My 7 Links: Selective Best of Roving Gastronome

Ah, blog tagging! I’d forgotten about such a thing, paddling way over here in my little Queens tidal pool. But the excellent Conner of Here Is Havana just reached out and tagged me for this 7 Links round-robin. (Here are her selected links–all pretty great reading if you’re curious about Cuba.)

So hop into the way-back machine with me, and let’s check out some goodies:

1. Most beautiful post:
I’ve got 845 of the buggers. I can’t find the one that used to make my throat constrict and tears spring to my eyes. Can’t even remember what it was about. So instead: How I learned to cook, via Madhur Jaffrey.

2. Surprisingly successful post:
Just scrolled down to see what was charting as my most popular post. What?! New Mexico #4: All Aboard the Rail Runner? This warms my heart, because I guess this means I’m not alone in loving trains.

3. Most popular post:
Technically, second-most-popular: Car Insurance in Mexico: My Experience. This is my most straight-up, just-the-facts-ma’am post ever. So I just ignore the fact that it’s popular, because that might imply that my lyrical wordsmithing and my deep, deep thoughts might not be the reason people read this blog. La la la, I can’t hear you, stat counter.

4. Most controversial post:
My commentary on the flap around Thomas Kohnstamm’s book about his first gig as a Lonely Planet author. Stupid Yahoo killed my comments in that era, but eesh, I got an earful by email. I stand by it all, though I take even fewer freebies than I used to–not worth the trouble.

Runner-up: I complained mightily about Pistilli, Astoria’s worst developers, in Why Astoria Will Never Be Cool, and it pulled out all the love-it-or-leave-it Queensians who didn’t get the tone. Again, no comments thanks to Yahoo, but there were some gems. Years later, I’m channeling my Pistilli loathing into Astoria Ugly.

5. Most helpful post:
I set up this blog back in 2004 to record the details of our pig roast, because at the time, I couldn’t find anything similar online. Turned out the pig rocked, and we did a lamb for good measure. And in the course of writing the specs down, I also wrote a long story. And years later, that story got turned into a section of Forking Fantastic!, and then people read that and did their own. So by that definition, that single post has likely helped the most people.

Runner-up: Cancun bar bombing: not a tourist issue. I woke up one morning and was dismayed to see people freaking out on Twitter about an explosion in a bar in Cancun. I used Twitter then to spread the word about the bar’s real location. I hope I helped some people feel less freaked about traveling to Cancun.

6. Most underappreciated post:
A whole set of them, the ones I wrote about Robert Farrar Capon’s book The Supper of the Lamb. Rereading them (start here), I can’t say they’re really bursting with my best writing, but I feel like they’re underappreciated because not every. single. person. has written to say “Thank you thank you thank you for introducing me to this book!”

On the other hand, come to think of it, maybe these posts are how I came to know A Thinking Stomach? In which case, I’m completely satisfied.

7. Post that I’m most proud of:
I think this one about the Momofuku cookbook, line cooking and copy editing. After seven years of blogging, I think I’m finally getting better at controlling my urge for digression. This one is focused and doesn’t gallop off by itself.

Now time to pass the hot potato. I tag:

A Thinking Stomach: I live vicariously through her garden.
Killing Batteries: Fellow LP author, master of the miserable/hilarious trip diary.
Food Bridge: All the nuances of Israeli food. Which I have not yet eaten, and it kills me.
Hudson Line Rider: Beautiful smartphone pics of an NYC commute.
Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking: Kate the Great, bursting with tips and thoughtful words.

Carry on, and happy blog exploring!


  1. Christina says:

    I love your Supper of the Lamb posts, and yes, they are how I found you. I read them and thought, man, I get this woman. And, your Momofuku post is one of my favorites of yours ever.

    I look forward to reading who you’ve tagged.

    And, I just finished writing up my own post on this meme.

    Happy day, Zora!

  2. Zora says:

    Thanks, Christina! And I’m so glad this meme came down the pike, because I had been trying to remember how it was we came to meet online…

  3. Jonathan says:

    Came here for your supper of the lamb posts, but it looks like some are missing (like maybe the first one). Ay chance I’m missing something?


  4. Zora O'Neill says:

    Oh, nice to hear you want to read them! Here are the first posts in the series. Scroll down to the bottom and start with the post “Live coverage…” Though that post is really just a plug for Capon’s book, which it sounds like you probably don’t need to be sold on! Thanks for coming to read. (I’ll go put little cross-links in the posts now, so you can skip easily to the next.)

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