You are what you eat: My top 10 favorite foods meme

I was recently tagged by Ilva, at Lucullian Delights for this meme, and then shortly thereafter by others (you know who you are!) looking for unsuspecting victims that had not yet been tagged. This leaves me with the duty of trying to find new people who have escaped the radar of tagged bloggers for this meme... I'll be coming after you soon! If I can find you, that is... Unfortunately, I don't have beautiful pictures like Ilva does to go with mine since some of my most favorite things are not in season, and so either not available, or not beautiful this time of year. And besides, now I am just going to post it sans photographic enhancement to avoid getting tagged again! (That said, thank you all for tagging me, I feel loved.)

10. Artichokes. Sure, I like the hearts right out of the cans, but there is nothing like a freshly steamed artichoke leaf, dipped in mayonnaise, a little lemon juice, and some worchester sauce. And digging out all of those pokey little leaves towards the heart just make that morsel even more worth it when you get to cut it into quarters, dip it in straight melted butter, and shove it in your mouth.

9. Fried Calamari. Now, at first you might say: "That's sacreligious! A marine biologist eating calamari!" Perhaps even more so when you find out that if I see it on a menu at a restaurant, I simply have to order it. And it's probably even more appalling when I tell you that I insist that it actually looks like squid to be edible - with all those little tentacles streaming out in all directions, complete with little teeny-tiny suckers! It's true though, all of it. Calamari should be tender, and in either rings or little bunches of tentacles. I hate to break it to you, but there are no calamari steaks or sticks out there swimming along in the ocean! I assure you that there are many other marine biologists out there eating seafood just as much as I do - we just try to be sustainable about eating our subjects.

8. Pecans. Or as some of my family from Texas calls them: PEE-CANS. Pecans are yummy. My grandmother makes a mean pee-can pie...even meaner the one time she mistakenly forgot to put eggs in it and it turned out like sticky caramel pie. Everyone knew but my grandfather, and no one told him just to see what would happen. He didn't even say anything until his dentures came flying right out onto the table! Good memories go hand-in-hand with pecans in my life. They're lovely in any kind of pastry or even savory dishes, but I like them roasted and right out of the bag.

7. Mache. Lamb's lettuce. The only place I have been able to find mache is at Trader Joes here. I know it abounds in other places, like Europe, but I haven't been so lucky.
Its mildly sweet and tender leaves make mache the perfect green bed for almost anything you feel like placing upon it. You can sautee it, or eat it raw, like I do.

6. Berries. Blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, mulberries, raspberries, blackberries, any kind of berry. I just love them. I could eat them until I get sick, and I have done it before. That part isn't so enjoyable. But there is nothing like picking up one of the sweet little morsels and popping it in my mouth to squish all that juicy sweet goodness out with my tongue. Even better is picking it off a bush in the wild or the backyard and eating it fresh, with gooey stained fingers.

5. Garlic. 'Nuff said.

4. Avocados. Silky smooth guacamole...slices on sandwiches...layered with eggs on a breakfast burrito...placed on crackers with olive-oil packed tuna...made into smooth, rich soup...avocados are just delicious in every way. And no one can argue - they have the good kind of fat! (Who cares how much of it, right?)

3. Bacon. Yes, I know that it's fatty, and bad for me. But the smokey crispy goodness of bacon just calls me in, sniffing the aroma like a trail in the sky, directly to the kitchen. I could eat an entire pound in one sitting. And yes, I would be sick afterward, but it would be worth every little bite. It's just so good. And yes, I know, poor little piggies may have given their lives for me to enjoy the luxury of my slab of bacon, but I wouldn't eat them if they didn't taste so damn good! So, really, it's not my fault.

2. Dark Chocolate. Milk chocolate, although good in some things, is just far too sweet for my tastes. Especially after comparing it to all the delicious varieties of dark chocolate at the Slow Food For the Love of Chocolate event this year. Just a single square (okay, maybe two) and I'm satisfied. And anyway, woman doth not live on vegetables and savory foods alone...she needs her sweets!

and now, drumroll please...

my most favorite food in the whole world is...

1. Tomatoes. Growing up on a farm in Colorado, we always had a garden. As a child, I didn't really appreciate this fact much as it simply meant to me that when mom got upset at us for not helping around the house, we recieved a large peice of paper listing the chores we had to complete to become 'ungrounded'. Weeding the garden was one of my least favorite of these chores. However, as I have become older, and wiser, or so I like to think, I now actually enjoy the manual process of weeding, hoeing, composting, planting, picking the fruits of my labor (er...Loving Boyfriend's labor), and even canning them. At least until the deer came along and ate most of what we grew this year. We canned many of the heirloom varieties of tomatoes we got from our CSA this year, because there is nothing like an in-season, fully ripe, red juicy tomato - even if it's been canned for months...and simply because I cannot live the 6 or 7 months of winter without tomatoes while waiting for them to come back in season. I also blame growing up on a farm for my pickiness about what a tomato should look or taste like, and unfortunately most restaurants (unless they care about their tomatoes as much as I do) and most grocery stores just do not live up. I'll still eat them, of course, I'll just complain about them first. :)

Now the fun part, to come up with a few people who haven't been tagged yet...keep your eye on your comments...he he he (evil laughing ensues...)

