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1. Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
I was raised on a farm in the Midwest by parents and grandparents who love to garden and cook, so I became interested in food at a young age. Some of my favorite food memories include picking wild black raspberries with my mom for pie or jam – or foraging for morel mushrooms with my dad in the nearby woods. I was lucky to have my mom (a retired home economics teacher) as my mentor in the kitchen.
2. What's your least favorite food?
Wasabi peas, which happen to be one of my husband's favorite snacks.
3. What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
These crostini really hit the spot when I made them.
4. What is your idea of comfort food?
A cheeseburger, fries and a thick chocolate malt.
5. If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
I wish I could pull out all of the stops and make my late mother-in-law an amazing meal. Her genuine love for food and good company made cooking for her a joy, and some of my most memorable meals were shared with her and my husband around our dining room table.