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Are you spoiled?


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This is not a food item per se but in the same spirit: stock. I can't cook with any kind of dried cube, over-salted paste, or canned broth anymore. I can cut corners on a lot of ingredients but stock is not one of them.

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Our own homemade salad dressings---bleu cheese, vinaigrettes of all flavors, sesame, poppyseed which begins with half a sweet onion and some vinegar and sugar, whirled for an impossibly long time in the blender to make Miss Eva's special recipe, coveted and handed around under every hair dryer south of Memphis.

The humble thousand island (NO pickle relish!!), made with the indispensible vinegar/sugar/spices syrup, simmered up by the quart every couple of months, and doled out like caviar; dill ranch with fresh-snipped dill and coarse black pepper; coleslaw dressing with cider vinegar and celery seeds. French, also blender-made, with paprika and tomato, and honey from our own bees.

Caesar, started with a fresh warm egg and lemon, anchovies gently smeared into the bottom of the bowl, great snowings from the Parmesan grater, big crunchy, garlicky croutons fresh from the toasting pan.

Those bottles just lurk and mock on the shelves of the store. We haven't had a storebought dressing in years, and always order "on the side" when we have a salad course in a restaurant (except for a couple which make excellent dressings).

Edited by racheld (log)
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Maybe this is a Maryland thing, but once you have had real crab cakes you will never willingly eat crab-flavored hush puppies. Big lumps of sweet backfin crab meat, lightly seasoned, with just enough filling to keep it from falling apart. Dang, I made myself hungry.

Hmmm...not a Maryland thing, but perhaps a Chesapeake Bay thing (I'm in VA). My wife and I just returned from the Bay area in California, where we went to celebrate her dear aunt's 84th birthday. Of course, we had Dungeness crab one night, and it was very tasty, but on the way back to our motel I told my wife that, while getting the meat was much easier, it still didn't have the flavor of our beloved blue crabs from the Bay.

Re your remark about home grown tomatoes, which we also love, I'm reminded of an old C&W song that came out years ago, one line from which is

"There's only two things that money can't buy, and that's true love and home grown tomatoes." :biggrin::biggrin:

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Maybe this is a Maryland thing, but once you have had real crab cakes you will never willingly eat crab-flavored hush puppies. Big lumps of sweet backfin crab meat, lightly seasoned, with just enough filling to keep it from falling apart. Dang, I made myself hungry.

Definitely home-grown tomatoes, picked fresh off the vine. Freshly-ground coffee (Peet’s is wonderful, but others are, too). Freshly-ground black pepper. Home-made sate sauce. Good Ethiopian food, especially the injera.

I agree with you on the crabcakes !!! Nothing like a good MD crabcake stuffed with lump crabmeat & not much else !

Real cheddar cheese. (Recent conversation with the deli guy at my local supermarket..) "I would like 1pd NY Sharp Cheddar please" He grabs a hunk of cheese, not really looking at the label... "Ummm is that NY Sharp Cheddar ?" DG- "Yeah, I guess..." Yeah ok, it isn't going to be that easy with me "Can I see that please ?" I examine the label and proclaim "Oh I don't want this, it's processed cheddar not real cheddar" DG- "What's the difference ?" :shock: My hubby swears he is not coming with me to the store anymore after that exchange, as once the guy said "what's the difference" I had to explain the difference to him !

My grandfathers tomatoes. The ones he grows are so red & juicy & full of flavor.

Today is going to be one of those days.....

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After reading this thread, I've started to realize just how spoiled I am!

As already shared: home-made stock and salad dressing, home-grown tomatoes, good quality dark chocolate.

I would add...

Real maple syrup. Being a Canadian in California I was shocked to be served pancakes with maple-flavoured syrup when the menu clearly stated maple syrup. Bad! Very very bad!

Juice not from concentrate. I can't believe how cooked the shelf-stable made-from-concentrate juices taste now. I would rather have plain water than drink cooked orange juice.

Thanks for letting me savour some of my blessings. :)

Lisa

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^Wow, I forgot all about real maple syrup and fresh-squeezed juices! I stopped consuming fake maple syrup and from-concentrate juice years ago and never even really realized it...

