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Most Wonderful Tastes (Of Normal Foodstuffs)

As the year ends and the new begins, lets celebrate the simple joys of food. A piece of raw broccoli or cauliflower while food prepping, a hot slice of bread w/ butter or EVOO, a fresh garden tomato. What are your favorite simple joys? "Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free..."

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  1. ripe avocado. it's back in my daily rotation now that i'm living in Southern California again, and i couldn't be happier about it!

      1. Cheese. Chocolate. So many things.

        1. Warm sun kissed cherry tomatoes, picked off the vine

            1. re: huckfinn

              Freshly picked sweet corn-raw.

              Stopping, while digging clams, the shuck one, rinse it in the sea, and scarf it down. Motivation to keep digging.

              1. re: huckfinn

                Big +1 and bonus points for snagging it from your favorite local farmstand as I do all summer!

                Yellow pear tomatoes straight from the deck.

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  my yellow pear tomatoes were so disappointing this year.... fresh off the vine, still warm from the sun, yet mealy.... but the green zebra ones, those rocked my world. some s&p, a drizzle of balsamic.... that was my lunch for months. if you add some nice raw clams, THEN i'm a happy girl :-)

                  1. re: kubasd

                    Tomatoes did not fare well in many parts of the U.S. this year. Here's hoping for a better crop in 2010.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      that is for sure, i it made me sad

              2. A fresh hand made flour tortilla hot off a 100 year old griddle over a mesquite fire.

                2 Replies
                1. A perfectly ripe sweet-tart red cherry. And then 30 or 40 more.

                  Mrbigshotno.1, yeah...

                  1. The summer's first fresh nectarine; fragrant, sweet, juicy.
                    Corn on the cob.
                    A crisp Winesap apple.
                    ...and yes, fresh baked bread with sweet butter.

                    1. A small bite of Stilton. Fresh cilantro. Rare filet mignon.

                      1. A cold glass of milk and a warm, homemade brownie made with native raspberries I picked from my favorite orchard, high on a hill, overlooking the Land of Steady Habits. Howzat for a picture postcard?

                          1. re: sbp

                            ooohh yeah. gotta be the champagne mango, tho. a symphony of texture and flavor.

                            1. re: sbp

                              Yes! We used to sit around our front yard fountain in Bolivia, in the heat of the evening, and eat red mangoes from the tree.

                            2. A nibble of really good pecorino cheese and a sip of Cabernet while fixing dinner.
                              A fresh cookie hot from the oven.
                              A quick, fresh cranberry relish.
                              A hot cup of fresh coffee with a drop of real cream.

                              Happy New Year to all!

                                1. re: Avalondaughter

                                  *THWACK*... smacking self on head.
                                  How did I forget THAT???

                                      1. re: Avalondaughter

                                        Bacon doesn't count - it's on another level, all by itself. The sine qua non.

                                        1. re: Avalondaughter

                                          B-B-B-Bacon! :)

                                          But then Bacon isn't 'normal'; it's supernormal. Yum.

                                        2. Dunking a piece of good Italian bread into the pot of Sunday gravy. (red sauce) mmm

                                          1. pork
                                            just picked apples
                                            deli pickles
                                            late summer squash and corn
                                            steamers or mussels
                                            bread still warm from the oven
                                            freshly churned butter
                                            Formosa oolong or spring Darjeeling

                                            1. Butter
                                              Italian or French Bread
                                              Nectarine or Peach
                                              Fresh picked Corn
                                              Fresh Raw Oysters
                                              Fresh Deep Fried Raw Oysters or Scallops
                                              Fried Belly Clams
                                              Steamers/Piss Clams
                                              Maine Lobster
                                              Hamburger or Hot Dog off the backyard grill
                                              Fresh brewed coffee with cream
                                              Bacon/Sausage with Perfect Soft Sccrambled Eggs
                                              Slow Roasted Boston Butt
                                              Slow Roasted Prime Rib

                                              but the absolute best (and cheap) pleasure is a New Jersey Beefsteak Tomato freshly plucked from my backyard garden.

                                              1. Fresh ground coffee
                                                Crusty sodabread with salt butter
                                                Soft boiled egg and soldiers
                                                Mashed potatoes
                                                Fresh sweetcorn
                                                Brown crabmeat
                                                Spaghetti with oilive oil and garlic
                                                Very strong cheddar cheese
                                                Runny Brie
                                                Slightly burnt white toast with lots of butter and a smear of lime marmalade

                                                1. A c-rat can of pineapple chunks in Vietnam, sitting on top of a hill top bunker 42 years ago today, watching the sun set and wondering what the New Year would bring. Whew!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                    I'm glad you're here to tell us about it, Passa.
                                                    What a nice thread this is to read, to remember, and to dwell on. My most wonderful taste is fresh-out-ot-the-oven crusty Italian bread. Spread with salted butter. That melts as soon as it hits the bread. There are others...steamed lobster, clams I dug myself, blue fish my son caught that we grilled an hour later. But there's something about freshly baked bread that brings back many memories for me.
                                                    Happy New Year!

