Way too long ago, Tami from Running with Tweezers, tagged me with the 10 favorite foods meme. It took her a good month to figure out her ten favorite foods, so it’s no surprise that it was hell for me to compile this list.
So, without further ado…here they are. My ten favorite foods:
1. Angel food cake. I can’t remember the first time I asked for angel food cake as my birthday cake, but I do know I couldn’t have been much older than nine. In the early years, it was smothered in pink marshmallow frosting, but by the time I was in high school, I was an angel food purist – no toppings at all for me. Not even strawberries. It’s still my birthday cake of choice (though I’m still waiting for this year’s cake, Mom). One day, I’ll even make myself one, though for right now, I’m sure I’d overbeat the egg whites, ending up with a dry, crumbly, cardboardy shadow of a cake.
2. Steamed crabs with tons of Old Bay. I’m from Maryland – I grew up on the Severn River, home of some of the best crabbing in the country. I believe I learned to pick crabs sometime around the time I learned to walk. Steamed crabs have played a major role in every single summer I remember. How could they not be one of my favorite foods?
3. Oysters. Again, I’m from Maryland. Love the Chesapeake Bay seafood. Actually, my first favorite oysters weren’t even fresh. They were the smoked kind – the ones packed into a little oily tin. My mom (who doesn’t even really like oysters) used to wrap them in bacon and fry them while my brother, sister, father and I fought over who’d get to eat the most. I still love them, though I’d like to think my oyster palate has expanded.
4. Very fresh, very rare tuna. Still with the seafood. And as with the crabs and oysters, the fresher and more local the tuna, the better – blood-red and fork-tender, preferably.
5. Heart of palm. I can eat a whole jar of these tangy little stalks, just standing over the sink, letting the juice drip down my chin. I love them in salads, but will really eat them any way I can get them. They might be the perfect food – so tasty, and perfectly healthy.
6. Avocado. I was a picky eater as a child, and refused to even try an avocado until I was 13. Once I did, I never turned back. In sandwiches or salads or, especially, as a part of guacamole…so delicious.
7. Blackberry jam. My grandfather used to make his own blackberry jam from the berries that grew in his garden. The taste and texture of that jam has stuck with me, and every time I visit a new grocery store, I look for blackberry jam with the seeds. I haven’t had much luck, but I’ll keep looking.
8. Panang curry. Obviously. I talk about it all the time. I try to recreate what I eat in restaurants. I am usually unsuccessful. But, God, I love panang curry.
9. Goat cheese. Actually, I like most types of cheese – from the creamiest brie to the stinkiest Stilton. But goat cheese and its tanginess are my favorite. If it’s on a salad or cheese plate, I just can’t resist.
10. Mango and ginger. I know, I know. I’m cheating. Really, I’ve listed eleven foods. But how could I exclude mango and ginger, the tastes that gave the blog its name? Obviously, they’re two of my favorites. And in honor of my finishing this list, and because I had a few apples left over from Sunday’s pie, last night I made an apple-mango sauce to accompany our teriyaki pork chops and couscous.
Two apples, a mango, a shallot, a tablespoon of grated ginger, a dash of allspice, tiny sprinkle of cayenne pepper, teaspoon of cinnamon, two tablespoons of regular sugar and a quarter-cup of brown sugar, all sautéed in a bit of butter until soft. It was very easy, an excellent combination of sweet, tart and spicy, and a perfect match for the salty, savory pork chops. The only downside was that it was a little bland-looking:
mango and ginger sauce
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.
So there we go…my favorite foods. Whew.
And now, to pass the baton on. I’m going to tag two great bloggers for this one: my near-neighbor Grommie from The Power of Cheese and the hilarious Rosie from Bitchin’ in the Kitchen with Rosie. Good luck with your choices, ladies!