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When your obsession becomes mine ...

When your obsession becomes mine ...
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  • When your obsession becomes mine ...

    Post #1 - March 29th, 2009, 11:26 pm
    Post #1 - March 29th, 2009, 11:26 pm Post #1 - March 29th, 2009, 11:26 pm
    Hi,

    Since day one of reading and participating in these food boards, I have acquired obsessions that were more a reaction to people's enthusiasm rather than to my personal wims.

    In the beginning, I would read of Jim Leff's desire for Quisp flying saucer shaped cereal. I recall he didn't want anyone to tell him where it could be found, because he like the thrill of the hunt locating a box in random grocery stores. For years thereafter, I would scan the cereal aisles hoping to find my own box of Quisp. Last summer, I hit the jackpot twice: my first encounter was at Grand Food Center in Winnetka. As I scanned the aisles, the martian with the propeller on his head stared back at me. I felt like I won the lottery. I immediately bought a box and a gallon of whole milk to enjoy the experience to the maximum. Quisp reminded me of the much easier to locate Captain Crunch, but still after all these years I finally had one.

    My second box of Quisp was found at Fox and Obel in the middle of a rack of whole grain cereals. While it was fun to find my second box in six years of searching, I felt this Quisp was more calculated marketing ploy than a true spontaneous find. I will bet the farm it was offered at Fox and Obel for the Jim Leff and Chowhounds aware of this obsesssion. Somehow this was not as thrilling as the Grand Food Center experience, I did not buy the second box of Quisp.

    In my kitchen next to the television is a jar of Durkee Famous Sauce. I bought it largely due to reading people pleading for leads on where to buy it. For quite some time, I was scanning the shelves of grocery stores hoping to find one. I got lucky last year in a boutique cheese store in Wisconsin. My trophy has been sitting in my kitchen ever since unopened largely because I don't think about it when I make a sandwich. I don't especially pine for it, don't know what it tastes like and sometimes wonder why I have it. In a small way, I hope when I do try it, I will not be particularly impressed. I am afraid to like it, because then I will really waste time seeking it out again.

    When I was maybe 10-years-old, my Mom bought a box of Appian Way Pizza, because it reminded her of her childhood. Appian Way Pizza was a treat in my Mom's household. My Mom and her brother Tom would carefully mix the dough, pat it out, distribute the pizza sauce and shake parmesan cheese from a small shaker can over it. They couldn't wait for it to come from the oven and carefully cut it for a 50:50 share. My Mom had just retold this boring old chestnut of a story last summer, when a few days later I found a box of Appian Way Pizza at Garden Fresh Market in Northbrook. Naturally, I called home to report it to my Mother who was screaming with delight, then I took a box home. Appian Way Pizza is now offered complete with Crust Mix and Pizza Sauce. Just breeze past the omission of the cheese, while it wasn't great, it was part of the Appian Way Pizza experience. I made the pizza with grated parmesan, then served it to my Mom. It tasted like Bisquik in my humble opinion. My Mom didn't rave about the taste, she was still stirred up by her memories from over 50 years ago. I heard her recounting the experience with her brother and laughing over the good ol'days fighting over Appian Way Pizza.

    Sometimes these obsessions originate with me. I have bought so many Bitter Lemon imitators hoping to find anything approaching Schweppes Bitter Lemon. I scan lots of store shelves hoping to find a surprise pocket of Schweppes Bitter Lemon. When I was at Minos in Addison recently, I had a tickle of a memory this may be a source for my beloved Schweppes Bitter Lemon. Sneaky shelving at Minos, I found an imitator first then found the Schweppes Bitter Lemon. Imitator quickly returned to the shelf and several bottles of the real McCoy in my cart. I nursed my Bitter Lemon supply for a week, then regretted not buying more.

    This is only a small portion of inherited obsessions from reading these boards or other influences. What have you obsessed for because you read it here or learned from another source?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - March 30th, 2009, 8:18 pm
    Post #2 - March 30th, 2009, 8:18 pm Post #2 - March 30th, 2009, 8:18 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:In my kitchen next to the television is a jar of Durkee Famous Sauce. I bought it largely due to reading people pleading for leads on where to buy it. For quite some time, I was scanning the shelves of grocery stores hoping to find one. I got lucky last year in a boutique cheese store in Wisconsin. My trophy has been sitting in my kitchen ever since unopened largely because I don't think about it when I make a sandwich. I don't especially pine for it, don't know what it tastes like and sometimes wonder why I have it. In a small way, I hope when I do try it, I will not be particularly impressed. I am afraid to like it, because then I will really waste time seeking it out again.

