A girl misses a lot of things when she’s out of the country for long stretches of time. Superbowl commercials, new music, lines at the grocery store, confectioner’s sugar, soft toilet paper.
Diner coffee. Pancakes, doused in syrup, patted in butter. Fresh-squeezed orange juice. Plastic menus.
So this is an homage, in part, to the Great American Meal. But it’s also a quest. Because when you’re out there, on the other side of the world, you want to remember that last crisp waffle; the tang of a good raspberry coulis; the soft, warm filling tucked into thick challah french toast.
On the other side of the world, too, you run into unexpected problems, such as not having ingredients that you once considered absolutely common. When I first lived in Egypt, sugar wasn’t the easiest thing to find; nor was any kind of Betty Crocker’s instant cake mix. (Seriously. There were fights in grocery store aisles over Devil’s Food Cake.) So you learn, very quickly, how to make do; which substitutions work and which (olive oil instead of vegetable? Do not do this to your banana bread) definitely do not. As we remember which experiments were successes and which weren’t, we’ll throw that into the pot as well.
And, as always, suggestions welcome!