Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Father's Day: Memories of My Father

Father's Day is coming and this is the first year I will not have my father alive. However, I think of him often, especially when I shop for food. Growing up poor and unable to get the education he wanted, my father took pleasure in his ability to be a good breadwinner and put food on the table (and in our bellies). He would go to specialized stores as they do in France: the bakery for bread and pastries, the butcher for meat, the fish market for fresh fish, the appetizing store for Jewish delicacies unobtainable elsewhere (several kinds of smoked fish, pickles, flavored cheeses, and other items). I can still remember the smell and ambience of that store with a wooden floor that might have been dusted with sawdust. He would drive out to a country farm to get the freshest eggs and go to a special farmstand or two for the best vegetables and seasonal fruits. I remember him sitting at our kitchen table, qvelling (relishing) over our pleasure with the food he bought. Is it any wonder I enjoy eating and cooking and am somewhat of a foodie?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Small Pleasures

Today was the long- and impatiently awaited reopening of a local supermarket (West Side Market) that closed a couple of years ago when the building it was housed in was demolished and a new spiffy apartment building arose in its place. The market is in the same location as it was before, but it barely resembles its ancestor. Oh, there are still the outside bins of fruit and vegetables beckoning one to touch and buy, but inside everything is brand, spanking new. There is still the same wonderfully eclectic selection of provisions--they carry items you've never seen before but suddenly have to have (my inaugural purchase--a treat on this humid night: tangerine frozen fruit bars).

It's the kind of place where neighbors you haven't seen lately stop to chat with you--something I've never experienced at the nearby D'Agostino's (which was eerily rather empty I saw on my way past it going home)--although tonight it seemed everyone was on their cell phones!

Welcome back, old friend, from this unrepentant foodie!