    Fear not, Cathy! The famous Durkee Famous Sauce can be found at (where else?) Grand Foods in Winnetka--at least they carried it for years and years when I shopped there. I believe that Treasure Island in Wilmette also carries it. I know this because we were a Durkee's family in Minnesota, where Durkee's is de rigueur. No day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich is complete without it. I found some at Price Chopper in CT this year and bought 5 jars for my family in the New York suburban area.

    I love the idea behind this thread-you are one of the people whose food favorites I tend to look for with a great sense of affection through affiliation. Except now I often take pictures of the item instead of buying it. I am going to get around to posting some of these pics one day, for instance, a picture of a bottle of a Russian brand, "Mexican Ketchup" [sic] made me think of Hammond and how entertained he might be by the thought of such a thing. It's just wonderful to know that there are other people who are as obsessed with little quirky food things as I am.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #3 - March 30th, 2009, 8:21 pm
    Post #3 - March 30th, 2009, 8:21 pm Post #3 - March 30th, 2009, 8:21 pm
    Josephine,

    What does Durkee Famous Sauce taste like? It seems to be a mayonnaise type sauce.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - March 30th, 2009, 8:32 pm
    Post #4 - March 30th, 2009, 8:32 pm Post #4 - March 30th, 2009, 8:32 pm
    It is a dijon/mayo hybrid. I used to buy it at Jewel and Dominick's years ago and Sunset in Highland Park. I used to use it for vinagrette before I really got into cooking and this was maybe 35 years ago. I just saw it recently and can't remember where I saw it. It may have been at Fairplay at Western & Cermak. It's actually quite tasty on sandwiches, too.

    Open your jar, Cathy!
    "With enough butter, anything is good."-Julia Child
  • Post #5 - March 31st, 2009, 9:20 am
    Post #5 - March 31st, 2009, 9:20 am Post #5 - March 31st, 2009, 9:20 am
    Great post, Cathy.

    It's funny, I can't pull any examples off the top of my head, but I've had countless exchanges with my wife, when I've either come home with some strange packaged good or gone out of my way looking for it in an unfamiliar store.

    "Why did you want to get that?"
    "Uh, someone on the Internet likes it."
    "What are you going to do with it?"
    "Um, I don't really have any idea."
    "You're weird."

    Yes, dear, yes I am.
  • Post #6 - March 31st, 2009, 10:17 am
    Post #6 - March 31st, 2009, 10:17 am Post #6 - March 31st, 2009, 10:17 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:Great post, Cathy.

    It's funny, I can't pull any examples off the top of my head, but I've had countless exchanges with my wife, when I've either come home with some strange packaged good or gone out of my way looking for it in an unfamiliar store.

    "Why did you want to get that?"
    "Uh, someone on the Internet likes it."
    "What are you going to do with it?"
    "Um, I don't really have any idea."
    "You're weird."

    Yes, dear, yes I am.

    I know the feeling, because I wonder sometimes what to next with whatever I lugged home. I am presently working through a lot of these impulse buys and then I will probably begin again. I have a bag of duck jerky for my sister's dogs that I keep assuring her, "They will love!" I only know this from reading about it on LTH.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - March 31st, 2009, 11:33 am
    Post #7 - March 31st, 2009, 11:33 am Post #7 - March 31st, 2009, 11:33 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Sometimes these obsessions originate with me. I have bought so many Bitter Lemon imitators hoping to find anything approaching Schweppes Bitter Lemon. I scan lots of store shelves hoping to find a surprise pocket of Schweppes Bitter Lemon. When I was at Minos in Addison recently, I had a tickle of a memory this may be a source for my beloved Schweppes Bitter Lemon. Sneaky shelving at Minos, I found an imitator first then found the Schweppes Bitter Lemon. Imitator quickly returned to the shelf and several bottles of the real McCoy in my cart. I nursed my Bitter Lemon supply for a week, then regretted not buying more.


    I've seen Schweppes Bitter Lemon in the convenience/liquor store in the strip mall on Lincoln where Garden Buffet Korean restaurant used to be, about a block north of Berwyn and south of Mekato. I haven't picked any up in a while, so I can't guarantee they still have it. I do recall a conversation with the owner about how they love it "at home" (although I don't recall where that was) and that he was sure I'd love it, which I did.
  • Post #8 - March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am
    Post #8 - March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am Post #8 - March 31st, 2009, 11:39 am
    HI,

    Thanks for the tip.

    Binny's or their competitor usually has Schweppes bitter lemon in a 6-pack of small 8-ounce servings at a relatively hefty price. Minos has the advantage of selling one or two liter bottles. As much as I love it, the practical side doesn't want to pay more than it is worth, thus the game of hide and seek for the economy bottle. :D

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - March 31st, 2009, 12:01 pm
    Post #9 - March 31st, 2009, 12:01 pm Post #9 - March 31st, 2009, 12:01 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Binny's or their competitor usually has Schweppes bitter lemon in a 6-pack of small 8-ounce servings at a relatively hefty price. Minos has the advantage of selling one or two liter bottles. As much as I love it, the practical side doesn't want to pay more than it is worth, thus the game of hide and seek for the economy bottle.


