Say hello to Carrie J-WA originally from Clarkston, Washington!
Food interests: I love to can, dehydrate, bake and try out new recipes on my friends.
Hobbies: Gardening, prepping, canning, soapmaking.
Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
I love to cook pizza. From homemade dough, using pizza sauce I canned from the tomatoes in my garden, homemade mozzarella and all the goodies. I’ve begun to experiment with pizza on the smoker. It is yummy!
I also really like making Sourdough English Muffins…the recipe will follow.
I am venturing out in my canning experience and have recently canned caramelized onions (which were delicious!) and taco sauce. I always get a rush when I get out the PC!
Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
The earliest I can remember beginning to cook was around 5 years old with my gramma. I remember being fascinated watching her, licking the spoon and helping her shape loaves of dough and rolls. I started making Parker House rolls a few years back. As I was shaping the rolls I did the “tuck and pinch” method which wasn’t in the recipe. Then I remembered doing it with my gramma when I was a little girl. I ran to the phone to tell her and we had a good laugh. It’s a memory I will cherish.
Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
I bake bread and have never had a bad loaf. I just have a natural knack for it.
I taught myself to pressure can by reading much of the USDA guideline. The first few times I canned, I had 3 reference manuals out at the same time. The BBB, my recipe, and the USDA guidelines. It was quite the show and very nervewracking! But I’m glad I went through it the hard way because now I can do it in my sleep.
Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
Oh my. When I first moved from Seattle to Eastern WA, it was the first weekend of November. I was bound and determined to have family over and to cook my first Thanksgiving meal, even though I still had unpacking to do and was completely disorganized. I got up early and started preparing. (I should have started days before.) The turkey looked good, I seasoned it and stuffed it. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the giblets, etc were still in the bird and it was FROZEN on the inside. Dinner didn’t end up on the table until 8 p.m. and we basically had to saw off the cooked, dried out meat from the outside of the bird and toss the rest. Lesson learned!
Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
I absolutely love it. I have tons of cupboard space and the shelves are really deep. I have a lot of counter space to really be able to spread out. Although, I would love a six burner stove….but make do with the 4 burner flat top. I always wondered why they give you two little burners and two larger burners. Just make them all large, right?
Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
My pantry is organized, believe it or not. I can only claim this as of last weekend. It took me two days to rearrange and get ready for canning season. I have a room in the basement with cement floor and cement walls with lots of built in shelves. It’s perfect to store my goodies.
Only one drawer is tidy, the silverware drawer. And that’s because there is a silverware holder in it dictating exactly where I should put stuff. Every other drawer is a disaster. I do have a kitchen caddy on the counter that holds my cooking utensils close to the stove, so that’s handy.
Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
Cookies. And lots of them. My gramma would cook cookies all year long and then freeze them with wax paper in tins. There would be cookies at all times. Krumkake (crumb-ka-ka) was my favorite coming from a predominately Norweigian family. We would also make Rice Krispies treats a lot. She also taught me how to properly cook Lutefisk, which I have been known to make during the holidays. And you can’t go with out Lefse.
Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
Hmmm…I love spatulas. I have many of them and use them for everything. I also love my bread scraper. Not to mention my food processor, Kitchen Aid, steam juicer, and dehydrator. I pretty much love any kitchen gadget known to man. I am a gadget addict and enabler.
Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
This is embarrassing. For how much I love to cook from scratch and not make food from boxes, there is one thing I would have to have on that island. Tortilla chips and that fake nacho cheese dip in a can. I admit it.
Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
Anything of the potato variety. Mashed with gravy. Sliced with ham, peas, cheese, and a white sauce baked in a casserole. Fried. You name it.
A few of Carrie J-WA’s favorite recipes that can found be found on Farm Bell Recipes:
- Cheese Cave
- Sour Dough English Muffins
See all of Carrie J-WA’s recipes and/or blog posts!