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Congratulations to sticksnscones, whose Vegetarian Mushroom Thyme Gravy won this week's contest for Your Best Gravy -- earning her a $200 gift card from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking and OXO, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Q&A with sticksnscones
Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My mom has been my biggest influence in the kitchen. She was constantly cooking and exploring new dishes and cuisines. My access to cooking in the kitchen was limited since she didn't want to deal with the mess that would ensue. As a result I spent endless hours pouring over my Betty Crocker Childrens' cookbooks.... dreaming of all the delicious things that I wanted to create some day. Now I'm making up for lost time and still pore over cookbooks as much as I can. Mom is still cooking like crazy at age 83 and we now share all our culinary adventures. Thanks, Mom!
What's your least favorite food?
Blue cheese. I keep trying to like it but just can't embrace it. AND liver of course.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
The first of the season apple pie is always the best. My biggest accomplishment was replicating the Coconut Baked Alaska served at Oleana in Cambridge, MA.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
The time I made an angel food cake using what I thought was cream of tartar. Once the aroma of the cake started pervading the kitchen I realized that I had mistakenly used onion powder instead!
What is your idea of comfort food?
A big bowl of any type of slurpy Asian noodle soup: Nabeyaki soba, Pho, etc. On the sweet side a slice of pie is comfort at any time of day or night.
Apron or no apron?
LOVE Aprons... especially the whimsical ones from Anthropologie.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
The pie-making scenes from Waitress. I love every aspect of making and eating pie. Pie IS love.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Dorie Greenspan. She seems so approachable and I know she would be appreciative of anything cooked from the heart.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
I hate to admit it but I am a bit of a control freak in the kitchen. Now that my young adult children are cooking I do enjoy sharing it with them.
A Can-Do Soda
Endless possibilities of syrup, ice, seltzer, and cream
Italian soda is can-do.
Learning to love fruit with chocolate.
We've got the summer blues.
The best donuts—ever.
A better basket.