    They had single smallish (maybe 8 or 12 oz) glass bottles at somewhere between $1 and $1.50 each. It's been a while so I don't remember the exact price. Not sure how that stacks up to prices elsewhere.
  • Post #10 - March 31st, 2009, 2:15 pm
    Post #10 - March 31st, 2009, 2:15 pm Post #10 - March 31st, 2009, 2:15 pm
    Cathy2 wrote: What have you obsessed for because you read it here or learned from another source?


    I think it's a little early to call it an "obsession", but I want to eat a horse and I blame Bridgestone.
  • Post #11 - March 31st, 2009, 8:34 pm
    Post #11 - March 31st, 2009, 8:34 pm Post #11 - March 31st, 2009, 8:34 pm
    DeathByOrca wrote:I think it's a little early to call it an "obsession", but I want to eat a horse and I blame Bridgestone.


    Tagline alert!
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #12 - April 1st, 2009, 11:05 am
    Post #12 - April 1st, 2009, 11:05 am Post #12 - April 1st, 2009, 11:05 am
    Once I read about Korean tacos, I had to make them, and did.

    I've also been doing a lot of reading (and day dreaming) about pizza lately thanks to Bill/SFNM.
  • Post #13 - April 3rd, 2009, 2:03 pm
    Post #13 - April 3rd, 2009, 2:03 pm Post #13 - April 3rd, 2009, 2:03 pm
    Oh, DURKEE'S!!! OH OH, OH OH!! (to quote Horschack) Haven't had that for scads of years. We were a Durkee's family, my mom slathered it on everything she didn't slather with Hellman's. Just a bit of tartness, some juhn-say-qwah, made it perfect (as noted up thread) with turkey sammiches.

    LTH put me onto the vintage EVOO at Costco, ditto the 'short ribs' there. Gary (pork belly), Bill/SFNM (sourdo yeasts), and Bridgestone (everything) have changed my eating life, no question. Man, what would I do w/o yinz??

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #14 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:23 pm
    Post #14 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:23 pm Post #14 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:23 pm
    Geo wrote:Oh, DURKEE'S!!! OH OH, OH OH!! (to quote Horschack) Haven't had that for scads of years.

    Geo- I'll trade you a jar of Durkee's for some Kansas sand hill plum jam. . .
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #15 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:42 pm
    Post #15 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:42 pm Post #15 - April 3rd, 2009, 7:42 pm
    Josephine, you can probably get them faster by post from here!!

    I won't be back in KC for a couple months, but I'd bet that these folks will deliver. But your offer is much 'preciated!! :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #16 - April 6th, 2009, 8:35 am
    Post #16 - April 6th, 2009, 8:35 am Post #16 - April 6th, 2009, 8:35 am
    Cathy2, are you kidding?!!! This whole forum has opened my eyes to vast new areas of culinary direction. Based entirely on the enthusiasm of other forum members, I bought a smoker, and now know what good smoked meat is supposed to be about! I’ve tried many new and diverse recipes that I never would have before. I’m starting to grasp the beginnings of what might be described as a palate. All because the people of this forum have taken the time to articulate (and take photos) of what they appreciated about various foods. My obsession is to heighten my awareness of the subtleties of preparing and enjoyment of food. Another part of my enthusiasm for this forum is the recommendations of food and food related products. I’ve always believed that people sometimes spark creativity in others. When someone else has an obsession that sparks your interest, is that not the seed of creativity? By the way, what the heck do you do with Schweppes bitter lemon? :wink:
  • Post #17 - April 6th, 2009, 3:16 pm
    Post #17 - April 6th, 2009, 3:16 pm Post #17 - April 6th, 2009, 3:16 pm
    Bitter lemon sighting: at Andy's fruit Ranch last wednesday
  • Post #18 - April 6th, 2009, 4:39 pm
    Post #18 - April 6th, 2009, 4:39 pm Post #18 - April 6th, 2009, 4:39 pm
    sarcon wrote:Bitter lemon sighting: at Andy's fruit Ranch last wednesday


    Schweppes? 1-2 liter bottles or the small glass bottles?

    Razbry,

    I hope I didn't sound critical, if anything I laugh at myself for being so easily swayed by suggestion. It's a great life!

