Foods for thought

Some of my fondest memories revolve around food.

Our parents took me and my sisters to a restaurant called Patricia Murphy’s most every Thanksgiving. The waiters would carry baskets full of homemade popovers that were still warm from the oven. I loved poking a hole in the beautiful brown outer crust  to let out the air and reveal the fluffy dough inside. We’d slather on butter, which would melt the moment it hit the popover. The warmth of the restaurant;  the scrumptious, steamy popovers; the chill of a November day and being with my family made me feel secure.


I was determined to be a good cook when I got married, at 21. Douglas and I would have Saturday night dinner parties at least twice a month and I’d serve dishes like Chicken Kiev, Beef Wellington, creme brulee and poached salmon with hollandaise sauce that I prepared from scratch. I’ll never forget the time the sauce curdled twice on the last step and I poured it down the drain and started over.

I always loved when our friends enjoyed my dinners. We had many funsy evenings. The twenty somethings I know today don’t have dinner parties.

Edgar and I enjoyed big salads for lunch on Saturdays, followed by bags of fresh popcorn from a place called Stew Leonard’s. We’d wash it all down with way too much wine. Then we’d cuddle and nap. It was romantic, sexy and reassuring at the time, even if Edgar turned out to be a world class creep, cheat, and pathological liar.

Mary Ann and I adored bigorneaux (tiny, tiny snails) the first time we tried them in Paris. You use straight pins to coax them out of their shells. Sometimes, they refuse to budge, no matter how much poking you do. Mary Ann and I enjoyed them again when we went to Paris in mid November.

When FOF sister, Shelley, arrives at work in the morning, she makes coffee for both of us. Even though coffee is not exactly as delectable as warm popovers, fresh popcorn, poached salmon, and bigorneaux (in Paris), being with Shell is what makes it taste extra good.


0 Responses to “Foods for thought”

  1. rosie says:

    Patricia Murphy’s – Oh, those popovers. Take me back. We went there for Mother’s Day and Birthday Celebrations. It was wonderful. Used to live in Port Washington in Long Island – not that far from Patricia Murphys. It was a great place to live in the 70’s. When we were first married, we also did dinner parties & experimented with food. My Julia Child cookbook was well used. Talking about popovers, is the Popover Cafe still on the Upper West Side in NYC. Great popovers.

    • Geri says:

      Hi Rosie,

      The Popover Cafe is still on the UWS. Thanks so much for your comment.


  2. Shelley says:

    Is that a hint that you want popovers with your morning coffee?

  3. sharon Segal says:

    HI Geri , I still have dinner parties. It takes me days to recover. We went to Patricia Murphy’s also to eat. You are brave to eat snails. I will stick to less exotic foods . Happy New Year to you and David. Planning anything great for his up coming birthday? I am being honored on Jan 4th by my shul. I am getting an award ” Eishes Chayil ” because of all the work that I have done for them over the last eight years. Has your lip improved ? Love, Sharon

    • Geri says:

      Congratulations, Sharon. What an honor. Email me a photo from the event, if you can. We’re not planning anything special. Probably a nice dinner. My lip improves daily. Thank you for asking.

      Love, Me.

  4. Kate Line Snider says:

    Loved this!

    My husband complained long and loud about the $28 he shelled out last week for a quart of Chesapeake Bay Oysters.He is from West Virginia, and of a different mindset when it comes to food, anyway.

    So difficult for non-seafood-eating Jay to understand that to me and to most of my children, scalloped oysters and Smithfield ham are almost sacred fare at Christmas time. One bite of this traditional eastern Virginian dish and I am swept back to Christmases past- my parents’ faces, teddy bears, lopsided family Christmas trees, and the elusive happiness we yearned for.

    I can’t remember a single present from those past Christmases, but I’ll always remember the oysters!

  5. Barbara's says:

    Good Lord, I hadn’t thought of Patricia Murphy’s in years! We used to go there for Easter. What a lovely place. Those popovers were awesome. Does anyone dress their kiddos up and take them out to dinner where you have to “behave” and use manners or is that ancient history?

  6. Toby Wollin says:

    Sigh. I have very fond memories of the dinner parties (and cocktail parties, and bridge parties, and picnics, and ‘how about cake and coffee’ parties) that my parents used to throw when I was young. My mom used to judiciously use convenience foods (Peperidge Farm crescent rolls, anyone?) and would throw herself into fancy dishes with things for dessert such as trifle. My sister and I would sit at the top of the stairs and listen intently for when the adults would retire to drinks and the livingroom so that we could creep down and sneak into the kitchen to eat off the platters and whatever crescent rolls were left. Entertaining has not been the same since about 1980, I think…


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