instead compose a list of 100 Things to Eat. They're my favorites in no particular order--mostly homemade by me or someone else, but I didn't want to have to keep typing homemade. Have I mentioned how much I love all things food? Must be a Cancer thing.

100 Things to Eat
  1. home-grown tomatoes of any kind
  2. a cherry tomato called "Sungold," I don't care who grows it
  3. corn picked and immediately cooked and eaten
  4. homemade jelly doughnuts, still hot
  5. actually Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, still hot, rock too
  6. cornichon pickles
  7. kimchee
  8. bacon
  9. fried chicken
  10. biscuits and gravy
  11. eggs over-medium
  12. very delicious hashbrowns made from grated potatoes
  13. watermelon rind pickles
  14. ripe canteloupe slices
  15. strawberries picked during a drought year (makes them super-flavorful)
  16. mint sorbet
  17. cheese grits
  18. fresh oysters
  19. also fried oysters
  20. fried oysters on a salad with maybe some bacon vinaigrette and lemon slices to squeeze over it all
  21. hazelnut sandies (These cookies are my all-time favorite. I'll give you the recipe if you email me!)
  22. lemon chess pie
  23. buttermilk pie sprinkled with cinnamon
  24. really good butter used in baked goods (It does make a difference.)
  25. foie gras
  26. fried chicken livers
  27. French fries that look like they were cut from an actual potato, with skins on and everything. With mayonnaise, not ketchup.
  28. fried catfish
  29. Can you tell I'm a Southerner yet?
  30. fried chicken tofu (you heard me) from Ann Jackson's cookbook, Heart of the Home. (I can't seem to make this link to her book on Amazon work.) She's an incredible woman.
  31. sticky buns made from brioche dough and fresh from the oven
  32. cucumber and onion pickles
  33. Japanese pickles from sushi restaurants
  34. any good, sour, crunchy pickles
  35. oh, and pickled okra
  36. seafood gumbo
  37. vichysoisse
  38. split pea soup
  39. crusty fresh bread
  40. cherry preserves
  41. manchego cheese
  42. gouda with plenty of age on it
  43. hand-made salamis from this cute New York Italian guy in Greensboro, NC (I know you New Yorkers have got this sort of place on every block, but everything this guy makes is incredible, and if you're in NC then it's worth a day trip.)
  44. big hunks of fresh, ripe watermelon eaten on a wooden deck at the beach
  45. medium rare hamburgers
  46. rare steaks
  47. Yo, did you know that I was a vegetarian for 8 years? It doesn't show anymore, I know...
  48. Coke in a small glass bottle, so thoroughly chilled that there are ice crystals in it.
  49. pork roast and sauerkraut
  50. pierogis that Sister helps me make from my grandmother's recipe
  51. Hey, I'm 1/4 Polish, too. I have in my possession a letter written to my grandmother from a cousin, giving her a recipe for calves feet in aspic. Haven't tried that one yet.
  52. goat stew in a Haitian restaurant on my honeymoon with Husband in Miami
  53. Also, I spent the first 10 years of my life in Miami, and I'm injecting all these autobiographical tidbits because all of them inform my culinary interests. Southerner, Pole, and formative semi-tropical childhood.
  54. fried plantain chips purchased at a corner market in Little Haiti in Miami, or actually any large grocery store down there
  55. pecan pralines made with a bit of good bourbon
  56. very good chocolate
  57. amaretti cookies reeking of almond paste
  58. Actually, my secret baking vice is eating raw dough of any kind. Some people find it gross to eat raw pie dough, raw biscuit dough, croissant dough, that kind of thing. I wonder if I'm getting some trace nutrient that way, it's so delicious to me.
  59. a really ripe pear
  60. really ripe peaches
  61. sour cherry pie
  62. homemade chocolate ice cream with maybe some hint of coffee and rum
  63. mushroom pate
  64. rumaki!
  65. fried rice with scrambled egg bits in it
  66. fresh shrimp
  67. Ooh! Ooh! Sauteed soft shell crabs!
  68. those little warm chocolate cakes that when you cut into them they ooze out liquid chocolate batter
  69. dried cherries
  70. crackers with butter on them
  71. bread and butter, too (Takes me back to toddlerhood. My mom claims I used to sneak sticks of butter out of the fridge when I was kid and eat them like popsicles. I don't remember this.)
  72. MY cornbread (and no one else's)
  73. posole verde, a traditional Mexican hominy stew I learned how to make from some line cooks from Guanajuato several years ago
  74. popcorn popped on the stove, in a big pot, with plenty of melted butter, salt, and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast
  75. cinnamon graham crackers
  76. black-eyed peas
  77. collard greens cooked the Southern way, with red chili flakes and diced salt pork, on the stove all day and with plenty of pot likker to soak up with MY cornbread
  78. chicken and dumplings
  79. chicken pie made like Gran made it
  80. chicken pot pie like I make it for Sister
  81. plain ol' cheese souffle (Everyone in our house loves this and I still maintain that if we have eggs, we have dinner.)
  82. a cold glass of milk when I'm really craving it
  83. homemade spiced apple butter (I'm kind of hooked on this lately, stirred into vanilla yogurt, with toasted almonds sprinkled on top.)
  84. my mom's grilled cheese sandwiches (She uses, um...Velveeta.)
  85. Breyer's mint chocolate chip ice cream
  86. Should I list cocktails here, too? I make the most ass-kickin' gin fizz you'll ever taste, using fresh-squeezed citrus juices. I'll send you the recipe for that, too, if you ask me.
  87. Mmm, cocktails. Gin gimlets are our house drink.
  88. mojitos
  89. Singapore slings are divine if you make them the complicated old way, using fresh pineapple, real cherry brandy and Benedictine. Oh my.
  90. ceviche
  91. calamari
  92. bittersweet chocolate mousse
  93. fresh salsa of any kind with freshly fried flour tortilla chips to dip into it
  94. caramel sauce
  95. any dessert anyone makes for me
  96. but really any food at all that anyone makes for me. There is a certain grace that you have to practice as an adult woman to allow someone else to feed you. This appeals to me, and I'm trying to teach this to Sister. (Who, by the way, is a fantastic eater)
  97. Okay, almost done, but this is still coming pretty easily. Real onion rings--the kind that actually have the stringy onions inside them
  98. hot blackberry cobbler
  99. I can't believe I didn't think of mashed potatoes sooner than this!
  100. my Polish grandmother's weird compote made of sectioned grapefruits and oranges stirred together with a bag of butter mints. She used to serve this at holidays. The mints dissolve and it all becomes this deliciously sour, sweet, minty, unctuous, slurpy ambrosia. Strange but true.
And that's it! Hope you enjoyed it. Thinking about delicious food always cheers me up anyway.


my oh pie maker said...

it figures it would take you listing 100 food items for me to to finally post on your blog. . . as i was reading your list, i was drinking coke from a little green glass bottle (also a huge favorite of mine) while one of my other favorites - MY meatloaf - is in the oven. your list was great and really got me thinking about food that i love. . . mangoes. . . beef and guiness pie. . . shrimp and grits (from crooks). . . mangoes. . . a crisp fugi apple. . . arancine (a sicilian dish - risotto balls stuffed with ground beef, tomato sauce, and peas then the whole thing dipped in bread crumbs and fried - delicious!!!). . . mangoes. . . cream of wheat. . . oh the list goes on. did i mention mangoes? seriously, i almost gave my son the middle name of "mango" for all the ones i ate while pregnant. of course, perfectly ripe is definitely a prerequisite. i'd love to try your singapore sling sometime. . .

Sugarmama said...

Hey, pie maker, I almost put arancine on my list, too, but I couldn't remember the name! Thanks for that. Singapore sling recipe coming up for ya. I'll try to post it tomorrow.

a nice jewish girl said...

Damn you are funny. I'm funny too though....just when i came to the mayonaise with french fries entry i thought damn that girl is SOUTHERN! Then of course number ...whatever southern yada yada.
Yeah, you had me with every single number until fresh flour tortilla chips... not bad though.
I go for the fresh corn totilla chips.
And speaking on jelly anyone aware of a bakery in Sanford that makes fresh doughnuts? I went to a potluck recently that had these gems of jelly doughnuts. I peered onto the box for the address. Thought i could commit it to memory but i was dizzied by my after doughnut haze( i had two and a half).... field trip?!
Pie Maker you are dead on with the simple pleasure of a great apple and the yankee in me must give a shout out to CREAM OF WHEAT with evaporated milk and salt!
And i will happily try any/all of your amazing cocktail concoctions.

Mommygoth said...

Biyatch. Now I am effing starving! I want the posole recipe - cough up.

Sugarmama said...

Ooh, I'm clearly going to have to figure out how to post recipes and link them in my margins. I was kind of toying with the idea of posting a daily cocktail recipe that way, anyway. You know, to get us all through the holidays in a cheerful fashion...

Piece of Work said...

Oh, YUM. Home grown tomatos, and corn picked from the garden, thrown in boiling water for two mintues and eaten--these are two of my favorite foods. Yummmmm.