Another thing is I never buy the regular supermarket eggs--they taste less "eggy" and have flavourless yolks. I don't buy the best eggs either, I'm sure, but they must be free-range and organic.

Edited by Ling (log)
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^Wow, I forgot all about real maple syrup and fresh-squeezed juices! I stopped consuming fake maple syrup and from-concentrate juice years ago and never even really realized it...

I never even consider this a 'choice' either. Hmmm, I AM spoiled!

More Than Salt

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Fresh ground black pepper. From my grandmother on down, there has never been a can of pepper :angry: in any of our homes. Even when I was living in a van (looooong story) I had a pepper mill. :laugh:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I'm surprised parmesean reggiano has yet to be mentioned. That's definitely one for me. Others. . .

Coffee. I purchase beans roasted the same day by a local roaster.

Salmon. It will limit me to the number of times I can enjoy it since the season is only two weeks long, but once I had Yukon River King Salmon, I can't do any other. Copper River? Puh-leeze.

Tart (pie) cherries. They have to be fresh. They are at the farmers' market for only two or three weeks. I buy several quarts, spend an afternoon pitting, and then freeze them for use throughout the year.

Tomatoes. Also, limited to how often I can enjoy them. What is sold in grocery stores is inedible.

Chocolate. For baking, I've now been spoiled by Domori and Michel Cluizel.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Salt. It is next to impossible for me to use Morton's table salt. I will even bring my own salt to places, if necessary. And another vote here for Parmesan cheese--the real stuff.

(PS: The one exception I can think of is french fries).

"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ
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Diet Coke, not Diet Pepsi, give me Diet Coke or I'll have to drink water.

Also, I've found that nothing compares to a peppersteak sandwich at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy.  Quite possibly the saute'd calamari too.

Right, Screw the fiddleheads! I could not, not live without Diet Coke. Diet Pepsi? You put the die in cola, oh, yes you did! Diet Pepsi is like a Bud light which means= all the bubbles but none of the flavor. In other words: Vile! Just my opinion as always. :biggrin:

Melissa

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[...]Real maple syrup.  Being a Canadian in California I was shocked to be served pancakes with maple-flavoured syrup when the menu clearly stated maple syrup.  Bad!  Very very bad![...]

That would really tick me off! I hate that corn syrup garbage! When I get pancakes in my local Polish diner, I pay extra to have real maple syrup. It's classy of them to carry it.

If someone served sorghum syrup or some kind of syrup from palm sugar or even some kind of light molasses instead of maple syrup, it wouldn't be so bad, but that isn't what they do.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Butter. I'm still shocked by how many places serve that You Bet I Can Taste It's Not Butter Buddycrap. Sweet, salted, gorcery-store or "European," give me my butter.

White aged cheddar, not slippery orange stuff.

California oranges bought from roadside stands on the way to Ojai. My God! They tasted not only sweet (Florida oranges from the supermarket are sweet...) but day-glo orange.

(I drink about one cola a month. Coke is sweet and bland. Pepsi has depth....character! An ice-cold fully-leaded Pepsi is sovreign against hangovers. Diet Pepsi ain't great, but the bubbles nip at your tongue. Diet Coke hasn't a clue. Not to derail this, and I think there is surely a Coke vs Pepsi thread somewhere, but I just don't get Coke. Maybe because I grew up in Quebec....)

Oh yes, real maple syrup.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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...(I drink about one cola a month. Coke is sweet and bland. Pepsi has depth....character! An ice-cold fully-leaded Pepsi is sovreign against hangovers. Diet Pepsi ain't great, but the bubbles nip at your tongue. Diet Coke hasn't a clue. Not to derail this, and I think there is surely a Coke vs Pepsi thread somewhere, but I just don't get Coke. Maybe because I grew up in Quebec....)...

I think that soda is such a personal thing, I don't think that it can really be quantified. I adore Coca Cola myself, and Pepsi ALWAYS reminds me of the smell of an oil change, go figure. Of course, I only drink sodas with sugar, not corn syrup, so it's very rare that I find such a creature, but then? Oh, boy, I indulge. I like Coca Cola with cream in it, too. You can really taste the spices (I smell nutmeg!) then. Yum.

Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

More Than Salt

Visit Our Cape Coop Blog

Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

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Pralines from The Southern Candymaker. Some years ago I tasted every praline I could find in New Orleans. This little shop was newly opened in time for Mardi Gras. Orders of magnitude better than anything else I tried. And they ship! :biggrin:

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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(I drink about one cola a month. Coke is sweet and bland. Pepsi has depth....character! An ice-cold fully-leaded Pepsi is sovreign against hangovers. Diet Pepsi ain't great, but the bubbles nip at your tongue. Diet Coke hasn't a clue. Not to derail this, and I think there is surely a Coke vs Pepsi thread somewhere, but I just don't get Coke. Maybe because I grew up in Quebec....)

Pepsi-Cola hits the spot

Twelve full ounces, that's a lot

Twice as much for a nickel too

Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you!

Nickel, nickel, nickel, nickel, trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle...

We're doing this 1930s radio jingle at the next Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus concert (a nostalgia trip back to the Swing Era).

On the topic: I guess I'm not all that spoiled--I will usually make do with something else when what I prefer is not available. (Further edited to add: And I will usually choose another product over my preference if it is acceptable to me and costs less.)

The exceptions:

--Regular tomatoes--I might succumb to the hydroponic "on-the-vine" ones, but ordinarily, give me Jerseys (in season) or give me death! Oh, I forgot--the big, glorious misshapen ones, please! (In the off-season I usually buy grape or cherry tomatoes, which seem to come out of the hothouse okay.)

--Cheddar cheese for everyday use. New York State extra sharp is a must. Vermont will do. Wisconsin? Where's that? And what's with this "happy cows" California BS? (Thread-tying, sort of, with the long-dormant "store brand" thread: My base cooking cheese is America's Choice New York Extra Sharp Cheddar. Good sharp flavor, nice crumbly texture, and the price is right at ~$3.89/lb.)

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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:cool:

Oh, Lord. By the standards of this board, I'm barely holding my end up. By the standards of the rest of grab-it-at-Starbucks-and-run American society, I'm spoiled sick, living far too high on the hog, and riding for a justified fall, I'm sure.

I don't generally do more than four eggs per week for caution's sake, but by damn they are organic free-range eggs -- and I poach 'em on toast made from my own homemade bread, with a little sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper added. Superior. I won't back down and do less. I just won't. What accompanies these is Peet's Kona coffee, with cinnamon sugar and half-&-half. There isn't much I can't face with a breakfast like that onboard.

Every now and then, just to make myself remember that hotshot sauces aren't the last word, I do a supper of linguine tossed (quickly, to stay piping hot) with nothing but fresh-ground pepper, European-style organic butter, hand-shredded real Parmegiano-Reggiano, and finely chopped organic parsley. Sounds hopelessly precious, I know, but it tastes like heaven. Have a glass or two of good Riservo Chianti with it, and a simple green salad. You will have dined, believe it or not.

I rejoice in a local wine shop down the street barely half a block away, where the owner is French-born. We argue politics, mostly in English. We argue wine, occasionally in French: I have a periodic jones for good champagne/cava/sparkling wine, and that's always good for at least a ten-minute discussion. I wind up frequently answering detailed questions about what I'm going to cook, as a function of letting what seems like half the block's denizens vote on what I'm going to buy to drink with it ("You're roasting a chicken, yes? And roasting a potato with it, in the pan, yes? For that kind caramelization, you must have good rouge -- I have a Tempranillo you should drink. The chicken will thank you!" "Are you nuts?!?! She's roasting a chicken, not a buffalo! A nice French Chardonnay, like a Jadot, will do fine!" "Ehhhh -- don't bother the lady! Champagne goes with everything! Lady! Take a look at this blanc de blancs I just got...only $11 a bottle this week, and I'll make you a deal for a little less if you buy a case or two...").

It isn't that I'm spoiled, I think, or that the rest of us eGulletarians are. It's that whole bunches of other people aren't taking the time to be a community any more, or to weave relationships with each other born of occasions where wonderful food and drink cause fun to happen.

We just have to get on about spoiling a whole lot of other people the same way, that's all (!).

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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