If you don't have a list of the best meals of your life, food may not be as important to you as it is to me.
That's OK. We can still be friends.
You will, however, have to suffer through my list. It will be good for you. It might make you think about some of the good meals you've had in your life.
There has to be at least one that still makes your mouth water when you think of it.
List # 12: The Best Meals of My Life
My list starts when I was 17 and just starting college. I am sure there were good meals before then, but I feel like this is when I really began to sit up straight and notice them. All those years of cookbook reading had developed in me a love for the story of food, and the joy of making food. Now I was enjoying the eating of it too.
1. Picnic with Aaron. We had just begun to date and he took me on our first picnic. He packed an old basket with grapes, cheese, crackers, a baguette and some sparkling cider. He spread a blanket in the tall grass of an empty field that has since been turned into a housing tract. There were no bags of Doritos or pb and js on white bread.
I knew then that he was a keeper.
2. Apple Tarte in France. It was my first time in France. I was 19 and had 5 younger teens in my care. We descended on the tiny town of St. Amore with one goal in mind: sit in a cafe and drink espresso. The owner of the cafe brought us our espresso and also a large, juicy, beautiful apple tart. She set it on the table before us and said, "welcome to France!"
Is it any wonder I love that country?
3. The Girl and the Fig. We ate there on our honeymoon, on our drive through the Napa wine country. I especially remember the fig and port ice cream sandwich. It was delicious and our first foray into fresh, simple and very good food.
4. Cafe Napoli. Also on our honeymoon. In Carmel by the Sea. The best minestrone I have ever had, Even in Italy.
5. Breakfast in the Space Needle: I've never eaten in a restaurant that spins. Best Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten.
The view was quite nice too.
6. Breakfast in Sienna: Imagine a view of rolling Tuscan hills. Of an ancient city just one hill away. Of honey, jam and olive oil made from the fruit of the trees that surround you. Of cheese and salami, olives and espresso. Imagine heaven. I think that breakfast was a tiny taste of it. We were here.
I long to return and vow someday I will.
7. Bruschetta and Olives in the Cinque Terre: We were staying in Riomagiorre. There is a tiny restaurant there, perched on a cliff over the Mediterranean. There had been a storm and the waves were crashing hard against the rocks. We ordered white wine, bruschetta and olives. Each one came from the hills right above us. I still remember the tastes of it all.
Utterly simple and utterly delicious.
8. Lamb and Rosti in the Alps: I am not a lamb person. Lamb made up many of the not best meals of my life while I was in India. But someone told us, "you have to try the lamb." So we did. Served in a minuscule restaurant in the little town of Murren, in the Swiss Alps, it was better than any steak I've eaten. It came with traditional Swiss potatoes called rosti and this garlic aoli that I could have eaten by the gallon. It wasn't just our day of hiking that made it delicious beyond all reason. It was just that good.
9. Cane e Gatto: The most money we've ever spent on a meal. A 5 table restaurant. We ordered nothing--just ate what was brought to us. Our waitress was the chef's granddaughter. After our meal, the chef came out to talk to us. He asked us to sign his book. And to come again.
Seriously worth every penny.
10. Dinner at Pocket Square Farm: Read about it here. Just plain amazing.
I could go on. But you, not being a foodie, might stop reading.
So I'll leave it at that.
But if you have an amazing meal to talk about, I am all ears.