When I moved away from Cincinnati, of course I missed my family. Of course I missed my friends. Of course I missed my students.
But you know what I missed the most?
You can’t give Skyline Chili a call on the phone. You can’t FaceTime with LaRosa’s Pizza. You can’t have a piece of Frisch’s hot fudge ice cream cake come to visit.
I found a recipe this week on the Art of Manliness blog for Cincinnati-style chili. I got wicked excited at first, until I realized that it took an entire 24 hours to make this chili. I rolled my eyes–ain’t nobody got time fo dat, as Sweet Brown says.
Besides, one of my favorite parts about my favorite Cincinnati foods is that I don’t have to cook them. My husband is famous for how much he eats–six huge meals per day–and as a result I cook all the time. Our grocery bill is the largest chunk of our budget every month. (Including rent.)
So, any chance I have to not cook, I take it. I’ll eat a walking taco at a tailgate, a slice of cold pizza at a party I arrive an hour late to, or a McDonald’s cheeseburger and be completely content. Then, the next day, I’ll make Moroccan lamb tagine and be totally happy–as long as I don’t have to cook Moroccan lamb tagine every single day.
When I go home to Cincinnati for a visit, I get to take a multi-day-long break from cooking as I bounce from LaRosa’s to Skyline to White Castle to Frisch’s to P&S Diner. And it is glorious.
Tonight, since my in-laws are in town, we went to our favorite locally-sourced eatery. We ran into lots of people we knew, invited a few friends to join us, shared some beers and guacamole, and everyone was happy.
Especially me–because I didn’t have to cook!