What's the last thing you ate?
*Ate* would be the slice of unadorned white bread last night to assuage the hunger pangs of eating nothing all day. 'Had to eat' would be the soy mixture + tsp of instant coffee + tbsp of Fair Trade hot chocolate mix + cuppa 1% milk I had for breakfast, and have every day. (I used to gripe about Fair Trade chocolate, in that the ethical choice was not only expensive-- 'proof that it works'-- but not nearly as good as President's Choice Light or Carnation. Then I actually bought some PC again and... um yes, tastebuds get educated as well. Now when they're out of my seven-bucks-a-hit Camino Real I panic.)
What's your favorite cheese?
Swiss, if you can find a decent variety. Some Emmenthal pulls it, most don't. One eats these melted, of course. Was once partial to Brie and Camembert but realize it's more for the fat content than the taste. I used to hate cheese as an adolescent, or thought I did, then was introduced to Camembert on Moisson Canadien crackers (sesame seeds and something else I couldn't identify) and thought it heaven. I don't think they make Canadian Harvest crackers any more, alas.
What's your favorite fish?
Minced raw tuna with thin sliced spring onions, but only in Japan. A nice sole meuniere is fine but I can't do it myself. Grilled anything.
What's your favorite fruit?
The Big Four: Ripe mangoes, chilled and sliced thin. Courtland apples. Mandarin oranges. Strawberries. After that, cherries in small amounts, apricots ditto, chilled grapefruit. (Most fruit is better chilled, berries and apricots being the only exception.)
When, if ever, did you start liking olives?
I never /disliked/ olives per se, but all I knew was green cocktail olives. Those are still the only ones dry enough to eat. Passing the antipasto display in the supermarket has put me off anything else- greasy stinky black things swimming in yellow oil, yuck. (Remember that, unlike 90% of North America, I do *not* suffer from constipation. The latest restaurant fashion of putting out dishes of olive oil for people to dip their bread in defeats me. I have no desire to move into my bathroom full-time, thanks.)
When, if ever, did you start liking beer?
I've been able to drink beer only for brief periods of my life- my early 30s, or in Japan when I could mix it with vending machine lemonade and make shandy. Of course it was vending machine beer as well. (Nostalgic sigh.) Never liked the taste of it or the gassiness, and now it gives me splitting headaches pronto. I am from a wine-drinking culture, yappari.
When, if ever, did you start liking shellfish?
A very good question. All through childhood the big bang-up celebration meal at home was cold lobster and mayonnaise, served with salads and a sweetish German wine of some description. And smoked salmon for Jeanne, because Jeanne hated lobster or thought she did. (I know exactly the sort of kid I must have been. I wonder how my parents put up with me.) At some point in my 20s I realized I was mad. Shortly thereafter the restaurant that specialized in cold boiled lobster closed its doors, and serve me right.
I think I always ate shrimp, which is now my number one fish and seafood of choice, but we never had it as much. The satori there probably happened when I started eating Japanese in the 80s. Prawns, oh prawns, how lovely you are...
What was the best thing your parent/s used to make?
Ah. Um. My mother, when not cooking tripe a la mode de Cannes which none of us would *touch*, was the kind to send me packages of Shake'n'bake when I was living in France because it made food taste better. But what I remember as heaven was Cheese Dreams: white bread, processed cheese, slices of cooked bacon, all melted under the grill until brown and bubbling.
What's the native specialty of your home town?
Of Toronto? We have no native specialty. We have no natives. Everyone comes from somewhere else and in the days when they didn't-- or rather, when they'd come from somewhere else a hundred years ago-- their cooking ran to over-roasted meat and over-boiled vegetables. (I remember fine dining in the 60s, yes I do. It left scars.) But here's what I used to eat in quantity when I came home at Christmas because you couldn't get it in Tokyo, or not cheaply, and I missed it so bad:
Hummous, tabbouleh and baba ganoush
Tandoori chicken and aloo ghobi
Souvlaki and tzatziki
Szechaun and Cantonese
What's your comfort food?
Iced Second Cup cookies in season, I suppose. At home, caraway rye bread (when I can find it) and melted cheese and a glass of wine. Bacon.
What's your favorite type of chocolate?
Enh. Dark, but I'm not a real chocolate in bars fan except maybe for After Six mint bars. I like it melted on ice cream, and praline can sometimes tempt me.
How do you like your steak?
Grilled on a barbecue and in miniscule quantities. In my old age I grow antsy about eating beef. Mind you I also grow antsy about frying meat, with or without oil, from associations with Ivan the Terrible that I can't shake.
How do you like your burger?
With ALL the trimmings- green pickle relish, mustard, dill pickle, melted swiss cheese, tomato and lettuce and occasionally mayonnaise. Works better if the burger is a soy product or a grilled portobello mushroom, except they grill the portobellos in olive oil.
How do you like your eggs?
Poached is good if someone else is doing it. I make mine as omelets- whisked up and cooked slowly.
How do you like your potatoes?
New potatoes or finger potatoes boiled, run under cold water, thrown in with salad greens, dollop of Renees Cucumber-Dill dressing at umpteen zillion calories a tbsp. A meal on its own. The big ones, mashed with turkey gravy. Red ones chilled with yoghurt dressing as a salad. Not baked, but roasted if there's a roast except roasts involve beef etc etc. (Not always. The daycare cook does them with rosemary and sea salt and bloody olive oil again dammit.)
How do you take your coffee?
Au lait, if I must. I miss the iced coffees of Japan with their extreme-cream and sugar syrup that a) actually melts and b) actually sweetens.
How do you take your tea?
Rarely. Chai latte will do, or the poor man's version of same: teabag tea, heated milk, and generous sugar. (Now realize that's why the long-departed and long-lamented Vigneswaran at work made tea that way.)
What's your favorite mug?
Don't really have one, though the extra-large Second Cup mug someone gave me last year has its uses.
What's your cookie of choice?
Second Cup iced, as above, though not all SCI are the same. The soft ones that crumble slowly under the glazed sugar when you bite them beat the thin hard ones that snap. Alas, one never knows which is which until you've bought and bitten.
What's your ideal breakfast?
The one I have- enough to stop hunger, not enough to load the stomach. Plus diet Pepsi.
What's your ideal sandwich?
Club, alas. With freets met mayonnaise for that true heart attack touch.
What's your ideal pizza (topping and base)?
Not a pizza person. Otherwise with pineapple and ham; no anchovues, green pepper, goat's cheese, capers, sweet onion, and all the other stuff that goes on designer pizza.
What's your ideal pie (sweet or savory)?
It's all about the crust and there's no guarantee on that. Within the crust, rhubarb-strawberry is my favourite.
And the rest of this meme is not to my purposes.