Food interests: I love food. Period. I bake a lot, because it’s easy to share baked goods. As the seasons change the new recipes I try change too. It’s easy for me to get stuck in a recipe rut, so …
Food interests: I love food. Period. I bake a lot, because it’s easy to share baked goods. As the seasons change the new recipes I try change too. It’s easy for me to get stuck in a recipe rut, so using produce that’s in season helps to keep me varietized and trying new dishes..
Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
Oooh, tough call. I think more than anything else I love trying new things. Mastering a new technique, or tweaking a recipe until it is just right is so very satisfying!
Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
I grew up helping my mom in the kitchen. She was always great about letting me get my hands in there (often literally). As I got older she gave me the freedom to play and explore in the kitchen as much as I wanted. As a result, I learned very early that sometimes an ‘experiment’ will end in disaster–and that’s okay!
Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
Learning to quarter a chicken, although I’m not sure if I can call that a triumph just yet. I’m still a bit squeamish when I dislocate the joints. More recently, though, I baked a mint chocolate chip cake for a friends birthday. After three test cakes before the final one, I finally was able to make exactly what I wanted.
Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
Given my tendency to not follow a recipe too closely, I’ve had a number of things go less than ideally. However, there is one thing that my family loves to tease me for. One night, when I was in high school, my sister and I decided to bake a frozen pizza. Unfortunately, I failed to remove the bottom piece of cardboard. The result, as some of you may know, is a gummy crust. A couple months later we decided to bake another frozen pizza, and, amidst the teasing, I checked for the piece of cardboard and decided there wasn’t one. Uhh, I was wrong.
Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
On the one hand I love it, because it’s the first kitchen I’ve lived in that has a gas stove. On the other hand, there is very little storage space, so little in fact that I use the coat closet outside the kitchen for a pantry. And the counter top space is even less than the storage, because of the way it is laid out. However, since I only rent the apartment I’m certain that I’ll have a more spacious kitchen soon enough! You know, once my career doesn’t have me moving every couple years…
Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
My pantry is organized, but not necessarily neat. Different types of canned and dried foods have their own ‘regions’. The same for my kitchen drawers. Everything has a general area that it should be within, but it’s not a very rigid system. After all, except for the items in dividers, they are all moving every time I open or close the drawer.
Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
Homemade white bread and cranberry-banana bread for the holidays. Always.
Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
First and foremost, my stand mixer. My boyfriend gave me one for Christmas last year, and oh my. It has majorly changed the things I cook. I can prepare bread dough soooo much faster with it. And there’s no way I would have the energy or patience to do a meringue by hand! I also received a set of knives from one of my sisters for Christmas last year (notice a theme in my gifts?). Those were a big game changer for me too. Having a good sharp knife eliminated the difficulty of cutting some foods, and encouraged me to put more effort into technique.
Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
Bread? Or maybe cookies? Make that bread, I’ll find tropical fruits (because this surely must be a tropical island) to satisfy my sweet tooth. 🙂
Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
Bread? Or maybe cookies? Just kidding! Actually, when I don’t feel well I really just want a cup of black tea with milk and sugar.
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