Food Diary, Day Four.

1.44 am: Piece of choreg from one of the three loaves I spend most of yesterday baking. I did not by any means plan my day properly, which is why I began a eight hour project at five o’clockish in the evening on Sunday.

7.33 am: Special K Red Berries with organic skim milk — though what I really would like is about four more hours of sleep — as well as a small glass of orange juice to wash down two Tylenols. I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been beleaguered by this headache. Yesterday, Melissa told me she rarely gets them; I wanted to grab her by her coat lapels and shake her.

10.52 am: Mini York Peppermint Patty from the office candy tray.

12.20 pm: Banana. I’ve got a pretty intense sore throat, and though I am hungry, the idea of actually eating something is sickening to me right now. What I really want are some croutons or some toast, so they can scratch my throat on the way down.

1.32 – 1. 51 pm: Leftovers from Friday night, which taste as good three days later as they did the first time out of the pan.

5.12 pm: Another piece of choreg, before passing out on the sofa. I swear, sometimes I feel like an old woman. Which, I suppose, is inevitable.

8.51 pm: Another small glass of orange juice. Why am I craving orange juice so much lately? It seems to be the only thing capable of quenching my insane thirst.

10.51 – 11.15 pm: Really quick and simple dinner — lamb chops with garlic and rosemary that I seared before sticking under the broiler, and steamed broccoli with breadcrumbs toasted with pepper, lemon juice and butter. Keith gets kind of disturbed by me when I suck on my lamb chops’ bones, but I can’t help it. It’s concentrated flavor!

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Sandwich from Bloc 11.

img_2182.jpg I’ve lost track of the many times I’ve remarked upon my love for certain foodstuffs. Most recently, there was mention of peach Lambic and the Kir Royale. Prior to that, it was choreg. Prior to that it was, what, cookies? Cupcakes? Crêpes? Corn fritters? This is precisely what I mean. While there are far too many items to tick off, that is in no way going to stop me from adding another to the list: sandwiches.

Oh, how I love them. I love that the bread serves as both packaging and major ingredient; I love the collection of flavors and textures and colors jam-packed into each bite; I love that they can be eaten in my most favorite fashion — messily, and with my hands.

I spent most of Sunday morning drinking lattes at Union Square’s Bloc 11; given the intensity of my feelings for sandwiches, I wasn’t able to resist the long list of options for very long. To slim down the lineup, and for that reason alone, I decided to limit myself to ordering exclusively from the cold sandwich section of the menu. Still, I was overwhelmed. There was, to indulge in, the Terrace: rosemary focaccia laden with roasted red pepper hummus, Gruyère, tomato, sprouts, greens and cucumber. Also beckoning me from behind the counter was the Fuse: apple curried tuna with tomato, cucumber, greens and onion atop sourdough.

At last, I settled on the Station 11, though in this case “settle” is a horribly inaccurate word. By choosing the Station 11, I wasn’t settling at all. The combination of flavors — bitter greens, salty and buttery prosciutto, bright tomato, soft and comforting herby ricotta, crusty ciabatta and a veritable pile of sweet caramelized onions — was exceedingly delicious. I will say that, at first, I wished for more ricotta but as I ate I realized that the cheese melded so thoroughly into the rest of the ingredients, adding a subtle creaminess to the sandwich.

The perfect size, the Station 11 left me completely satisfied. In terms of fullness, that is. I easily could have consumed another sandwich, if only to further savor the taste.

Bloc 11
11 Bow Street
Somerville, Massachusetts 02143
617.623.0000

Bloc 11 Cafe on Urbanspoon

Haul from Eastern Lamejun.

img_2171-1.jpg Keith and I went to Eastern Lamejun in Belmont to stock up on a few things, since our supply was running frighteningly low. This is a partial representation of our loot — oversize pita bread (which I grew up calling hahts, which means bread), choreg, peanuts rolled in sesame, pastries from a great patisserie in Montréal and the powder is mahleb, a spice made from sour cherry pits. We also got some dolma (stuffed grape leaves), manayeesh, bulgur, carraway seeds and a couple dozen lamejun, which everyone always describes as “Amenian pizza.” I suppose I understand why, but lamejun is so much better: ground beef (or lamb), spices, minced tomato and onion spread over a super-thin round of dough that’s baked until crisp and then drizzled with lemon juice. Try and tell me that doesn’t sound delicious.

There were two items I specifically wanted to get: the choreg, and the mahleb. The former because I love it, and the latter because it’s an integral part of an Armenian cookie recipe that I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. I’ll let you know how it goes once I’m able to bake them.

But the choreg… I love choreg. Admittedly, I’ve never been to convert anyone to choreg; Keith says it tastes like sawdust, and someone else once told me pencil erasers. To me, those two descriptions are completely insane. I love its mild sweetness and the familiar smell of it, which pervades even through its sealed plastic bag, and makes me think of my grandmother. I love how the mahleb gives it a faintly nutty taste and how, when you inhale deeply, it smells of butter. I love its slick exterior texture, from the egg glaze, and its soft, fluffy insides. Mostly, I love the way it feels in my mouth, as I chew it.

To all the choreg naysayers — you don’t know what you’re missing. In fact, I hope you never like choreg. More for me.

Eastern Lamejun
145 Belmont Street
Belmont, Massachusetts 02478
617.489.3224
easternlamejun.com