It has been a little on the routine side in the Fresh Home Cook household of late. Life is pottering along day-by-day with each day much the same as the one before. Having little people sure eats into your ‘you’ time! Not that I am complaining, we have a lovely little life most of the time and I feel fortunate to have my family and the life we have. In a (rare) moment of down time recently, I got to thinking about life B.K. (before kids) – how did I spend my time, who I did I spend it with and where did I spend it? Suddenly memories came flooding back, the good, the bad and the ugly, but each with experiences I know helped make me the woman, partner and mother I am today.
I got to thinking about my travels, my first overseas jaunt was to the United States in my mid-twenties – so many firsts on that adventure I can tell you! I ‘Contiki’d’ my way across the country, got to hike the bottom of the Grand Canyon, experience the surrealness of Las Vegas, the haunting beauty of Graceland and Memphis, the intensity of New Orleans, the formality (and seediness) of Washington and these days, somewhat chillingly, wander through the Twin Towers in New York. There was so much to love about this trip – including, of course, the food!
Now, travelling Contiki means travelling on a budget, so while I do recall some extremely dodgy fast and infested food stops (SHUDDERS), there were also some amazing places and food experiences you just can’t get anywhere else. A stand out for me was New York – what an incredible and diverse city – there were times I felt like I was on a movie set the landmarks were so familiar, including Central Park, Times Square, The Statue of Liberty and Wall Street just to name a few! One cold and snowy evening we were wandering around Rockafella Centre enjoying the Christmas lights and watching folks ice skate when we came across a wonderfully chatty street pretzel vendor. It was like the stuff of dreams, standing there white flakes falling around my head, the enticing smell of fresh baked bread luring us in, the vendor’s recognisable ‘Brooklyn’ accent selling us on the significance of eating an authentic “Noo Yawk City Pretzel”, served warm with lashings of honey mustard and that signature lip smackingly good, rabid thirst inducing hit of salt. We ate with gusto while he regaled up with stories of “his city” – it was an unforgettable evening and remains one of my favourite eating experiences ever. So simple, yet so satisfying.