Post #92: JUST A TASTE

IMG_1781My mouth has been fogged and cottony, the haggard repetition of mundane meals dulling my taste buds and muting my wintery senses. A conveyer belt of tedium: tepid tea and goodforme, mulitgrain toast, neon orange baby carrots dutifully dipped in bland hummus, blanched chicken breasts and burned burgers. Squinch my eyes shut and I’m sure I couldn’t tell one from the other. I root through the cupboards with the crazed abandon of a raccoon foraging through the trash but alas, come up unsated and empty handed.


If my taste buds have been in hibernation, rouse them, even at risk of sheer gluttony!
Twin Pops

They burst forth from the freezer like the first purple iris of Spring! Rip open the paper with all the anxious abandon of Christmas morning to reveal the magnificent and longed for Twin Pop in all it’s icy double sticked glory. Take a bite to feel the the flavor. Sheer purpilyness. It’s very clear: Two hands deserve two popsicles.


Pot of Soup (with Flanken)

Burbling and bottomless, the big pot sits sedately on the stove. Filled to the brim with tube upon tube of Manichewitz Bean and Barley, the soup thickens first to swamp and then to an almost concrete. The heavy wooden spoon moves achingly through the mixture like an paddle through a muddy Mississippi. Hefty chunks of flanken flail into the mire, bobbing like buoys. Is it done? It needs to be done! Dip in the ladle and it’s serve yourself. Again and again, until sadly there is no more.


Farmers Chop Suey

Sesame, poppy seed, pumpernickel and plain the hot bagels jam and cram into corner of the table. To the right is a Pike’s Peak of smoked sable, nova, white fish and herring (both creamed and chopped) Across the way the eggs fluff into creamy yellow clouds and the babkas practically are bursting from their pans, patiently await their slicing. Right into the center my mother places a big glass bowl overflowing with Farmer’s Chop Suey, the vegetables sharp and fresh enrobed in cool creaminess. The most memorable, the perfect part of the plate.



A Butterscotch Dip Cone
Once upon a time, when summer afternoons stretched languidly into evening and even the sun didn’t seem to want the day to end, we would head to Dairy Mat on Woodward Avenue. With every ice cream concoction and possibility known humankind — black raspberry, creme de menthe, tutti fruiti and so much more — it was not only possible but quite probable that Dairy Mat actually was the long dreamed of over the rainbow. Complete with sprinkles.

People only spoke in hushed whispers at this Temple, as they solemnly made their choices, the hum of cars providing a curiously gentle counterpoint.

Of course with thousands of choices, there is only one possible choice. That is the longed for and dearly beloved Butterscotch Dip Cone.

Just trust me on this.


IMG_0026The Chiapati

Take a salad and chop it fine. Throw it carelessly into a bowl. Squeeze a ridiculous amount of sub sauce on top of everything and toss, while staring moodily into space. Absentmindedly grab a blob of whole wheat dough and fling it into an oven hotter than Dante’s ninth circle of Hell. Listen rapturously while someone lightly hums Hail to the Victors. Take the puffed poof of dough out of the oven, hack of one end and casually stuff with the salad mixture. The never eat anything bigger than your head rule does not apply here. Pizza Bob’s is not a place I would ever consider eating pizza. Oh no never! Not when they make chiapatis.


It worked! My tongue tingles once again reminding me that there are sparkles and delights to eat not just to remember but yet to come. Perhaps, if I am very lucky, a black and white cookie from Zaro’s in Grand Central will find it’s way onto my plate tonight. One hopes!


10 thoughts on “Post #92: JUST A TASTE

  1. At times like this, I’m happy to live in a foodie town. The variety of foods is amazing and the emphasis on local products is strong. I can’t wait for this weekend when I can finally sate my craving for the sweet local carrots grown by Farmer Mark.

    What I still miss are the incredible apples of our youth. There is a brief moment when Colorado apples have some taste. One must eat those apples slowly and intentionally. By this time of year, our apples are a convenience food, best paired with a good cheddar or some peanut butter.

    It’s such a shame eating well has become so much harder. As we age, the list of foods to avoid keeps growing. Here’s to the treats we can still enjoy!


    • I completely agree with about the vapidness of so many of the foods that surround us today. I crave actual tastes in foods–I dream of real apples as well! I found Ruby Frost this year which were good and actually hoarded them. I adored Macouns when I discovered them years ago but they seem to have bred the taste out of those as well. A week or two ago a made the pilgrimage to Kalustayan’s in NYC in search of exotic spices and flavors simply to infuse actual taste in foods that have become so utterly bland. Wish I could find your carrots!


  2. Lovely! I was a bit stymied by the Farmer’s Chop Suey landing on the brunch table (were your bagels from the Bagel Factory at 12 & Telegraph?). I thought it was perhaps an invention of your Mom’s but discover a wide variety of recipes on the internet. Main question appears to be – Just sour cream or add cottage cheese too?


    • Yes! Loved the bagels from 12 and Telegraph! As for the Farmer’s Chop Suey my Mom always used a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese. But I am sure sour cream or yogurt would work too. Hope all is well with you!


  3. Ooh–that butterscotch dipped cone made my mouth water! Made me think of Dreamsicles–the vanilla ice cream covered with orange. Happy taste of my childhood!


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