                                                  2. My dad's homemade donuts. I use his recipe, but they just don't taste the same.

                                                    1. To the season: a hot apple cider w/ rum after shoveling the snow. Or an icy cold beer after working in the garden or cutting firewood on a hot summer's day.

                                                      1. Sugarplum Tomatoes
                                                        Steamed Lobster
                                                        Fresh (unpeeled) Fuyu Persimmons
                                                        Steamed Cauliflower, Eggplant, Snow Peas, Carrots (big whole ones), Yellow Squash... all lightly sprinkled with salt
                                                        Cubed Honeydew
                                                        and back when I could eat them...
                                                        Jarlsberg nuked til just gooey on the outside
                                                        Ricotta cheese
                                                        Cottage Cheese
                                                        Quality Balsamic Vinegar

                                                        1. A hot black cup of Sumatran coffee on New Year's Day. (Where'd that headache come from?)
                                                          Happy New Year!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            gotta be *good* Sumatra though. i'm sorely disappointed in my first (and now only) purchase of Trader Joe's beans. sometimes it's best to stick with tried & true old favorites to greet the new year!

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Our kids got me the Sumatran and Indian Malabar. Trader Joe's, the nearest one is about a 7 hour drive (Costco too. I've never been in one.) in Mass., but I do get free lobsters, Maine shrimp and scallops!
                                                              Oooo, a fresh shucked scallop, right out of the shell. So mild and delicious.

                                                          2. Warm Lao sticky rice
                                                            Hot naan fresh from the tandoor
                                                            Rambutan when briefly in season
                                                            Fresh squeezed orange juice
                                                            Momos - or any Asian dumpling
                                                            Mondongo in a Mexican market
                                                            Cold watermelon (a new kind here; very red, very sweet, small edible seeds)
                                                            A bundle of fresh corn tortillas in the morning
                                                            A hot saltena on a cold Sunday morning in Tarija
                                                            Tamales & atole on a cold morning
                                                            Fresh artisanal (usually flat) bread the world over
                                                            That first taste of smoked fish wherever you find it
                                                            A glass of wine with any of you
                                                            Morning oatmeal with Dana Zsofia

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                              Sam, a saltena!
                                                              Salud en el ano neuvo!

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                Edited to include correction!

                                                                Gracias! Todo lo mejor a Uds en el ano nuevo!

                                                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                I encountered Rambutans on a visit to Queensland. They were being used as decorations on a buffet table. Out of curiosity, I picked one up and after figuring out how to open it up, ate the flesh. I then went back and surreptitiously removed the remaining fruits and retreated to my table where I demolished the lot. Sadly, have not seen a rambutan since.

                                                              3. A perfect chilled lychee, preferably the kind with a small pit.
                                                                A SW Ontario Red Haven peach or oxheart tomato (the latter lightly salted).
                                                                A slice of dead-ripe local canteloupe.
                                                                Fresh cherries, either the biggest firmest Bings or midseason sour ones.
                                                                A Bartlett pear, so ripe you have to eat it over the sink.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  ...and now I'm dying for that pear dripping down my face and hands...

                                                                2. Mangoes
                                                                  Grape tomatoes
                                                                  Avocado with salt and lemon/lime juice to spark it
                                                                  Clementines (sweet mini-mandarins)
                                                                  Fuji apples
                                                                  Tea with stevia and mint flavoring
                                                                  Rooibos tea with stevia

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Sparkina

                                                                    Oh, have to add mild goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes to that list

                                                                  2. Steamed artichoke with Best Foods Mayo. Just had one for app before dinner. First of the season from Half Moon Bay.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: srr

                                                                      A perfectly ripe fresh tomato

                                                                      Fresh baked bread out of the oven..:)

                                                                    2. One of my favorite things to do after the rice cooker changes from "cook" to "keep warm" is the take a spoonful of hot, steamed rice and wrap it in some toasted/salted nori and then try to eat it without burning my mouth...

