Thursday, October 3, 2013

U.S-only items that I am aching for while across the pond!

My heart has begun to ache for various things related to my homeland, aka the U.S.A.  Therefore, I have decided to compile a list for all of you readers, so that either: in the unlikely instance of you deciding to move to Europe someday, you will know what you are missing when you do so (though of course, you would be gaining much as well), or in case anyone feels like sending me a surprise care package and is wondering what to include…well, here are some ideas!  Juuuuuuust kidding.  I am just making this list for fun.  So here goes:

1.      Anything and everything pumpkin related.  I know now is the time of year when you see pumpkin-flavored everything splashed all over the place.  I never thought I would miss this so much.  I want pumpkin donuts from Dunkin Donuts, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cheesecake, oh man, just talking about it is making my mouth water.  Pumpkin to me is autumn.  It makes me think of fall foliage, warm (but cute!) winter coats and boots, snuggling up to a roaring fire with the one you are smitten with, pumpkin is just the best.  It’s sort of like the gateway drug to winter ha-ha.  Autumn just isn’t the same without it.  And yes, of course they sell pumpkin here.  But what they do not sell is the plethora of all things now flavored with pumpkin.  Over here, that would be more of a do-it-yourself venture.  So as soon as I get my apartment that is a top priority item.  Finding a delicious pumpkin recipe that I can assemble the ingredients for to make something autumn-worthy to enjoy.

2.      Breakfast.  An expansive plate piled high with all the American breakfast fixings including but not limited to: eggs, toast with strawberry jam, home fries doused in ketchup, bacon cooked to just the right crispness, maybe an omelet stuffed with spinach, tomato, mushroom and cheddar cheese instead of plain eggs, pancakes (ideally with blueberries, chocolate chips, or pumpkin flavored).  There is NO WHERE to get a breakfast like this over here, no way.  And I am finding myself suddenly fantasizing about it. 

3.      This leads me to my next item, Cheddar Cheese!!!  They certainly have it over here, but it is mild and flavorless, like eating a brightly colored piece of rubber.  I miss Cabot extra sharp (or seriously sharp for when I am feeling extra desperate for flavor) cheddar cheese.  SO delicious.  Again, I am finding myself conjuring the taste in my mouth and wishing for a block of it desperately.

4.      Burgers, my god, my friend from Europe was right when he said no burger here compares to the burgers in the US.  Granted I have not sampled all the burgers in Europe yet.  Give me a few more weeks for that, wink, wink.  But as of now, it is sad but true.  The burgers here are at tops, sub-par when compared with the ones you can eat back in the US of A.  Especially the burgers from Boston Burger Company in Davis Square (Somerville, MA). Hands down some of the best burgers I have ever had in my life, mouthwatering, loaded with kooky toppings one would never think of pairing together well, yet shockingly, they do.  Prime example: The Hot Mess (winner of Best of Boston Burger award in 2013).  This burger is topped with: sweet potato fries, American cheese, chopped pickles, jalapenos, bacon, red onion, shredded lettuce and Thousand Island dressing.  It sounds chaotic and slightly confused, right?  No, this burger is the holy grail of burgers.  It is SUPERB.

5.      Cake in general, though specifically cheesecake and a rich, dense, moist, ganache filled super chocolaty cake.  I have searched this city high and low the past month and have found neither of these.  Heartbreaking for me, as you all know how deeply my heart is devoted to all things sweet.  I have not given up just yet though; I am determined to find both of these types of cake within this huge city…

6.      Americanized appetizers like spinach and artichoke dip or southwestern eggrolls, two of my absolute favorites.  Finding these in Prague would be like finding a winning lottery ticket wedged in the crevice of pavement right outside your apartment on the way to work one morning.  Meaning, it aint gonna happen!  And what a huge shame that is, because those appetizers make me swoon.

7.      Staying with the food topic a moment longer, Food Network Magazine!!!  I looked forward with such anticipation to getting this in the mail every month, getting to drool over the colorful food photos, circle the recipes I wanted to try, and clipping out the ones I really liked to save.  This was an afternoon activity in itself.  I miss this.  It is so sad not having this to look forward to.  This magazine does not even exist in Prague, and if it did, it would be in Czech!

8.      Boston, I miss the city.  Walking along the gas-lit streetlamp lined streets of Beacon Hill, strolling through the Commons or Gardens, seeing the city blanketed in snow during the winter, or lying on the grass in the Commons reading during the summer.  Riding the T, all things pumpkin flavored, Harvard Square, going out to eat in the city, Davis Square, Newbury Street, Back Bay, the Danish Pastry Shop, I miss SO much of Boston!!
My little sister and I in Boston!!

9.      My bed.  This is simply because of the fact that the beds we have been provided with in our flats during the course duration suck.  They are hard as rocks and the pillows are nonexistent.  The beds are also small twins.  My old bed was a Queen with a fluffy comforter, lots of pillows and memory foam topped mattress.  Talk about taking a long fall from the top in terms of my sleeping arrangement.  That has been a major bummer ha-ha.

10.  The gym!  Since I am not willing to shell out any money, at least not right now, for a gym membership, I miss that so much.  I loved lifting weights, going on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes or running a bit.  I always felt like I got a really good workout and was able to stay in shape with ease that way.  I can no longer even remember the last time I got a REALLY GOOD workout.  I jump rope sometimes for 20 minutes or so in the mornings, but that is not even comparable.  I miss the feeling after an awesome exercise session.

11.  Netflix…one cannot use that over here as it recognizes the URL is from overseas and not the US, so it does not allow you to use Netflix in that case, so lame.  Woe is me; I miss The Wire, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights and being able to watch movies on instant queue.

12.  And finally…my friends.  I still miss them desperately.  Maybe now even more so.  I think of you guys ALL the time.

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