I was talking with some friends the other night, one of whom was reading in Calvin Trillin's Feeding a Yen and loving it, of course. (Although personally, I like American Fried best, with Alice, Let's Eat in second, because I always love the appearances of Alice.) This lead to a discussion of ouy own personal yens, the foods we don't have access to and miss actively, regularly.
Here's my list:
Eli Zabar's country sourdough - the really big loaf.
The pizza with the very thing crust from that joint around the corner from my old apartment in Queens - I think the place was called Sol's? The cheese was different, possibly a blend of fresh and aged mozz. The sauce was spicy. Sol's (if it was called Sol's) represented my Platonic ideal of pizza.
The cheddar/dill scones from the little shop in Bath where Sally Lunn cake originated.
The chocolate rum balls from a bakery in Penzance. I have no idea how they made these so soft and melting and tender, but they did.
The lemon potatoes at Uncle George's in Astoria (preferably late at night, after a few drinks out, maybe a game of pool.)
The montelimar we made at CIA - dried cherries, not candied. Sigh.
The home fries from the breakfast place near the river in Cold Spring, NY. They cooked a lot of red peppers in with the potatoes, and they achieved the perfect level of greasiness - just enough, not too much.
The danish Alfred made at his bakery out in Forest Hills, NY. A little hole-in-the-wall, but the danish dough was all-butter and made by hand. There isn't much in the world better than a homemade danish.
Unless it's a homemade English muffin, toasted, with cream cheese. That's another CIA memory. I could probably make those, though. I'm sure I have the recipe somewhere. But what I really want is for someone else to make them for me, and serve them up hot to go with my morning coffee.
Big, fat blackberries hot from the sun. You don't get those in the city.