We had a local 24-hour diner that, through all of high school and college, served unlimited refills of so-weak-it-was-transparent Maxwell house for $1.35. My closest friendships in the world were formed over many, many 4 or 5-hour coffee sessions there, and to this day there is nothing I love better than the taste of diner coffee.
A beautifully written and moving piece. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
Autumn, I too suffer from the combination of a tiny apartment and a clutterphobic partner. We happily own one of these:
It's about 6" in diameter, works like a dream, and (bonus!) because it isn't electric, can go camping with us too. Win-win-win.
Oh man--some nice thick grilled lamb chops.
Ooooh. A nice medium rare bone-in rib-eye, with some garlic butter on top. Mmmmm.
As part of corned beef hash, for sure. Nothing takes care of a St. Patty's day hangover like corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes, chopped up and fried til crispy, with a nice runny egg or two on top. And, Irish coffee, of course.
Ditto on the Italian paprika flavor. SO and I were just in Italy on our honeymoon and discovered the magic. I agree--not really paprika-y at all, just good.
Oh man. Medium rare on a toasted bun with blue cheese and bacon. Lettuce and tomato only if its summer and the tomato is in season. Brooklyn Lager on the side. Repeat.
White vinegar always seems to do the trick for me. For my french press, I rise it thoroughly with water, fill it with a roughly 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar and let it sit for a bit (I usually depress the plunger so that the screen gets cleaned too). Rinse, wipe down, ready to go. Same thing for the drip maker--I run a roughly 1:2 vinegar to water solution through the machine ("brew" a full pot) and then a purely water solution. No aftertaste, everything is cleaner and nicer, no real fuss.
What? It's finals week.
Oh, easy--I have a 6 inch walnut-handled chef's knife from Chicago Cutlery. It's the first nice knife I bought myself in college, and still my favorite.
Oh man. While I agree with all the "all chocolate, all the time" sentiments (because, yes), I do have a favorite chocolate cake. The best diner in my hometown makes this amazing black forest cake in-house with these crazy fudge layers and dark chocolate frosting and so many cherries and it's just-it's perfect.
Bone-in ribeye, definitely. Dry aged and medium rare, please :)
Oooh, scrambled eggs, definitely. With homefries. And a bloody mary. Also with Sriracha. (What hangover?)
Every year a group of friends from back in high school and myself throw a big Christmas party--that's definitely my favorite crowd to cook for. Even the pickiest eaters agree to try a little of everything (and usually end up finding out that something they thought was "gross" or "weird" is actually pretty good).
Bite NYC (there are locations on 14th St near 1st Ave I think, and down on Lafayette near Houston) has a spicy Middle Eastern Vegan sandwich. I used to walk a few blocks on my lunch break to buy it when I worked downtown; I always swore I would wait until I got back to the office to eat it but never could. Soooo delicious--lots of veggies and with this awesome slow-but-substantial heat that builds as you keep eating. Mmmmm.
Though I've been to a couple of killer restaurants, the best Italian meal I've ever had is my dad's meatball subs. His meatball recipe was his mother's (and her mother's before that, who came to America in the 40s). The recipe is designed around the fact that half of the meatballs get eaten by that generation's children before they even make it to the table. They're amazing, period.
Yes! Friendly's used to feature a PB&J themed sundae (that you can, and I do, still make from the a la carte options): black raspberry ice cream with warm peanut butter sauce and whipped cream. It tastes just like a PB&J sandwich and might be my favorite sundae ever. Soooo good.
A wonderful friend brought me back my favorite cup from a trip to Paris. It's a bright pink coffee mug with four different Eiffel Tower-shaped animals (seriously. Eiffel tower shaped)--a cow, a giraffe, a pig, and something that is either a green horse or a dragon with a red mane. Five years of staring at this thing hasn't rendered it the least bit less tacky, absurd, or utterly wonderful.
Hands down, the spicy middle eastern vegan sandwich at Bite on Lafayette--spicy peppers, grilled veggies, and some seriously good hummus. I used to walk down on my lunch hour when I worked near Cooper Union. So good!
Wow--glad I'm not friends with most of the posters. If someone is kind and generous enough to offer to cook you a meal, I think that is one of the most hospitable and selfless acts imaginable. To refuse that because you don't think the kitchen conditions meet your standards is unimaginably rude, in my opinion--especially if you've already accepted the invitation and are in their home. Unless it will kill/severely sicken you (I'm talking rancid or undercooked meat, severe allergies, etc), eat it. You won't die. A cat hair will not kill you. I would be beyond mortified if someone I had invited into my home took it upon themselves to clean my kitchen. That would definitely be the last invitation of that kind.
So sorry for your loss--through the articles and slideshows every week, I could tell what an integral part of the SE family Dumpling was. He seemed like an awesome little dude, and I can't imagine how hard it must be to lose such a friend so unexpectedly. Many sympathies.
I used to work at a summer camp with a generous blueberry patch, and I would take groups of campers out in late summer to pick them (and eat them, of course!). One group decided to make a batch of hand-cranked blueberry ice cream with their bounty. That was the best ice cream I've ever had, and it was great to see the kids get as excited about seasonal cooking as I was--they were just amazed that something could go from plant to "real food" (as one girl said) in such a short time!
Our household is home to a turtle named Taco who used to have a tank-mate named Nacho. We've also got a cat named Nillie (Vanilla).
Salad, salad, salad! (Ok, and realistically, I also start craving the first summer beers right about now--especially Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale--you can have your clean start and drink it too, right?)
Mark Bittman. I loved cooking before I started reading his Minimalist column, but that was what convinced me that a simple and well-executed recipe is more important and, ultimately, more satisfying than one that's overly complex and poorly done.
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