Item: Stroll home from my local boulangerie with a fresh baguette tucked under my arm, like a true Parisienne. Check – I did it many times when I lived in Paris apprenticing as a cook.
Item: Eat freshly made ricotta cheese in the mountains of Sicily. Check – It was as rustic and delicious as it sounds, arriving at sunrise with mist rising from the valley and a light breeze carrying sheep smell as we warmed our hands around wooden bowls filled with creamy, slightly grainy curds of ricotta just made by shepherds over a wood fire.
Item: Eat genuine barbecue. Double Check. The first time was while driving through Texas Hill Country. I cannot recall the name of the place but their brisket, slow-cooked over wood, was to die for. The second time was pickin’ pig with Julia Child in Atlanta. Standing with other guests, including Julia, at a specially arranged barbecue, around a whole pit-roasted pig arrayed on a picnic table, pulling off meltingly tender strands, we agreed it was divinely messy and memorable. Read more… “Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, A Juicy (Healthier) Barbecue”
I live to eat. But sometimes all I can put together is an efficient, balanced meal. One of my favorites is rotisserie chicken, a green salad, microwaved brown rice. A trip to the refrigerator makes it enjoyable.
You can travel the world through the condiments in my refrigerator. Some actually come from trips, others I make to recreate past pleasures. I have nutty Egyptian dukkah, chimichurri from Argentina, lemon-sharp Israeli tahini sauce, good old American cranberry relish, Indian tamarind chutney, Dijon mustard from Dijon, and more. A sprinkle, spoonful, or dollop of them works wonders with simple meals like this chicken dinner.
In winter, I include mostarda, a combination of fruits and mustard that I first had in