    Schweppes Bitter Lemon is a beverage. It is everywhere in Europe and rarely found (and usually expensive) when found here.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - April 6th, 2009, 5:39 pm
    Post #19 - April 6th, 2009, 5:39 pm Post #19 - April 6th, 2009, 5:39 pm
    Irish Catholic now on the prowl for kosher Coke.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #20 - April 7th, 2009, 8:04 am
    Post #20 - April 7th, 2009, 8:04 am Post #20 - April 7th, 2009, 8:04 am
    Katie wrote:Irish Catholic now on the prowl for kosher Coke.

    I saw it at the Happy Foods in Skokie in 2L bottles.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #21 - April 7th, 2009, 9:31 am
    Post #21 - April 7th, 2009, 9:31 am Post #21 - April 7th, 2009, 9:31 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    sarcon wrote:Bitter lemon sighting: at Andy's fruit Ranch last wednesday


    Schweppes? 1-2 liter bottles or the small glass bottles?


    schweppes, small glass bottles in the refrigerated section
  • Post #22 - April 7th, 2009, 3:47 pm
    Post #22 - April 7th, 2009, 3:47 pm Post #22 - April 7th, 2009, 3:47 pm
    There is just something about the scavenger hunt for the elusive prize that seems to intrigue people. I remember when the FDA banned Sichuan peppercorns. They contained a canker spore that was not harmful to humans but if in came in contact with citrus crops, could wipe out whole farms. We took probably thousands of phone calls from people inquiring if we had these. We carefully explained over and over, that no one was supposed to have these, if anyone was selling these they were breaking the law. Some of my staff members even scoured Chinatown and Argyle street to pick up what they could to hold in reserve for some of their favorite chefs. When the ban was finally lifted, all sorts of folks came in to purchase a small package, and then poof, it was over with and the peppercorns went back to their usual fractional percentage of our spice sales!
  • Post #23 - April 7th, 2009, 7:41 pm
    Post #23 - April 7th, 2009, 7:41 pm Post #23 - April 7th, 2009, 7:41 pm
    Hi,

    I remember during the ban receiving a gift of Szechuan peppercorns. I never used them, because I was saving it for good occasion. I sometimes get hung up on something being so special it needs to be saved for the right moment.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - April 7th, 2009, 7:51 pm
    Post #24 - April 7th, 2009, 7:51 pm Post #24 - April 7th, 2009, 7:51 pm
    C2, I know what you're saying! A friend of mine in the wine biz told me the maxim, which needs repeating for folks such as you and me, in order to keep straight: "Don't fall in love with your inventory!"

    In other words, "Use it or lose it!"

    :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #25 - April 8th, 2009, 7:56 am
    Post #25 - April 8th, 2009, 7:56 am Post #25 - April 8th, 2009, 7:56 am
    Schweppes Bitter Lemon....I've now become obsessed....must find!
  • Post #26 - April 8th, 2009, 12:06 pm
    Post #26 - April 8th, 2009, 12:06 pm Post #26 - April 8th, 2009, 12:06 pm
    Is Schweppes Bitter Lemon different than Schweppes Lemon Sour? Living in the Twin Cities, I loved Lemon Sour - and still get friends to "bootleg" it here for me. I've never seen it anywhere but Minnesota.
  • Post #27 - April 8th, 2009, 12:41 pm
    Post #27 - April 8th, 2009, 12:41 pm Post #27 - April 8th, 2009, 12:41 pm
    No, its no the same. It is a bit more bitter, not as tart or sweet as lemon sour. It is very good, though just not the same as lemon sour.
    I grew up in MN and miss the Lemon Sour - have also searched for it here but no luck. It makes the best vodka sours! My brother is coming to visit soon, I will have to have him bring some along with the usual 12 of fresh Summit Pale Ale. I don't know why, but when we buy the Summit Pale Ale here, it just isn't as good, I suspect it sits longer on the shelves than in MN, but there is a big difference.
    LO
  • Post #28 - April 8th, 2009, 1:06 pm
    Post #28 - April 8th, 2009, 1:06 pm Post #28 - April 8th, 2009, 1:06 pm
    :( I talked to a friend in MN today and heard that they have discontinued the Lemon Sour. It's a sad day. Hopefully your brother has some in stock!
  • Post #29 - April 8th, 2009, 1:23 pm
    Post #29 - April 8th, 2009, 1:23 pm Post #29 - April 8th, 2009, 1:23 pm
    Oh no! :( No, he didn't have any in stock, I was going to ask him to do a Surdyk's run! Bummer. Oh well, vodka/ bitter lemon it is, once it gets warm!
  • Post #30 - May 7th, 2009, 7:10 pm
    Post #30 - May 7th, 2009, 7:10 pm Post #30 - May 7th, 2009, 7:10 pm
    Recently, at Zabar's, in New York City, I thought I might have found the Raisin Croissant of Mike G's Dreams. It turned out to be good, but without the essential custard. Sorry Mike, I'll keep trying.

    Image
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.

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