A Pair of Tarts, or, A Gentleman's Startling Confession
I love cocktail party food.
It's not a dignified admission for a man to make, but it's true. I harbor untoward desires for pickled fish on a cracker, or dates broiled with bacon, or any other small salty thing that crosses my path. The feelings are especially strong when there's a drink in my hand (Tanqueray martini, two olives). It's a compulsion, and with the approach of the Fancy Food Show this weekend, one that could do some serious harm.
For those who've never attended, Fancy Food is a massive gathering of specialty food producers, a trade show closed to the public with free samples of everything from cheese to olives to jelly beans and more. Attending what's essentially a 10,000-person, 3-day cocktail party when you're at the mercy of your snacking demon is a prescription for the vapors.
I blame my mother. She never limited what I'd eat, and thought it was charming that her child would snack on such strong fare as marinated shrimp with artichoke hearts or shredded Armenian string cheese with caroway. Far from restricting me to hot dogs and pb&j, she encouraged my promiscuous tastes. Even today, she sends me two recipes for cheese tarts from Williams Sonoma.
Heaven help me.