                                                                      1. The 'oyster' from a roast chicken or turkey (no one in my family knows these exist)
                                                                        The crispy outside fat from an old-fashioned roast ham (not glazed!)
                                                                        The crispy tails from fried fish at my grandfather's fishing shack (rest in peace, PaPat!)
                                                                        End pieces of barbecue brisket, pork roast, etc., especially when there is crispy fat attached (sensing a theme here?)
                                                                        A vidalia onion pulled fresh out of the ground by my dad, while still in the field checking the crop, sprinkled with a little salt he pulled from his pocket (I grew up on an onion farm)
                                                                        Ditto a juicy tomato and tiny, raw sweet corn from PaPat's garden

                                                                        I could go on but some sort of salty liquid is leaking from my eyes and I can't see (thanks for the lovely memories!!)

                                                                        1. Fresh Grilled Wahoo with Salt/pepper & Olive oil
                                                                          Fresh Bermuda Tomato right out tof the garden
                                                                          Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
                                                                          Fresh Bread with olive oil
                                                                          Bermuda Avocado on toast with salt and pepper
                                                                          Fresh Iced Tea
                                                                          Stilton Cheese with honey

                                                                          1. A sourdough roll, all on its own.

                                                                            1. A very lightly battered, fresh from the crab pot, soft-shelled crab, with a side of spicy coleslaw, a heap of thick-cut french fries (with their skins) and a big, tall glass of iced tea, dripping condensation. That HAS to mean we're arrived at the Outer Banks once again, which has been our little slice of heaven all our lives, including our 1980 wedding on the beach.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                Soft shell crab! We used to catch them when we were kids and mom would fry 'em up.
                                                                                Freshly picked chanterele mushrooms, eaten raw or fried in butter.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Or false morels boiled first, and then fried in butter.
                                                                                    Slices of bread loaf sized puff ball mushrooms, fied in butter too.
                                                                                    Yum, can't wait 'till spring.

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      Man I haven't had either freshpicked morels or puffballs since my father died. A bit thin on the ground in Brooklyn (plentiful at our summer cottage of happy memory near Lake Huron). I miss the woods!

                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                    Raw chanterelles? Really? You must like your dirt a LOT.

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                      Wonderfully peppery, brushed off w/ my Nokia mushromm knife/brush (Used to live in Finland.). I have a patch in a big moss bed behind in the forest behind our house here in Maine. Further evidence of continental drift, as well as moose hunting in Finland and Maine.
                                                                                      Raw Maine scallops, just shucked, sitting on the stern of the boat.

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        Now you're killing me, with those scallops.

                                                                                1. The chicken gizzards fried prior to fixing the chicken, even if I don't fry the whole chicken, these are mine...all crusty crunchy, salty and peppery.yum.
                                                                                  I cannot resist a bite of the steaming hot just mashed potatoes, after I drop a huge dollop of butter and it melts into a little goldend pool. I scoop themt into my mouth and I blow over the spoonful of potatoes trying to eat them at the same time as my eyes water and to act innocent. IIt never fails my doh walks in just as I do this.
                                                                                  I am so guilty, I do the same with french onion soup. As its baking in the oven bubbling away the cheese all gooey, the cheesey gratinee has melted just perfectly I cannot resist a scoopful to my mouth (It's always from my bowl). I always burn the heck out my mouth I've never learned to wait.
                                                                                  I love to snag a steamy meat ball after its dropped into the hot marinara sauce. Just one for me to test of course.

                                                                                  Mushrooms, cooked in butter, scallions, garlic, parsley, and a little worchestershire sauce. I have to taste them.

                                                                                  Someone mentioned rice. I do that too. Steamy hot spoonful oh good grief. Thanks for the nori idea!

                                                                                  1. crispy turkey skin, out of the oven but before it is carved

                                                                                    the first bite of garlic mashed potatoes

                                                                                    ripe avocado sprinkled w/seasoned salt

                                                                                    1. Roma tomatoes briefly cooked for a fresh sauce.

                                                                                      1. a sweet red seedless grape
                                                                                        avocado on toast with a little mayo and garlic salt
                                                                                        rainer cherry
                                                                                        smoked almonds
                                                                                        lemon sorbet

                                                                                        1. A freshly roasted green chile wrapped in a fresh flour tortilla.
                                                                                          A just caught trout, cooked w/ scrambled eggs, over a fire, for breakfast.

                                                                                          1. A great big firm dead-ripe Bing cherry.

                                                                                            1. Garden tomatoes. And sweet European butter, and lots of it.

                                                                                              1. Perfectly ripe avocado with a sprinkle of smoked salt.

                                                                                                Roasted Brussels sprouts. I don't know what it is about those little suckers, but I've made a meal out of the better part of a pound of them on more than one occasion.

                                                                                                1. A good glass of wine after a hectic day at work.