Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Five: Foodies

My first ever Friday Five is dedicated to Nikki, sister RevGal, who was hungering for an opportunity to write about Haggis. With that introduction, today’s FF is all about food!

I am always thrilled to talk about food.  3dogmom is hitting the blog running today. I can ALWAYS talk about food.

1) Is there a food from a foreign land whose reputation led to trepidation when you had a chance to give it a try? Did you find the courage to sample it anyway? If so, were you pleasantly surprised or did you endorse the less than favorable reputation that preceded it?

For our Scottish sisters, I have to admit that Haggis was one of fear and trepidation but while in Scotland I did try it and found it quite interesting and tasty.  I am not inclined to try to make it but it was good.  Ris de veau (calf sweet breads) I found not only tasty but REALLY good and order it when I go to a French restaurant now. Now that Vietnamese cooking is so ubiquitous in my
neighborhood, I have learned that Pho is not only good but it is a great antidote to TX sinus problems.  I learned to eat Sushi back in seminary when my gall bladder was acting up and I needed low-fat dishes.  Now I love it but can't afford it too often.  And I learned to eat lamb when I left TX.  My family still doesn't eat it, but J and I fix it whenever we can.  A butterflied leg of lamb on the grill is awesome!

2) What food from your own country/culture gets a bad rap? 

 Much Southern cooking gets a bad rap for being overcooked.  But I like cooked down collards and greens, beans with ham hock and fried chicken and steak but they don't like me any more.  (Or perhaps they like me too well and stay on my hips!)  But an occasional trip to Cotton Patch or Cracker Barrel seems to alleviate my cravings

3) Of what food are you fond that others find distasteful?

Many of the above.  J. can't stand okra which I love so I have to order when we go out.  

4) Is there a country’s food, not native to you, that you go out of your way to eat?

Mexican food (Tex-Mex) is 'native' to my area so that doesn't count. I do try to ferret out some regional Mexican cooking like from Vera Cruz, Yucatan or Oaxaca when I can. I love most Japanese dishes--especially soba and eel dishes.  When I lived in DC there was an Ethiopian restaurant that we
went to.  Many of their dishes were based on lentils to which I am allergic but I enjoyed their bread which function as the edible table cloth.  It was also quite spicy.  Indian food and Middle Eastern are favorites. I don't think that there is any kind of food that I don't like--I am not fond of elk or caribou so I don't think I would look for an Eskimo restaurant but doubt if I would find it the DFW area anyway.

5) What is your guilty pleasure food?

Perhaps it is the Decaf Venti Mocha that I have most mornings.  All food carries guilt as far as I am concerned.  Unless it is lettuce.

Bonus: What was your most memorable meal (good or bad), either because of the menu, the occasion, the company, or some other circumstance that makes it stand out?

I remember a wonderful dinner at a posh restaurant in  Wakefield, England that was attached to the hotel where we were staying.  I was coming down with a cold but the meal was so delightful that it put the feeling bad on hold for a while. We had lamb with a berry sauce of some local berry that I don't remember.

 Another was in Beaunne, France after a wonderful stay at Taize.  It was during the Beaujolais festivalWe asked for Ris de Veau from the Madam of the posh bistro in our broken French.  She said surprisied:  "Americans no eat ris de veau!"  They treated us to a glass of champagne.  It was everything that a French meal was supposed to be.  

And then there was the lunch we had in Vezalay after walking the labyrinth at the church at the
starting place of the ancient Santiago pilgrimage.  We bought wine from one of the local vineyards, local pate, cheese and crackers and sat in a little park and took in that little town.  Priceless. 

I really have so many 'precious meal stories' because my theology of meal is so intertwined with the sacrament of Eucharist.  When I was still a Roman Catholic there was a group of women that would gather on Maundy Thursday and break our Lenten fast with a lovely French dinner before we went to the Maundy Thursday service.  We were all single and this was often how we claimed our community.  I don't know what we had--each ordered what they wanted--but it was that sense of community that was so important.  I have not been able to re-establish this custom since ordination because of church duties, but it is something that I would like to do again.


altar ego said...

What a delightful play. I love your descriptions of the meals and foods you've enjoyed--you have certainly been fortunate to try a diverse sample of foods!

I know what you mean, too, about the community of friends that is hard to replicate in the midst of church life, especially as a single person. Those rituals are precious.

Teri said...

great play, Muthah+. i'm so grateful for your wealth of great experience and stories! And oh yes, Indian food! But I'm with J on okra. eew.
You've reminded me of one of my favorite traditions: my little local group of church-going friends gets together after the Good Friday service (it may not be liturgically appropriate, but it is logistically all we can do as this little band of disciples) for margaritas and guacamole. We squirrel ourselves away in some obscure Mexican restaurant, much as the first disciples must have done that awful night, and wait for Sunday. :-)