To kick off the next few posts dedicated to Philadelphia, I wanted to start with something I made as a challenge from my grandmother. She's is a real Philadelphia eye-talian, and therefore she is the greatest cook. This summer, she told me how her mother (a Calabrese, from the toe of the boot) used to make polenta for breakfast in the most amazing way you've never considered: fried in maple syrup and butter and covered in powdered sugar. I mean, polenta is one of the most amazing foods ever, but as a sweet food? Incredible! I am not usually up for sweet foods for breakfast (unless we are splitting it 'for the table' and we all get savory items in addition, because that's always a great plan and it's how I suggest everybody do brunch from now on you're welcome), but this is something I would happily wake up for. Well, I don't happily wake up for anything but you get my point.
Okay, today's Berlin Inspiration really IS inspired by specific experiences during my travels! Currywurst, Germany's favorite fast food, is a fried sausage cut up and served with curry ketchup sauce. Not only was currywurst sold on literally every corner in Berlin, in little hot dog vendor-style carts, but we also got to try vegan currywurst at Voner! So Voner's was decent, but it was still covered in sweet ketchuppy curry sauce - that's what makes it currywurst. Are you still wondering why it's called currywurst? It's because it's the worst way to consume curry. Seriously. Currywurst is the food version of Mona Lisa Saperstein.
Mmm, soup! I mean noodle soup! I mean soup! ("Friends" is always on my mind during MOFO.) Well, I didn't necessarily have potato soup in Germany so this soup isn't specifically inspired by my travels but it's generally inspired by Germany. Because German potato soup is a thing, according to the internet and common knowledge, as well as Tony Horton and the German pornstar who was in the Chest & Back P90X video. (Okay, so I'm 50% making this for Germany and 50% for one of the funnier parts of the original P90X, when four people look ridiculous swinging their arms around doing pot-stirrers and the always insane Tony Horton tells them to call out their soups. See below. And yes, all of us innocent Xers were informed afterwards that Maren is a pornstar.)
One of my absolute favorite places in New Orleans was the old school (and regular type of old) shaved ice shoppe Hansen's Sno-Bliz. Born in 1939, Hansen's sells amazing snow cone treats that somehow have fluffy ice and sophisticated, absolutely delicious syrup flavors. I had many wonderful flavors there, but missed out on the cream flavors (because cream). So we are recreating them here with our trusty beloved Vitamix! (NB: You can participate with any method of creating shaved ice.)
Welcome, my little bunnies, to my post about - without a doubt - the most gluttonous, glutenous thing I will make and eat probably EVER.
We are going to have to listen to this while we work, because it's the only sound I can think of that properly captures both how ridiculous this is and how my friend and I felt when we didn't have to eat any more of it.
Oh lordy lord, how good is gumbo?! WHO DAT! When I was in New Orleans last month, gumbo was obviously being sold everywhere you looked. I had delicious Gumbo Z’Herbes at the famous Gumbo Shop, which is a naturally vegetarian (and vegan if the roux isn’t made with butter) traditional gumbo, with parsley and cabbage and other leafy greens. I loved it and I could eat something like it every day, but seeing the tremendous variety of more interesting non-veg gumbos made me hella jealous.
The Spark of Creation
I love to cook. Love it! 9 times out of 10 I'd rather cook my own meal than have someone else (especially a stranger! Stranger danger!) make it for me. However, I am not a chef, so my recipes usually are haphazard slapdash ragamuffin mixtures of ingredients. Proceed with caution.