|Simple Pleasures: Shortbread|
Two days ago, I walked into an office and spied a bowl filled with wintergreen Lifesaver mints, each in its own little wrapper. The scent hit me before I finished signing in at the visitor's book. I snagged one and went off on my merry way to see an art show. I snagged another on my way out...take two, they're small, I said to myself. I had not had a wintergreen lifesaver in ages. I remembered ducking into dark closets to chew these candies, mouths wide open, so whatever friend ducked into that closet with me could see the sparks. "Your turn now!" I don't know why that happens, and I don't care. I like that it happens. And I love me some wintergreen Lifesavers. Which got me thinking...what other of life's little food pleasures can be had for less than $10.
Here's my list...give me yours...
1. Wintergreen Lifesavers--see intro!
2. Shortbread. You can sometimes buy just little packages of two fingers of Walker's Pure Butter Shortbread. This is perfect dessert--I call shortbread butter and sugar held together by juuuuust enough flour.
3. A glass of red wine on a cool evening, a glass of good white on a hot summer's evening. I would rather have one glass of wine a day than all the sweets in the world. Just one. It is about savoring, good company, relaxing and ever such a little bit of a buzz. I like a glass of wine.
4. Good coffee in the morning. I prefer my own espresso with hot milk, my own little cafe au lait home--so much that I've been know to pack the espresso machine (an old, very basic Krups model) for vacations. Good coffee, whether at home or out, is kind of like the glass of wine. Time to relax, savor, make conversation, enjoy.
5. One plain croissant, baked dark, not overproofed and all fluffy. I like plain, what can I say. Like shortbread, this is just pure goodness. Sometimes I like a little marmalade on that croissant, too...but not often...
6. Good, true bread (I sense a trend), like the bread at Tartine in San Francisco. So know, I have not actually VISITED Tartine, but I've worked on the bread at home from the book, and I knew Chad when he was a youngster doing his culinary school rotation in Philadelphia, Pa. I would happily spend every cent of that $10 on a loaf of this bread.
7. Mamoun's Falafel in NYC (and in Connecticut...)--This is one of those things I crave. More than 20 years have passed since I lived a short walk from Mamoun's, but when I get to Manhattan, I still try to get to there.
8. Plain, old-fashioned doughnuts. I bet cro-nuts are awesome. Really, I do. But I don't like to wait in lines for food. There is this one Shoprite supermarket in Stanford, Connecticut. It's on Route 1. The best. plain. old-fashioned. doughnut. anywhere. Not the puffy glazed doughnuts, but the ones that get fried to a golden color, then dipped in a glaze. I almost always eat a doughnut when I visit my sister in Connecticut...and I pretty much do NOT eat doughnuts any other time
9. Okay, you can't get these anymore, but if you are reading maybe you can give me a good substitute. Best's Kosher Hotdogs. I do NOT know why these are not made any more..bought out, sold, whatever. But why?! So if you are wondering why someone who cooks for a living loves hot dogs, it is that I love a GOOD hot dog. And man, Best's were...the best. I haven't eaten a hot dog in years, but if you showed up with a Best's, I would invite you to sit down and we'd enjoy that hot dog.
10. Wintertime oranges. I had to do something healthy! I have to say when I get an orange in January, February and March, and it is so perfect, so juicy...just so orangey...well, I count that as a good few minutes spent savoring. It could be that I have had a few incredible oranges in the past week, so I am craving them anyway. But man, when an orange is good, it's great.
What ten innerness