|Essence of Tuna, The Chart House (Source)|
I have dreams about this dish. I yearn to repeat that experience. It was that good!
I am currently in the process of shedding my post-nicotine poundage. There was (is) a lot of it. At one point I weighed something like 50 pounds over my retirement weight. And that point was not that long ago!
|No, this isn't part of the New Horizon Pluto flyby. Pluto is much smaller.|
I think my buddy Daryl's hand is actually being affected by my gravitational field!
Since that photo back in March, I've shed around 25 pounds. Got more to go but I have only myself to blame.
Good recipe for gaining weight? Quit smoking after 35 years, go on travel, sit on one's derriere in the hotel watching HBO reruns and devastating the local supply of Oreo cookies. Guaranteed to pack on the fat. But don't try this at home, I'm what you call an "expert!"
But I want to talk about food, not the excess consumption thereof.
That opening photo shows a dish that I would have gone no where near when I was a kid. We were very much a meat and potatoes family growing up. Typical New England fare from what I've been told. Not a lot of steak mind you, that was (as it is now) expensive. But what my Mom could do with hamburger!
Her meatloaf is incredible, that was a meal I looked forward to every time she made it. Standard meatloaf ingredients (I suppose, for I am no cook, I can keep myself alive, but it ain't pretty), ground beef, my Mom would shred up some bread, toss in some chopped green olives and mash it all up. Bake for a while, then put tomato paste on top, pop it back in the oven and moments later, a delicious repast.
She also made a mighty fine shepherd's pie, though she didn't use mutton as is traditional, she used beef in that as well. Loved it.
One problem I had growing up is that my Dad loved liver and onions. Not my Dad's problem, mine. I despised liver and onions with every fiber of my being. Couldn't stand the smell of it cooking and couldn't stand the taste. No matter how much ketchup one poured upon it, it still tasted like liver. (Come on, we were kids, ketchup was de rigeur for us young 'uns. It was a staple of life.)
The first time we had liver, I refused to eat it. Dad was most unhappy that we disdained one of his favorite meals. The Olde Vermonter concurred with my assessment of the inedible nature of that particular cut of meat, so the two of us were "sent off."
|Liver foul! (Pun intended.) (S0urce)|
The second time was less traumatic, Mom made us bacon and onions.
That's right, I said bacon.
|"Bbq bacon 003" by Kelapstick - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons (Source)|
Delicious. (I think Dad was a little bit P.O.ed because he realized that bacon always trumps liver. Always.)
My point being (liver aside, yes, just take it outside, far away, far aside...) is that my tastes growing up were rather domestic. Tasty but bland to folk used to more exotic food.
When I first went to Taco Bell (don't laugh, it's what we neophytes do when first entering the world) I was horrified at just how spicy it was! Lord I thought my mouth was on fire.
Of course, it was nothing of the sort. It was the sort of spicy that a real Mexican, Thai or Korean would not even notice. In other words, not hot at all. Tame, if not outright lame.
As my travels widened I sampled the varieties that each culture had to offer.
Korean food, love it. I'm not a big rice guy but when The Missus Herself starts working in the kitchen, I know I'm in for a treat. When the kids come home, or when Mom visits them, Korean food is always on the menu.
German food, love it. When I say German food, I mean schnitzel and the various varieties of wurst (sausage). One thing I tried in Germany which was tasty, but I'm not sure I'd try it again, is saumagen. I didn't think it was anything like haggis, which I enjoyed back in the day.
Of course there's only one way to eat haggis and that's at a Burn's Night dinner with a dram of good whiskey by your plate and a good piper in the background. (FWIW, they don't call it Scotch in Scotland. It's just whiskey. Truth be told, these days I lean towards Jameson's Irish whiskey. When I have a couple or three, I really start to lean!)
Another New England thing is clams, deep fried, steamed and stuffed and what-have-you. I loves me some clams, especially fried, whole bellies, none of this clam strip stuff. (Sorry WSO.)
What's that, all you have is strips?
I'll take them (reluctantly, sigh...)
But no bellies beats no clams. But if I have my druthers...
Lobstah is also big in these parts. (That's right, lobstah, I know how it's spelled but it is what it is. 'Kay?)
Personally I don't like rasslin' with my food so I go for what we call "lazy man's lobstah." Someone else breaks all the good stuff out of the shell and dumps it in a bath of melted butter. That way I get to eat the bug and not have him eyeballin' me all through dinner.
Calamari, I'll eat it prepared about any old way you choose but I prefer it in olive oil with chopped banana peppers and black olives. Just the rings please, just the rings.
"Are you gonna eat that?"
"No, that's a tentacle."
"Shame to see that go to waste..." Munch, munch munch...
Southwestern food, Tex-Mex, BBQ, shrimp and grits, dirty grits, bangers and mash, fresh peas from the garden, lima beans, Brussels Sprouts, sauerkraut, kimchi (particularly the cucumber variety), swordfish, tuna, baked beans, hot dogs and beans, pot roast, clam chowder, coconut shrimp, fried scallops, scallops Nantucket...
The list is nearly endless.
Pie. I love pie.
Strawberry rhubarb, pumpkin, cherry, apple, blueberry, oh my word I love pie.
Best apple pie ever? My grandmother made one for us when she visited us out in Omaha. Gram was a heck of a fine cook but this pie set the standard for all apple pies before and since. She found these apples which were slightly sweet and slightly tart, they didn't go all mushy in the pie but held their texture nicely. My mouth waters when I think of that pie.
Best pie ever, apple or otherwise? A blueberry pie that The Nuke and The WSO made just after we retired from the Air Force. They picked the berries themselves (my grandmother of apple pie fame took them berrying) and on the way home they picked up all the stuff they would need to bake a blueberry pie. It was superb. The crust was exquisite and the blueberries were fit for an emperor. Another pie whose remembrance makes me drool.
It's no wonder I have trouble with my weight!