Mom names five foods to try before dyingMom names five foods to try before dying

I got an email from Julie of Kitchenography this afternoon inviting me to participate in this Five Things To Eat Before I Die event. At my age, doing things, or more frequently, not doing them, like not buying any more new major appliances or another new mattress and box spring set for example, before I die, is something I think about fairly frequently. So the thought of not getting to eat something I have always wanted to eat has taken on a new urgency when I think about diminishing opportunities.

Before I get too morbid, here is my list:

1. Fresh truffles, both white and black – I have never eaten these and hope to on my husband’s and my 20th wedding anniversary trip to Italy this fall, where we will be driving and eating our way all around the central part of the country for two weeks.

2. A mangosteen – I had never even heard of this fruit until I read Ayun Halliday’s book, Dirty Sugar Cookies for the interview Leland and I did with her on our blog for her virtual book tour, but her description of mangosteens in the book would make a believer out of anyone. Unfortunately, I think it’s illegal to import the fresh fruit into this country for some reason.

3. A real Cuban sandwich, from a Cuban sandwich joint in Miami, or maybe New York – Growing up about an hour outside of Philadelphia I have eaten plenty of authentic cheesesteaks and have even had them from both “original” cheesesteak stands in south Philly, but somehow my culinary experiences have a gap in them when it comes to the Cuban sandwich, and it’s one I desperately want to fill while my digestive system can still handle it.

4. Burrata – Ever since I read about this cheese on The Wednesday Chef where she made a divine-sounding bruschetta with it, I have been obsessed with trying it, but it is not available in Pittsburgh. Some day…

5. Fresh cherry pie, home made of course – This is something I make about once a year, partly because the cherry season is so fleeting, and partly because it is such a labor-intensive pie to bake. This is a food I have eaten, but I am encouraging other people to try it at least once before they die! It must be home made and it must be made with fresh sour cherries, generally only available about one or at most two weeks per year. And doing the math, I figure at one a year, I’m good for about a dozen more of these before my hands are too crippled with arthritis to pit the cherries; maybe a dozen and a half.

Now to tag my five bloggers:

Haverchuk from Milwaukee

Eat , my son Leland from New York City

Yulinka, a very sweet girl cooking Russian food, also in Milwaukee

Cream Puffs in Venice – need I say more?

Metakathryn – a sweet young girl who cooks from her own garden in Pittsburgh


Believe it or not, I’ve never made a fresh cherry pie. You are not the only person who has made this sound like a big hole in my world.

Obviously I need to rectify this giant oversight. So my question is-where do you get fresh sour cherries, fellow Pittsburgher?

Hi, Lindy – I got the ones I used this year from the East Liberty farmers market, in June, I think from the Sand Hill Farms berry stand. I think when they are in season you may see ads in the food section for the farms (or orchards) that have them. There were a couple of farm stands in the market that sold them this year, and you need about 2 quarts for a big pie.

My parents actually have a pie cherry tree on their property in western Maryland but I don’t get down there in time most years. And there are orchards near where they live; one year I bought a big bucket and pitted and froze several pies’ worth (I must have been REALLY bored that spring!)

Truffles!! I need to add to my list already!

I’d like to try those before I die, and Italy seems like just the place to try them. That trip sounds like a wonderful anniversary present that you and your husband are giving each other.

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