Not really sure how to identify a mere five foods that somehow explain who I am, but here’s the immediate, off-the-top-of-my-head run of it:
- Banana Pudding. No, not the crappy kind that you find in the Publix Deli. You cannot make Jello Banana flavored pudding, stick some cookies in it, and call it “Ta-Da! Banana Pudding!” No, no, no. You must make the cooked custard-based kind, lest you commit treason against all culinary things Southern and sacred.
- Krispy Kreme donuts. Only one – no need to binge here. Must be of the fresh, in-store, “Hot N’ Ready” variety. No compromises on this. I only get one once in a blue moon, but when I do, it is heavenly.
- Fresh sliced tomato, salt and black pepper. I’m not sure how this happened, other than pregnancy. Around six months pregnant with Russ, I just woke up one morning and all I could THINK about was tomatoes. Nothing has changed. I’m not sure if this is normal, but I really could (and do, on a regular basis) eat an entire tomato, sliced, with salt and black pepper.
- Mashed potatoes. I put minced garlic and either rosemary or sage (fresh, just whichever I have handy) in the boiling water, so the potatoes themselves get infused with the flavors. Then I take about 3-4 tablespoons of butter and brown it over medium-low heat until it foams up and begins to turn brown (at which point you have to get it off the heat and into whatever you’re cooking or in a cool holding dish, else it’ll burn), whole milk, sea or kosher salt, and mash it in. To finish, I use the electric mixer to whip the potatoes until they’re fairly fluffy. They. Are. Amazeballs.
- (I said amazeballs! Oh, you’ve no clue how long I’ve been waiting to use that phrase.) Last food: Bacon. Not because I love bacon strips, just eating bacon – but because it has been a really great “base” to create sauces, to enhance flavor in whatever I’m cooking, etc. I don’t just throw bacon willy-nilly into everything I make, but if you really want to learn to like spinach, it is an invaluable ingredient. Four things: Fresh baby spinach, 2 slices chopped bacon, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, sea salt to taste. Saute bacon until brown, add spinach and garlic, let spinach wilt, salt to taste. It is done, it is amazing.