This post idea is lifted from Elisa at The French Exit. I liked reading her list so much that I wanted to write one of my own. It is funny to me how Elisa’s list reveals she was always a foodie, while mine reveals that I’m mostly a little bored by food, with some notable exceptions.
In mostly chronological order, 11 memorable meals.
1. Ketchup sandwiches. The year that I start kindergarten, my family lives in the middle of a desert in Arizona. I often eat ketchup sandwiches for lunch, because I like them and I’m a picky eater (not because my parents consider this acceptable nutrition).
2. Spaghetti. I am repulsed by spaghetti. My family doesn’t understand. I like noodles, I like red sauce, why don’t I like spaghetti? Later in life, boyfriends will invite me over for dinner and I will have to say in advance that “I hate spaghetti,” because otherwise the odds (I’ve had enough experience to calculate this) are 5:1 they will make spaghetti. It tastes to me like the aftertaste of vomit.
2. Goulash. My mom prepares this ill-fated meal when I am about 7, and we are living in the midwest. It is one of the grossest things I’ve ever eaten, then or since. A few days later, I find the recipe and either throw it away or burn it (I probably throw it away, but I definitely want to burn it).
3. Lentil soup. When I am in fourth grade, we move to a more metropolitan city, and my school has an international foods day. I am assigned Ethiopia, and given a list of example foods, from which my mom makes lentil soup. I like the experience, but don’t remember the food. (Years later, lentil soup becomes one of my favorite foods.)
4. Smoked salmon. My dad dislikes fish (the foods my dad dislikes are many, and encompass almost all “ethnic” foods). When a family friend shares some smoked salmon from Alaska, I have to resist the urge to ask for more.
5. Chicken wings. When I am in high school, I am mostly a vegetarian, but occasionally my mom picks me up from school during the middle of the day and we sneakily get honey barbecue chicken wings from the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-through. If someone offered me KFC chicken wings right now, I would consider eating them just because I love those memories so much.
6. Bagels. In college, I discover bagels in a big way. I can get a coffee and a sesame bagel with cream cheese, lettuce, and tomato for $3.50 at the university student center. And I do. Every day. It is often my only “meal” of the day.
7. Tea on the Dover-Calais ferry. It is my first trip to Europe, and I have tea in the slightly nicer “club” lounge, because I’m exhausted and starving and cannot face one more screaming child. My friend snaps a photo, and you can see in my face that at that moment I am very, very happy.
8. Catfish Po’ Boy. I am with my friend K in Alabama, or possibly St. Louis. He takes me to his favorite lunch “shack” and presents me with the most delicious sandwich of all time. Many, many times since then I have ordered catfish hoping it would be half as good. (I have been disappointed in that hope, by the way. Usually it’s inedible.)
9. La Crema Pinot Noir. When I move to San Francisco, I arrive in town with my cat and nowhere to live. I spend days circling the city, getting lost, looking at apartments that are all too expensive or too scary. One day I’m so demoralized that I have wine for lunch, and this remains one of my favorite wines.
10. Sushi. I meet the man who will become Mr. APB while on vacation. A few days into our trip, we stumble into a restaurant with some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, and I can barely eat. Butterflies.
11. Coffee. I move to be with Mr. APB, who lives outside America. I work from home, and the two highlights of my day are going out to a new spot for coffee at lunch time, and the minute when Mr. APB comes home from work. For these reasons and others, it is a weird time in my life. But the coffee is very, very good.