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Winner of Your Best Green Holiday Side

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Congratulations to Bevi, whose Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears and Pistachios won the contest for Your Best Green Holiday Side

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Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My grandmother cooked and baked constantly for her hotel guests in the summer. We ate all of our meals with her the rest of the year, as well. I helped her mix, stir, make applesauce, knead bread, start soups, and bake cakes and pies. Cooking has been a huge part of my life since I was a child.

   

More: There's a lot to learn from working in a professional kitchen.

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Working in the hotel kitchen with my family (my mom was in charge of cold appetizers and salads; my dad took on the entrées and desserts) instilled a great work ethic in my sisters and me -- especially when it came to preparing, assembling, serving, and cooking for crowds. Hearing my mom, dad, and grandmother receive thanks from our guests taught me that it's a real blessing to cook and share food with friends and family.

What's your least favorite kitchen task? 
I am a messy cook, so cleaning up after myself is depressing. I try my best to clean as I go, but sometimes it's just not happening.   

  

Your favorite kitchen tool? 
I like my Microplane, but the large metal spatula in the photo above is a tool my dad loved -- for that reason, I use it often.

What is your idea of comfort food?
Almost any leftover is comfort food for me, as well as jam and a slice of hard cheese on crackers. I am also a fan of potato chips inside my sandwiches

What is your greatest kitchen disaster?
Kitchen disasters occur weekly: Two weeks ago, I cut myself badly with a knife. Last week, a "heatproof" platter filled with Mediterranean poppers exploded.

First photo by Alpha Smoot, last two photos by Bevi, all others by James Ransom