Though I have not resided in the city on a permanent basis since the summer after my first year of college, I did not find myself missing St. Louis and officially mourning the loss of my connection to it in terms of it being home until I moved to Buftalo.
It all started when I began to go through my closet at my parents house to decide what to take with me to Buftalo, what to leave at my parents house and what to throw out or give away. I spent the last three years of college in Steubenville with only a couple weeks in St. Louis in the summer and at Christmastime. The four weeks I lived at home before the wedding were the longest stretch I had spent in St. Louis since the summer before I went to Austria (Fall 2005). I think I am skirting around my point. The point is that as long as all of my stuff besides that which I had at school lived there and that was the address I wrote on every form for my “permanent address,” I still lived there in some sense. I had hoped to live there while M. was in grad school as well, as long as he got into SLU. However, things worked out best for us to come to Buftalo, and as I left for the reception I bid my parent’s house farewell and have not seen it since. I am officially no longer a resident of the St. Louis area, but in many ways St. Louis still resides in me.
Now for the things I miss about St. Louis (I do miss my family as well, but in this post I am dealing with the city). I first noticed a difference in the state of the Catholic Church in Buftalo. Like St. Louis there are practically 20 Churches within 10-15 min of our residence, but unlike St. Louis the diocese itself and the bishop are not exactly favorable to Steubenville-grads calling themselves traditionalists–try finding a job with that classification! There are two Sunday Masses in the Extraordinary form, and we attend the one at a downtown parish. Many “young” families attend as well, but we’ve only found 2 people there our age. My hope of living in St. Louis had been largely influenced by the presence of the Institute of Christ the King at St. Francis De Sales, and I can say that the first thing I miss about St. Louis is the Institute. The second thing I miss about St. Louis is Archbishop Raymond Burke, who as M. pointed out to me is no longer in St. Louis, but I still associate him with my nostalgia. I pray that the pope chooses a good bishop for the diocese. As for this diocese, I just wish we had a bishop that was not unfavorable towards the Extraordinary Form, but I am thankful that we can go to it regularly. Plus, there are so many old beautiful churches being closed down, I just wish the Institute would start an oratory here.
Another category of things I miss about St. Louis: food that you can only get in St. Louis.
1. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard: You have to be from near South City to know the true value of this custard and to know the truth that it cannot be surpassed by any other form of ice cream or frozen custard. At least I can still get it when I visit my parents. 🙂
2. Toasted Ravioli: A St. Louis favorite. Ravioli breaded and deep-fried. I did not realize ravioli was served without the breading and frying until I saw it on a menu in a restaurant. You can buy this at any St. Louis grocery store in the frozen food section, bake it and have it ready in 5 minutes! You can also get it at basically any restaurant in St. Louis, even Applebees. The best is found on the Hill at any local Italian restaurant. My longing for this lead me to make homemade ravioli, bread it and fry and bake some. It turned out really good!
I discovered that at least one restaurant in Buftalo serves “Fried Ravioli” which is basically the same thing. Yay for them!
3. Provel Cheese: A mixture of provolone, white cheddar and swiss cheese. It is delicious. Our caterer for out wedding uses it in his house salad-the last time I had the cheese. It can only be found in St. Louis.
4. St. Louis style-pizza/ Cecil Whitakers: I really want to make this here in Buftalo, but I can’t get provel cheese which I need for it. So, I might make up my own combination of cheeses and try to imitate it.
Other things to miss about St. Louis which I missed before I moved to Buftalo include: the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, the Arch, the Cathedral Basilica, the trees (Buftalo needs more tall trees)… I am sure there are more. Maybe we will live in or near St. Louis again someday, but for now I can miss certain things about it and look forward to visits there. I am sure our kids will feel affection towards the city as well, as long as we bring them there to visit grandparents often and when there immerse them in the food.