Oddly enough, I wasn’t very inspired by food when I was home. With a few amazing exceptions, I could have done without most of what I ate at restaurants. I’ve decided that, despite the array of choices, most things taste the same. We Americans love to have choices as long as they are within a very thin set of parameters. Bill Bryson has a funny essay about American’s “strange, unshakeable attachment to predictable uniformity” in his book, Notes from a Big Country, if you should be interested.
Take sliced ham, turkey or other “cold cuts” you can buy at most supermarkets. There are a million varieties: peppered-turkey, Cajun turkey, smoked honey turkey, roasted brown sugar ham, smoked ham, rosemary smoked ham, pepper smoked ham, etc. The options are endless. The same goes for cheeses. The cheese department’s slogan must be “All different colors but just one taste!” I challenge any American to sample sandwiches made with different cheeses and actually identify which cheese they are eating. I’m guessing most of us couldn’t tell the Swiss from the provolone. Every sandwich I had tasted like one thing…meat. Maybe this is just evident for me since meat is pretty much the last thing I taste on French sandwiches. It made my taste buds kinda numb.
Okay, I don’t want to just complain here. I know that in
Cottage Cheese. I don’t know when I started liking it, but I ate almost a whole container in a week. I consider it a food that walks the line between being delicious and repulsive, so when I’m leaning towards delicious, I really go for it. Cottage cheese is really good for you, too! I eat it with lots of black pepper.
My mom’s cinnamon bread. This used to be only a Christmas-time treat, but my mom has taken to making it throughout the year now. It’s the perfect breakfast.
Fruit Smoothies. Especially the ones at Paul's parents' house, made with soy yogurt and soy protein and the perfect amount of ice (not too much).
Bagels and Cream Cheese. Sesame ones with veggie cream cheese are the best in my book.
Okay, all for now. Why is it so hard to find inspiration in the kitchen the week after a vacation?!?