Thanks to Blue Plate at Table d'Hote, Alanna at A Veggie Venture, Ann at A Chicken In Every Granny Cart, and Riana at Garlic Breath for tagging me (weeks and weeks ago!) for a neat joint food project started by Melissa at The Traveler's Lunchbox. We're creating a list of food bloggers' top picks for things you've eaten and think that everyone should eat at least once in their life. Click here to read more about the project and check out the fascinating list of responses from around the world. (Nearly 1600 items and counting!)
My first set of answers came quickly. Like many other people, I thought of memorable meals and food-related moments I had enjoyed over the years, like High Tea at Harrod's department store in London. Or a hunk of Hula Pie for lunch (not dessert, but lunch) at the Kapalua Grill & Bar on Maui. Way too much breakfast (that had to include a pile of those signature home-fried potatoes and one of their enormous, freshly baked drop biscuits) in a booth on a crowded Sunday morning at Bubba's diner in San Anselmo, California. Black rice pudding at a table in the tropical garden of Poppy's Restaurant on Bali. A tiny taste cup of Cherry Garcia ice cream scooped right off the assembly line at the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont.
Then I changed my mind. I realized that all of these delicious memories were as much about the place as they were about the food itself. I once ate a perfectly recreated dish of that Balinese black rice pudding in a suburban Northern California kitchen, and it simply wasn't the same. So while I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of these far flung delights (and doubt I would pass up the opportunity to experience them again myself), my new list is completely different--like my life is now. Less fuss, more flavor. It's all about the food. These five things will taste absolutely wonderful no matter where you are. Each one is a celebration in and of itself. I hope someday you'll have a chance to try them.
1. A thick, warm slice (or hunk) of bread from a loaf you made with your own two hands. No mixer or bread machine involved. Plenty of organic butter recommended but not required.
2. Something you grew yourself.
3. Homemade potato chips, preferably made with thin slices of freshly dug, organic red potatoes (scrubbed, not peeled), fried in homemade lard in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, and prepared by someone you adore who is willing to stand over a splattering pan of hot oil for an hour or two while you both devour batch after batch of warm, salted chips as soon as they are cool enough to touch. Serve with lots of laughs and plenty of iced tea or cold beer.
4. A grilled hamburger made from a freshly ground chuck steak (from grass-fed, naturally raised beef), served on a toasted, freshly baked bun & smothered with slices of vine-ripened, organic heirloom tomatoes.
5. A crisp, juicy apple you plucked from the tree.
And my Bonus Beverage Answer:
6. Champagne for breakfast. Just because.
Everyone is invited to participate in this project. If you're not a blogger, simply leave your list of five things in a comment on the original post at The Traveler's Lunchbox.