Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Embracing Narcissism - An Interview

I read about this interview meme on Marce's wonderful food blog, Pip in The City and, like Marce, I am not the type to shy away from an opportunity to talk about myself. Though I have always thought of myself as shy, it is time for me to come to terms with the fact that having a blog that chronicles my life in food is not exactly something a modest individual would think to do. So here goes (deep breathe): I am embracing the narcissist within. Here are the five question that Marce composed specifically for me:

1. Have you always lived in NYC? What´s your favorite thing about the city? What´s the thing you hate the most about it?

I have lived in NYC all my life, though I have traveled a whole bunch - I lived upstate for an extended summer and hung out in Mexico for six months - I have always come back to the city.
It is as though I am constantly rediscovering the life, energy, and culture that intersect here every day. There is a complexity within this shared experience that cannot be defined and is not entirely good or bad and for some strange reason I find that comforting.

The upside to living here, is that I can have pan au chocolate from Patisserie Claude on West Forth Street for breakfast, Tamales filled with chicken and Mole Poblano for lunch in Sunset Park, Chicken Tikka Masala and naan for dinner in Queens, then Baklava from Damascus Bakery on Atlantic Avenue. Sure I’ll end up with heartburn, but it’s a small price to pay for love…of food. And of course international eating events are not the only thing I like about the diversity of the city; I like that out of most of the people I meet, I am the only one from here. Everyone is from somewhere else, a different state, a different country or continent, it makes interaction so much more interesting and challenging.
The down side of the City is the crowds of people. There are millions of people who live here, then add tourists, commuters, etc. At times it gets to be too much. If you want a strong sense of community you have to work hard to create it and to maintain it.

2. Which is your favorite restaurant and why?

Hands down it is, or rather was, The Grange Hall. Sadly the restaurant closed down in 2004 when they lost they’re least.
Here are some friends and I having a wonderful dinner at The Grange. I have a dozen or so pictures, with many of the same satisfied faces, all of them with us sitting around a table at the Grange.

I have never gotten over the tragedy. I wonder if I can put into words the deep affection I feel for the Grange Hall. The food was just my style, urban peasant with seasonal vegetables, homemade wild boar sausage, fresh raspberry dressing (I would eat this by the bowlful), hearty pancakes, and turkey clubs with thick slice bacon and hand cut home baked bread; it was basically American food at its finest. The art deco bar, cozy booths, and 30’s swing music, coupled with the eclectic and interesting wait staff also helped. Lets just say, brunch in NYC will never be the same.

3. What´s your fondest food-related memory?
I suppose I would have to say cooking with my mother as a child. My mom is master a baker, and when she would make cakes, cookies, and muffins, I was put in charge of the mixer. With her long brown hair tied back loosely in a bun and a splattered white apron she would instruct me, “okay Madeline, bring the round lever to the number 2.” Standing on a chair in order to reach the levers, I would diligently pull the lever and stair down at all the ingredients slowly merge into one confectionery mass. The procces was exciting and it made me feel incredibly important to be involved.

4. How do you think your friends would describe you?

Hum. Wonderfully gluttonous, magnificently obsessed, fantastically fanatical…

5. Besides ice cream, what is one thing you just couldn’t live without?

There are so many things I could say off the top of my head, yogurt, and chocolate are at the top of the list. When I give it some deeper thought however, there is only one thing that I consume day in and day out no matter what. If I were to go a day without it - the thought pains me - it would be an outrage in the highest and would probably entail loads whining, whimpering, and perhaps even a temper tantrum. I’m speaking of coffee of course, I don’t dream of one day owning a yogurt robot now do I?

If you would like to participate here's what to do:

1. Leave a comment saying, “Interview me.” or sent me and email at :gourmetpeasant@gmail.com
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Kara said...

I love interviews like this too. You can interview me if you want - I can post it on my myspace blog, which I know isn't public, but, some people would get to read my replies.
I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
Btw, am I really THAT pale?

Vivian said...

Awesome, I cried when reading, your passion is profound. You can interview me as well.