Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The last supper

Seeing that the end of the world is only days away, I thought I should decide on a last meal. This isn't an easy task for me. I pose questions like this all the time, to myself, my family, on long car trips, on Facebook, and I've noticed that most people have quick and easy answers. "Beef tenderloin with duchesse potatoes." "Pepperoni pizza." "Steak tacos from La Pasadita."

Meanwhile, I agonize because this means I have to forsake something.  Will it be the quint with onion rings from Krazy Jim's Blimpyburger? Or the lobster stew from Lochober in Boston?  Will I have to turn my back on a Sunday dinner at Hoe Kow, which had the best egg rolls in history, or a plate of Fragrant Vegetable from Shanghai Minnie's? At only $4.25, and that included a can of soda, I could take all my money with me, for my next life.

But since this is presumably folly, I'm going to make myself choose. This is sort of monumental for the aforementioned reasons - forsaking and all that. So here goes.

My last meal would be a bowl of clam chowder from the Hog Island Oyster Company in San Francisco, accompanied by a basket of assorted breads, including a piece of rosemary foccacia, some black bread scattered with raisins, a good sourdough, and long, crunchy breadsticks. The chowder would be the consistency of half-and-half, and it would be buttery, but not cloyingly rich. A long, slender slice of baguette would rest on the side of the bowl, toasted and brushed with a strongly-flavored olive oil.

After the chowder, I would have a green salad, consisting of romaine, arugula, and a little endive. Every piece of lettuce would be bite-sized and perfectly dressed with a mustardy-vinaigrette. The salad would be topped with paper-thin shards of parmagiano reggiano that would almost melt into the salad as I mixed everything together.

Dessert is easy: an apple tart made by my pastry idol, Nancy Silverton. Homemade puff pastry, granny smith apples, caramel sauce, and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I might even have seconds. With the end of the world only hours away, there ain't no shame in that.