Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Little Trip Down (Food) Memory Lane

Well, I have been in Nigeria almost two months now. Every now and then I have a strange hankering for some different kind of food, something from my past. For instance, a couple weeks ago I craved celery, of all things! Most of the things I write about here I would not eat today even if I could because I have been mostly gluten, sugar, and dairy free for almost 6 years now. But, here are some of the crazy food thoughts that have popped in my head lately. Let me know if you remember any of these...

1. Baltimore: "Jack's corned beef sandwich" from Lombard Street downtown  (now Lenny's Deli). Note the large Kosher pickle on the right of the sandwich in the picture--a must. My parents loved to go down to Jack's to get this as a special treat. It was a real "Balmore treat, hon"!! :)

2. South Carolina: Skin Thrasher's famous hot dogs with chili. Started in Anderson (in the beautiful upstate), I would frequent the restaurant in Clemson. I have fond memories of running out to get some "skins" with my friend Betty. These reminded me of Pete's hot dogs with everything on them. Who remembers Pete's in Catonsville, Maryland? I can still taste those hot dogs from my childhood.

3. Kansas: Bison Burger from the Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill in Manhattan. I would get this with no bun or cheese, and wow was it good. Yay for buffalo meat! Delicious and nutritious.

4. Catonsville: My good friend and co-missionary here in Nigeria, Jennifer, just cannot understand what I mean when I talk about steamed crabs. I guess she will just have to experience them (she's from Georgia and thinks "snow crabs" are crabs!!). I had terrific crabs back in March at Ship's Cafe in Catonsville, thanks to my good friend, Faye.

5. Grand Cayman: Corita's Copper Kettle's conch burger. I also miss conch stew, plaintain tarts, turtle steak, and Chef John's beach barbecue chicken dinner. I had delicious turtle steak there once. Have any of you eaten at Chef John's on the 7-Mile Beach? It does not get any better than that!

Here in Nigeria, I have had wonderful chicken kabob with rice at Chicken Republic in Lekki (Thanks, Gary Maxey!). I also have the opportunity here to eat these fresh foods which I can get in abundance and rather inexpensively: Avocados, Nigerian sweet pineapples (much better than what we get in the U.S.), mangoes, papaya, plantain, and all sorts of vegetables and other fruits. Going to the market can be exciting!

I have tried the rice jollof, foo foo, and gari, and it is all very spicey! (See photo at right). But, of course, I love rice and fried plantain!

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