His second-generation mom n pop shop carries brands of bottled soda-pops to die for! Listen to the sound of the clinking glass bottles. Video courtesy of Chow.com. I muted the sound for the first few seconds so as not to listen to the shampoo commercial. I myself am partial to Stewart's Root Beer, esp. on the Ocean City Board Walk, fresh from the vat. Click here.
Herewith a few childhood memories. As kids growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, my mom did not allow us to drink pop, as we called it, in the house. Naturally I developed a ferocious appetite for the stuff, ubiquitous in neighbors' homes where I discovered the wonders of Squirt, a grapefruit-flavored soda,
My dad's business associates would send gifts at Christmas-time including huge boxes of bing cherries from Harry and David's in Medford, OR and a coffee soda like the one John Nese talks about in the video. We kept the coffee soda in the cool basement but no one, including me, liked it. Today I'm quite sure I'd feel differently.
What are your memories of your favorite drinks?
When my neighbor Charlie passed, I made a fruit bowl for the family with plump red bing cherries, among other things, and a bowl of pistachios. I also bought a large glass bottle of Acqua Panna water from Tuscany, shown in the video. Chilled, the water was disappointing, not enough bubbles, but I did use the bottle as a rolling pin to crush some pistachios for a superb eggplant dish I made for dinner. See below.
CREAMY EGGPLANT SLICES
Our eggplant was barely visible in the garden. It was dragging along the ground, a dangerous place for, as we know, the bottom could well become rotten. The challenge was to pick it as soon as it was big enough to cook with, eggplant being one of the few veggies that's no good raw.
It sat on the kitchen table an entire day so I could have the pleasure of gazing at this beautifully shaped and colored fruit, shiny as a purple mirror. Finally I was ready to cook with it.
Having just seen the Julia Child movie, I was ready to experiment, which I do every time I make something. I pulled out my Joy of Cooking book (whose author makes a delightful appearance in the movie) and selected a do-able recipe.
Due to my own peculiar dietary regulations, I had to circumvent using the most popular of ingredients - tomatoes (ah, such sweet sorrow!) and full-fat cheese. Each of these ingredients has too much potassium which is bad for my failing kidneys. Not to worry! There are many delicious foods I CAN eat.
Slice half-inch rounds of eggplant slices and lay in a greased baking pan. Onto these you will put:
Fresh-squeezed lemon for flavor enhancement
Generous mound of grated onion, grated carrot (for color)
Crushed unsalted pistachios (to crush, put em in a pleastic ziplock bag and roll with rolling pin or reasonable facsimile such as the aforementioned glass water bottle)
Sprinkle nuts liberally over each slice of eggplant
Cover with cheese. In my case, I use low-sodium deli cheese slices.
Cover till oblivion with fresh basil.
Bake, covered, for 20 minutes.
Turn off oven and pick up Scott from the train. "Ruth, this is really impressive," he said. "It's so creamy just the way I like it."
We like to eat in bed while watching TV and moaning with delight. I had a tall glass of ice-cold water with lemon juice.