1. The little egg custard tarts & roasted duck from 99 Ranch Market: It’s an Asian market that has the yummiest things you can imagine. I like the little custard tarts. I can eat like 3 of them in one sitting. In fact I just did, cause I went there for lunch. I also got the 2 item combo which consisted of a mountain of fried rice, vegetables and roast duck for just $4.30. You can buy a whole roasted duck there too for about $6. Cheaper than any other place.
2. Crème Brule & Burgundy Beef Tri Tip from Seaside Market: I can’t go into that place with out coming out with both of these items. Sometimes the guy in the deli/bakery department sees me coming and starts getting a Crème Brule ready. They used make chocolate Crème Brule too but not any more. I miss it. The Tri tip will make you moan with passion it’s so good. That is NOT an exaggeration.
3. Comice Pears: Back in college one hot spring day, I bought a pear from a street vendor. It was the sweetest, juiciest pear I’ve ever tasted. It took about 12 years before I found out what kind of pear it was. If you’ve never tasted one, you don’t know what you’re missing.
4. Cakes & pastries from Sweet Lady Jane’s: It’s a bakery in LA. They make the most orgasmic cakes you’ll ever taste, hands down. They also make a kind of canoli called a Janoli which has a crispy, nutty, caramelized shell.
5. Apricots from our old tree: At our old house we had an apricot tree. I had never tasted apricots until I lived there. They were like God’s candy they were so good. Unfortunately we sold the house to bunch of pseudo religious freaks who ended up screwing us out of thousands of dollars. So they get to have those apricots from now on. Grrrrr.
6. Cheese steaks sandwiches from Donkey’s: Donkey’s is a bar in Camden, my home town. Their steak sandwiches have a devoted following. They will even ship them to you in dry ice if you can’t afford the plane fare and the personal security force to escort you into the no man’s land where it’s located.
7. My own French fries: I am French fry Diva. I can’t tell you how proud I was of my baby cousin when my aunt told me his favorite food was French fries. He and I have a special bond because I was one of the first to hold him when he born. I think I had just eaten French fries so he probably imprinted on the scent of fries like a baby bird or something. My fry secret is simple. High. Low. High. Get oil really hot with the flame up high. Throw in the fries, let them crisp up on the outside for a few minutes. Then turn the flame down for a few minutes to let them cook through. Finally turn it up high until they’re golden brown. That’s the secret. Use it wisely.
8. Creamed Mushrooms & Creamed Spinach: I love mushrooms. I love spinach. I love cream. What can a gal do?
9. Garlic: I’m a garlic-aholic. I’m addicted to it. I have to be careful when I cook because most people, especially my man, don’t have as high a garlic tolerance as I do. I once ate a whole head of roasted elephant garlic in one sitting, by MYSELF. (one head of Elephant Garlic is like 3 regular garlic heads) It was wonderful but I paid dearly for it. Let’s just say a whole bottle of Beano could not have saved me.
10. Bread & cheese: I love breads and cheeses in all their forms. I especially love warm loaves of country French that are hard and crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. And soft cheeses like brie.
11. My mom’s sweet potato pies: I know some people think pumpkin pie is all that but frankly I’m nonplussed. My mom’s sweet potato pie is light and custardy not dense and heavy like some recipes. Mom RULES!!!
12. My Dad’s Collard Greens: I can not for the life of me figure out how to make collard greens. I’m genetically predisposed to it coming from a black family in which virtually every member seams to excel at it- but I just can’t do it. I love my dad’s recipe the best. Followed a close second by my grandmother’s. But don’t tell her that.
13. Carmen’s Pink Potato Salad: It’s made with beets. I thought it was weird when she described it to me. I actually asked her not to make it for a party. Then I went to a party that she made it for. It was so damned good, there was not one forkful of that stuff left. So damned good! I have since apologized to her for doubting the superiority of The Pink.
I could go on and on…I love food. How the hell do I not weigh 300lbs? Don’t even get me started on butter!!!