Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Featured Listener

First, see the previous post regarding Anne Bramley's amazing Eat Feed podcast. Naturally, because of space constraints, my responses were truncated. Rather a lot. It's fine with me; I understand the nature of the beast.

So, as promised, here are the full-length answers:

1. Where, when and how do you listen to Eat Feed?

My favorite place to listen to Eat Feed is on the Q101 bus, which I take from my office on 2nd Avenue in Manhattan back to Queens. In New York City, the Subways can be rude, loud places, with the exhausting seat-jockeying, the blaring bing-bong of the closing doors. The bus, however, is quite different. Because busses, in some ways, are very time-sensitive (they're actually on a fixed schedule, believe it or not, and mostly stick to it) riders generally catch the same one each time -- so you end up riding home, as I do, every afternoon with the same driver, the same ten or fifteen people you see each week. My ride is about 30 minutes, barring any traffic ridiculousness, which is usually just enough time to get through one episode of EatFeed.

The Taste of Vermont episode took me back to my early years in New York, when I was barely out of high school, living with three roommates in a (what I now know to be cramped) apartment on Broadway and 34th Street in Astoria. One of them, an actor and singer, made frequent trips to Vermont to find work tapping trees for syrup making, and she'd bring us huge jugs of the Grade B stuff, which I think is always richer and filled with more deep caramel flavor than the lighter Grade A some people prefer. So that afternoon, with the Q101 stuck on the Queensboro Bridge because of some reason or another -- maybe even no reason at all -- I thought about all those breakfasts we had together.

2. Three things in your fridge or larder right now:

In my fridge you will always find a tub of quince paste, because it seems to last forever, no matter how much manchego I eat. I also have an old peanut butter jar, now filled with roasted red peppers that came from Caputo's Bakery in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, where they make (basically) everything themselves. Their peppers are always rich and charry-tasting without the high-pitched sugary flavor you can get with some of the store-bought brands. And if you look in the fridge door, there are two one-pound bags of flax seed, which were sent to me by my mother, and considering that I've had them for several months, and even though I grind them onto everything, they'll probably be in there forever, too.

6. Favorite section of the grocery store:

I love to go food shopping because the grocery store is one of the few places where I get the genuine feeling that anything is possible. I always peek into the carts of the people in front of me in line, all the dozens of ethnicities that live in my neighborhood, and see what they're buying, often wondering what in the world are they going to make with that.

I never make a shopping list. I just look into my fridge before I leave the house, think a little bit about what I'm craving on the short walk, and then shop a little here and there, without paying too much attention to what I'm getting. (This makes for both interesting and disappointing trips to the fridge in the middle of the week, I know: "oh, no cheese, what's a guy to do?")

I'm lucky, I have about 8 grocery stores within walking distance. My favorite section in all of them is the aisle that has everything wonderful packed in jars: bitter orange marmalade, ginger and mango chutney, Jamaican jerk seasoning, chipotles in adobo sauce, black olive paste, hearts of palm, thai curry paste. I love seeing everything stacked in my cabinets, I love opening jars and getting that satisfying pop.

7. Your favorite small shop, online resource, or open market to shop for yummy food:

Without a doubt, my favorite place to shop is the Union Square GreenMarket. It's particularly crazy on Saturdays, with people dragging bikes, babies, dogs, skateboards, musical instruments, anything through the market, buying everything from flowers to fresh caught fish to baked goods to cat grass. It's also a way to meet the real people who are growing and nurturing the food you eat.
Don't miss the perfect maple syrup at the Deep Mountain Maple stand, where they also have sell delicious maple candy and a ginger syrup that's like pure sunlight on your tongue.

No comments: