When I rode into the seaside town of Milazzo — at 3pm on this Sunday afternoon — I wasn't expecting much to be open. But miraculously, a fabulous caffe and gelateria was in business, just by the docks. Naturally, I couldn't resist a big cone's worth. Italian gelato is without compare: nothing else in the world comes close. If Sicily continues to offer ice-cream like this, it's gonna be one hell of an amazing time down here.
I decided to cook some pasta napolitana tonight, at Gulliver's House — I'd already made some last night — but tonight, I had no vegies to put in it! So I decided to chop up a banana, and so see what fried banana tastes like, when simmered with some crushed tomatoes. Piece of advice: don't try this at home, kids. It's edible — but I can see why I've never seen it in a cookbook. Rather disgusting — banana napolitana is a recipe to save only for the most dire of emergencies.
I'm making no secret about it: I didn't come to England to see the Queen, I didn't come to watch the theatre, and I certainly didn't come to enjoy the weather. I came for the curry! Found an excellent Indian take-away joint, a fair way down the main street of Bath, that does some Mutton Vindaloo to die for. England, thankyou for imposing your unfair colonial rule on India all those years ago: because India is now getting its revenge, by invading England back; and they're bringing their curry with them. Best dinner I've had in months.
It's not much, but it's about all that England has to offer the world, as far as culinary delights go. And as with a cuppa tea, no visit here would be complete without at least one serving of Fish 'n' Chips. Deep fried. Smothered in vinegar. And served for take-away in a white cardboard box. Almost makes me feel like I'm back home in Oz. Except that the guy cooking it was a Pakkie, instead of a Greek.
Shouldn't that be Cup Of Tea? You can forgive me (I hope) for failing to visit the 'ol Bird (aka Her Majesty) on me first day in London; but missing a cuppa — well, that would be a travesty beyond repent. Fortunately, I did manage to fit in a cuppa today, and I must say it was the best one I've had in a while. They give you milk without you asking. They use real tealeaves. And they serve it on a delicate little saucer, to make even the least snobby of us proud. Nothing like good English tea.
After almost two weeks here, my dad and I are finally saying goodbye to the cousins (and to each other), and leaving Boston. To farewell us in style, the Goldsteins took us to The Cheesecake Factory — a fine restaurant not far from Newton — for a Sunday brunch. The strawberry pancake thingies were sensational: although they were so big that even I, pig-out waste-nothing shoestring-backpacker that I am, couldn't finish mine.
My dad and I returned to the Goldsteins this evening, where the 6 of us went down the road to the Main St of Newton Center, and where we observed Erev Shabbat at one of the area's fine Chinese noodle restaurants. The Chicken Laksa was superb. No better way to honour G-d's creations, and to observe his commandment of rest on the seventh day, than over a big bowl of Malaysian curry soup. That's my interpretation, anyway. So, as they say at the famous Noodle King of Lane Cove, it was time for some "Number Tertee-Tree, Pleess!"
Along with the Chicago dog, this is another must-have consumption for your next visit to Salem. There's a café down near the docks, that will do you a delicious big cup of hot, fresh apple cider. I've never had one of these before — but after having sampled a cup's worth, I highly recommend it! Full of fresh apple; very sweet; and satisfyingly warm. The perfect beverage to warm you up on a cold, foggy New England day.
If you ever find yourself in Salem, Massachusetts, don't miss going to the Boston Hot Dog Co. on the main street, and grabbing a "Chicago dog" for lunch. This has to be the best hot dog I've had in my life. Ever. Lovely grilled sausage, pickled cucumber, jalapeño chili peppers, lettuce, tomato (they say tom-AEY-to!), and American mustard, all on a chunky long roll. I devoured this dog, ears 'n' all (as my grandad would say). He had it coming.
The perfect Jewish American breakfast. And since I got in to Boston, I seem to have had it almost every morning — mainly because Tara and Ashki don't have that much else lying around the kitchen, in the way of breakfast foods. I can't say I don't like it — it's quite delicious — but then again, I'd prefer something a little more like what I'm used to. We'll have to stock up on some cereal soon. In the meantime, it doesn't hoyt.