Friday, December 08, 2006

"Food Trip"

By Noah Kirsch

There is nothing like a bite of a blueberry pancake, soaked in fresh maple syrup right when you wake up. Then again, I do like challah French toast – the trick is to add maple syrup to the batter. And an omelet with diced tomatoes and spinach isn’t bad either. I could settle for waffles. I could probably settle for peanut butter and banana with a glass of milk. That’s just breakfast though.

If you can’t tell already, I am a food aficionado. It runs in the family. One of my grandmothers is a first-generation Italian-American. Anything made by D (short for Dena) is Deeeeee-licious– raisin meatballs, homemade pasta, bracciole and biscotti, quite literally, to die for.

My other grandmother founded a gourmet catering company with sites all over the greater New York region. She may have retired from the kitchen years ago, but when it’s time for Thanksgiving she can still make a turkey right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Growing up around good, no, incredible food has been a privilege that I have embraced. I don’t just eat to live, I live to eat. And so, if I could do anything for a day, I would spend it eating my favorite foods. With that said, the food in my house can be scarce at times. A few years ago my mother bought into the organic food craze. I knew things had really become dire in the Kirsch household when my mother topped a pizza with quinoa. So to get the best food possible, I’d have to venture out of the house – way out of the house. That means a road trip with one of my best buds, Misha.

Ever since this summer when my friend Misha and I took a spur-of- the-moment road trip to Rhode Island, there have been few things I’ve enjoyed more. Let’s just say my parents were awfully surprised when I told them why I wouldn’t be coming home for dinner that night. On the way we found great restaurants, ones I would love to revisit all in one day.

Bill’s diner with coffee, grits, hash browns and an omelet right in the heart of Hartford, Connecticut would be perfect for breakfast. If it were summer time, we could arrive on the beach in Narraganset no later than twelve o’clock. After a couple hours riding the waves, the smell of fried calamari from Real Seafood would be calling our names for lunch. Between salad, mussels, shrimp, calamari, French fries and ice cream, I probably wouldn’t need another influx of food for a good half an hour.

After lunch on the beach, it would be time to drive up to Boston to finish off the road trip. Basketball in the park might work off some of the 10,000 calories consumed during the day. Anyone who has been to Boston knows where to finish a day of eating off: La Strega (“the witch” in Italian) restaurant on the North side. With their Zuppa di Pesce – a real half of a lobster, scallops, shrimp, mussels, calamari, penne and a light tomato sauce– and canolis for desert, the road trip would be complete. The packed streets of Boston would be perfect to roam until home started calling our names.

Oh, yeah, the money part. There’s none in my pocket. It’s a sure good thing I keep my checkbook in the glove compartment.

Noah Kirsch, of Spencertown, New York, is applying to college. This essay is one he composed as part of the process. In addition to being a first-rate eater, Kirsch burns off excess calories playing a lot of basketball.


Anonymous said...

Raisin meatballs????? You and grandma would have to sell me on that one. I also love food. I say that I am on a mission to eat something that is like nothing I have ever had. These meatballs could be the thing. Do you eat them with garlic bread and sauce?

Lori Cullen

Anonymous said...

Perfect. I woke up hungry today. I had a cup of coffee. Now I've read your excellent piece. It's 8:15 am Eastern Time. There's very little-- extremely very little-- to eat in the fridge. It's 10 degrees out. You get the picture. Thanks a whole lot.

Anonymous said...

I hope you keep driving south. You need to get yourself to McCullenville and eat she crab soup. There is so much to to be tasted and while Mom might know best - organic food sucks.