My Response to The Daily Podcast

While listening to the May 8th episode of The Daily, a podcast produced by The New York Times, Rick Steves, of Rick Steves Europe, was interviewed by Sam Anderson, a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine. The episode gave me hope and the ending provided me with a writing prompt.

Sam ended the podcast with these words, “As a favor to everyone stuck at home right now, can you transport us for a few minutes. Bring us to one particular place in Europe and guide us through a perfect meal?”

Rick agreed and elaborated by saying such a story would be a perfect storm of: ambiance, local ingredients, an appetite and good company.

This got me thinking….

Long ago, my husband and I took our two school-age girls to Chincoteague, an inexpensive beach vacation town on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

My favorite meal while there was purchased from the honor code vegetable stand. With my five dollar bill in hand, I walked down to the end of the street where we were renting a house for the week. There on the side of the road, a townie had two picnic tables sitting. One was covered with a large pile of corn husks and a sign, $.50 each. The other had rows of tomatoes, $.25 each and baskets of peaches $2/basket. In between the two tables was a wooden box with a slit on top and the words “On Your Honor” painted on the side. I slipped in my $5, grabbed 4 corn husks, 2 tomatoes and a basket of peaches and walked back to the rental house.

As Brian and the girls took an afternoon nap, I boiled the corn and added a few hot dogs for the girls. I placed all in a cooler, with a few cold beers and juice boxes. Then I hopped into the car and drove to the seafood market. With 2 pounds of seasoned steamed shrimp in hand, I headed back to awake my family for dinner.

Soon we piled back in the car with the cooler in the truck and headed to the beach. We spread out our blanket, sat and enjoyed our dinner as the sun went down. I sipped my cold beer, I peeled my steamed shrimp. I took a bite of the fresh corn and sliced tomatoes. I enjoyed the juicy peach as dessert.

In Rick Steves words, it was a perfect storm.

The ambiance of the waves crashing and the sky turning to shades of both pink and light blues.

The ingredients, just days ago, were still on a vine or a tree or in the ocean we stare at now from our blanket.

Our appetite, large after a busy day of riding the waves and building castle creations in the sand.

And the company, a relaxed husband and two girls, though three years apart, enjoying each others company as friends.

During the podcast, Rick Steves states, “It (the virus) cannot stop our travel dreams.” I would add, it cannot stop me returning to places once visited and reliving, in my mind, a perfect meal.

How about you? Where will you travel? What’s your perfect meal?

12 thoughts on “My Response to The Daily Podcast

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Something I noticed about your story were the steps you went through, while everyone else napped, to create this perfect meal, and how that kind of loving added to the moment. Your little pod of people felt loved. One thing that has been evident to me through all of this is the importance of family. We are loving each other through it all.


  2. dianeandlynne says:

    Your post got me to thinking too. My husband and I often reminisce about our favorite vacation spots and meals we’ve had there. I foresee an afternoon of happy memories, followed by cooking! Thanks, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. franmcveigh says:

    Travel Dreams.
    Thinking of my past travels to NYC. Any food with any friends. The memories of our excited chatter whether before or after the bookstore visits, TCRWP sessions, or Slicer meet ups! The connections! ❤


  4. Ms Victor Reads says:

    Funny that you wrote about this- I listened to the same podcast this week and thought of many memorable meals and then thought sadly of summer travel this summer that will not happen. You and Rik Steves are both right- the memories can take us back there- whether for the perfect meal or whatever else it is that sustains us. Thanks for stirring up happy memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      I love knowing that you also heard this and started thinking. I also am sad about all the places I am not currently going. But for now, our memories can sustain us….like the one of us walking the Brooklyn Bridge and eating at Shake Shack!!


  5. Stacey Shubitz says:

    I need to listen to that episode! I need a gastronomic delight right now.

    One of my favorite meals was back in 1994. I lived in France for a summer. We started in Paris as a group before heading to the SW for language school. We had a huge picnic for which each member of the group was required to acquire in French. I was in charge of bread and cheese. I bought Brie (because i love it), Camembert, a variety of stinky cheeses, and crusty, fresh baguettes. I don’t recall what else we ate, other than bread, cheese, and fruit, but I remember eating it along the Seine with my group. It was a scorching hot day in Paris, which made the Roquefort even stinkier. However, it was also one of my strongest food memories from my time there.


  6. mschiubookawrites says:

    Your perfect meal memory is zesty and flavorful, just like this slice. I particularly love the zen poem embedded in your memory, its powerful message of savoring the moments shared with loved ones so you can come back to it again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

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