Recently — I don't remember why — I got a craving for England. I craved a place, a land and its scents and the foods that flavor my memory — Crunchie bars, scones with clotted cream, tuna melt paninis, cider, caramel slice.
I've tried to bake my own caramel slice (to no avail), but I can't very well make Cadbury confections at home. And then it dawned on me: "You reside in the place that probably has more international foods available than anywhere else in the United States. What are you waiting for?"
Over my birthday weekend the boy and I found our way to Myers of Keswick, a shop that smells of home-baked savory pies. We left clutching imported chocolates and Roast Chicken crisps and felt like winners (it's okay if you're laughing at me right now, UK readers) — and I also felt like a new world was opening to me.
Now I dream of having cream tea at Tea and Sympathy. I want to explore Asian supermarkets to admire the pretty packaged treats, to look for ever-elusive Japanese Kit Kat bars. I've heard of Scandinavian grocery stores in Bay Ridge, abundant Indian spice shops, and an overwhelming candy aisle at Fairway. Next up I want to sample Australian fare at the Tuck Shop (Tim Tams here I come!).
I guess I continue to be amazed at how small things can inspire us. Finally, after a rough winter, I feel like my curiosity, passion for discovery and trying new things, and lust for life are back, thanks in part to one simple adventure. It began with a handful of candy and hopefully ends with cherry-blossom hunting this weekend, with tackling my New York to-do list in earnest, with satiating my wanderlust by taking a virtual world tour through the city.