1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
I grew up in a large family -- holidays were always loads of family, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and friends gathered together for a giant feast of one sort or another. I married into a large family as well, so cooking, food, fun, and big gatherings go hand in hand in heart.
2. What's your least favorite food?
This is perfect timing for this question. That godforsaken canned green bean, canned mushroom soup, and canned onion glop that shows it's ugly face this time of year. I KNOW people love it but really, when I am appointed supreme ruler of everything, it will be banned from the face of the earth.
3. What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
My vote is one of those things that came together just right: we were in Maine in September and of course gorging on lobster to the point where we had leftover(!!) grilled lobster in the fridge. I made a chowder with things on hand, bacon, potatoes, onions, cream - you get the idea. It was fantastic. That said, my husband says it's the brined chicken thighs roasted with balsamic and rosemary that I have made a couple times recently.
4. Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
I don't really have one giant burned-down-the-kitchen story, but I certainly have a string of non fatal ones, like beef and mushroom stir fry that I accidentally used vanilla instead of tamari in (in my defense - they were in similar generic bulk bottles).
5. What is your idea of comfort food?
I reliably turn to Italian -- the tomatoey, cheesy kind -- in times of need.
6. Apron or no apron?
Apron on occasion, when I am doing big project cooking, and when I remember (really it SHOULD be all of the time - I am a Spill Master).
7. What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Oh there are lots: noodle slurping in Tampopo, the mayor in Chocolat waking up all strung out on chocolate in the shop window, Ratatouille "driving" the chef from under the hat to name a few. Also I have never seen Babette's Feast, which I think could get me thrown out of some kitchens.
8. If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
My Grandma Segal, who would make me a butterscotch cake every birthday, and sneak us PB&Js on passover, and drink tea and have cookies while we played cards in her kitchen.
9. You prefer to cook: a) alone; b) with others; c) it depends on your mood.
With others -- when we get together and cook in Ginger's Kitchen, or gather to Cook What Scares Us, or can things, it is SO fun.
10: When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a) clean as you cook; b) do all the dishes once you've finished cooking; c) leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
Clean as I go, as much as possible, although I am the master of disaster and get food and trimmings everywhere -- and there is always more to clean after we eat.