Lenore Skomal ’80
Author and Columnist for the Erie Times-News
We munch on gooseliver pate, assorted cheeses—Chaource, Drunken Goat, and the like—and platters of fruit such as plums, pomegranates, crisp Bosc pears, and Crispin apples. The main course is simple fare: New York strip steaks; baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, and chives; tossed Gorgonzola salad; crusty breads; and magnums of Veuve Clicquot. Around the table at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom in England sit my ancestors, including my dead parents, grandparents, and even a few generations further back, as well as my contemporary family, close friends, and authors Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret Mitchell, and Harper Lee. My son provides the music. But the guests of honor are my yet-to-be-born grandchildren. As the table is cleared and the parade of sweets comes out—piles of pastries, baskets of dark chocolate bars, icing-laden layer cakes, and ice cream—they sit cozily on Granny’s knee and hear all about once upon a time.
Ben Staples ’13
Marketing Associate, Vistaprint
My favorite meal would be my mother’s stuffed cabbage, a dish that has been passed down from generation to generation in my family, served with home fries. It’s something my mom almost always tries to cook whenever I get the chance to go home, which unfortunately happens less frequently than I’d like. I’d keep the company small—my mom, dad, and brother—and the meal would take place just outside of Philadelphia at the home where I grew up.
Professor of History and Foodways
My perfect meal would be with Langston Hughes, George W. Bush (people say he is a people person), Louis Armstrong, Babe Ruth (he was a notorious foodie), Andrew Zimmern, Sean Brock (he’s a great chef in Charleston, S.C.), Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party (he judges barbecue contests), author Zora Neale Hurston, Dr. Alvenia Fulton (a nutritionist and herbalist), Julia Child (she’d have to come), Maya Angelou (she was another serious foodie), Harry Belafonte, and Oprah, who can come as long as she brings her chef. It would be a potluck. I think it would make for a wonderful meal. I can picture barbecued meats of all kinds, pies of all sorts, salads, fried catfish, fried plantains, and plenty of cornbread.
Dean, Undergraduate School
My perfect meal would be with my two beautiful daughters. We would eat out because who wants to clean up after a meal? I love eating while looking out over a waterfront and listening to the waves crash, so I’ll add that as well—Hawaii, either Poipu or Kona, would work. As for the food itself, I would have oysters on the half shell (no sauce or cracker needed) as the appetizer. The main course would be a grilled, 1.75-inch-thick, bone-in rib-eye (very rare) with a side dish of … who cares! (But I would enjoy some grilled asparagus if it was sitting there.) Dessert would be a flourless chocolate torte topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate bits. Unless they brought out bananas Foster, then I would have to eat that instead. And smile.