We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I suspect we have many readers who either live in New York City or who commute to the city daily by train. As an ex-New Yorker, living in Boston and New Hampshire, it is now a special treat for me to hop the train to New York three or four times a year to stay for a few days, usually with the excuse of giving a talk or to attending a medical meeting (which I did this past week and this week-end). I change from Amtrak to a Metro-North express in New Haven, and sometimes spend a day visiting my New Haven friends. I do not shop in NY (well, not very much), but I like to visit my old haunts, and to find new ones.
I got up to the front of the train, next to the driver, just after we took the train bridge from the Bronx to Manhattan:
Coming from Boston, I am greeted by the magnificence of Grand Central Station instead of the execrable Penn Station or the idiotic, government-designed JFK airport. Somehow, this lame snapshot managed to eliminate every bit of the grandeur and scale of Commodore Vanderbilt's creation:
Something new: The Grand Central Market. Wonderful food stalls, and perfect to pick up some stuff on the way home: rare cheeses, imported Italian sausages of every variety, 200 types of olive oil, a bread bakery, a patisserie, pre-cooked goodies and dinners, etc. etc. All of the old, bleak empty spaces of the Station have now been put to good use, and the whole place is like an upscale mall, and busy as can be:
And something old on the lower level: The good old Oyster Bar, with the best oyster stew in the world, and a larger selection of oysters - and fresh seafood in general - than you can find anywhere in the world. The entire Lower Level is now a food court, and good enough that I think people come in off the street for a snack. No chain restaurants - good stuff.
Just seeing that oyster bar brought back so many memories.
Sweet Tater Pie
Yield 1 pie
2 cup COOKED SWEET TATERS, MASHED
1 cup BROWN SUGAR
1 cup LIGHT CREAM
½ cup MILK
½ teaspoon SALT
1 teaspoon CINNAMON, GROUND
1 teaspoon NUTMEG, GROUND
1 each 11 INCH UNBAKED PIE SHELL
2 cup SOUR CREAM
¼ cup SIFTED CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
½ teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
½ teaspoon GINGER, GROUND
Combine Sweet taters, Brown Sugar, Cream, Milk, Eggs, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger in a large mixing bowl. Pour into pastery shell. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Mix Sour Cream, Convectioners Suger and Vanilla, spoon around the outside edge of the pie to decorate.
OH! It looks like they have done a wonderful job with the ol station. What a great idea. In LosAngeles/Hollywood you can find great Italian, and great Jewish Delicatessens such that you have on the east coast. However, for the rest of the west coast we have nothing with such a wonderful selection of the meats and cheeses. We have little shops who do a few rare things--but, nothing on the scale of the delis in NYC. However, in Vancouver BC they do have Granville Island and that is pretty darn nice for meats and cheeses.
Some boarder guard stopped me on the way home. When asked what I had in the trunk I told him I had some pates and salamis and such. He said:"pates?" What kind of Pates?
I said: "I have a Compagne and a duck". He said: "Compagne?". "Yes--Compagne". He said: "Pull over". He took my damn Compagne Pate away from me based on the ground that it had Canadian Beef in it--(I'll bet it made a nice treat for a long night's duty on the boarder!
Usual pie crust makings
1 medium troll, gutted, or not
Minced Troll Pie is a family favorite. Begin by preparing your standard pie crust. Bake the pie crust until golden brown, and cool. While it cools, chop troll into chunks. Feed chunks through food processor, on "chop" setting. Once entire troll is processed, place in large pot on the stove, set to "simmer". Stir in the troll's shoes, unlaced. Simmer until thickened and add a dash of spite and two teaspoons of ginger. Ladle into pie crust. Refrigerate one hour.