13 comments from you:

Jennifer said...

Yum. You made me hungry for artichokes! And I'm with you on tomatoes. There is simply nothing like a fresh one picked and eaten in the height of summer. We were both raised on a farm... guess that's where we get our addiction to fresh vegetables.

ilva said...

I agree with all your favourites! So there would be peace in the kitchen if we ever get the opportunity to cook together!!

michelle said...

Hi Jennifer!
Thanks for visiting! That's probably it...farm life spoiled us forever! It sounds like you're having to be creative in getting yours from Novato, though, and that's got to be tough. We're moving within the next year, and it's going to be interesting to see where we end up and to start all over once again trying to integrate myself into a new world of food, that may not be as nice as the one I'm in now.

Hi Ilva!
I hope someday we get to cook together and eat many tomatoes and pasta and dark chocolate together in both our kitchens!

Dawn said...

Michelle, this was a lot of fun. And I found myself saying things like...oh yeah, I COMPLETELY forgot about THAT! Oh well. I can change my mind if I want to (the best thing about being an adult!) :-)

I agree with you on most everything. I do, however, think that you owe us a good once-over on the whole canning process!

Dawn said...

And by "once-over" I mean, please explain to me all those little details that make it seem so foreign! High-acid, low-acid, pectin, do I have to use a "canner?" Can I just boil stuff in jars with the right lids? This would make a great post.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey Michelle: Great list. I can't believe I forgot to put tomatoes on mine, and I'm supposed to be a tomato ranchin' bum!
PS: Thanks a zillion for linking to my blog. Shucks.
I'll be a regular visitor.

LisaSD said...

Hi Michelle--I see that we share nuts, dark chocolate, berries and avocado. I see chocolate on a lot of lists!

I, too, love the mache from TJ's. Except the last batch, which had a strange background taste of licorice! Weird, huh?

I just made some pecan sandies and some pecan scones...should be posting those in the next week or so. They are wonderful, aren't they? TJ's has some candied ones that are beyond belief. They shelve them not with nuts, but with the cookies!

Nerissa said...

Hmm... I've never even tried Mache before! I wonder if I'd like it. Of course you make it sound dreamy!

What kind of wild berries do they get down your way?

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Michelle,...are you talking to me? :) Of course you are!
Great post---My blog is down by the way. I hope typepad fixes all of their problems and restores the recent posts.---Hugs,

hereandthere123 said...

Definitely in favor of pecans, avocados and artichokes. I really have to write my own Meme on this...

michelle said...

Hi Dawn!
Hmmm...I don't know all the little secrets about canning like you're asking...I just know the basics, and I usually just use fruit and sugar - I try to avoid pectin unless it's really necessary to thicken something up. But I'll do a post for you on it when I have something to can once again!

Hi Cookiecrumb!
I was wondering where those tomatoes were on your post! Thanks for visiting - I was reading your blog before I even had one of my own!

Hi LisaD!
Ew - licorice flavored mache? That's bizarre - must not have been as fresh as usual??? I can't wait to see those recipes - yummy!

Hi Diningdica!
Mmm - mache is awesome! I wonder how we can get some to you... We get all kinds of berries here - huckleberries and blackberries and blueberries and cranberries abound. Plus, I got 'lucky' and have a whole yard lined with bushes upon bushes of invasive blackberries so I make jam and desserts and pick berries for my cereal right from the backyard!

Hi Melissa!
Yes, of course I am! I was wondering where you were - sorry to hear things are down, I hope they get up and running again soon - I'm missing your updates and all that good info you share!

Hi hereandthere123!
You should! Might I wager a guess that chocolate is one of them? Or does working with it spoil your sweet cravings for it? I like your site - I'm really interested in sugar and chocolate art. Thanks for stopping by!

farmgirl said...

What a delicious list! Did you know that mache is easily grown from seed? The trick is that it loves cold weather. It will also vigorously re-seed itself (free food! no work!)--at least that's been the case for me. I used to have a small patch of it in my greenhouse where it would grow all winter long. Just let some of the plants go to seed when the weather warms up, don't disturb the soil, and you just might be able to keep yourself in mache all year round up there in cool Oregon. There are various varieties of seeds available, too, so you could definitely experiment. The one I've had success with is called Big Seeded Mache. : )

michelle said...

Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely have to try that. We have a wonderful seed company here, Territorial, where I'm sure I can find it.