Winner of Your Best Family Recipe, Part 2

January 14, 2015

For our latest contest, we've partnered with The Global Family Reunion -- a worldwide event taking place on June 6, 2015 to benefit Alzheimer's reasearch -- to find your best family recipes. 

Today: Congratulations to Corby, whose Old-School Swedish Meatballs won the contest for Your Best Family Recipe, Part 2

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Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
At first, I couldn't think of a single formative food experience. But after talking to my peers, I realize that my childhood dinner experience was incredibly valuable. Every night, my family joined to eat homemade food that consisted of a large quantity of grains and vegetables. Mom also cooked in gargantuan batches for the sake of economy and the hallowed leftovers. Emulating this style has been invaluable for my health and budget in graduate school.


Your favorite kitchen tool?
Definitely my 6-inch chef knife. This particular set of Chicago Cutlery knives was given to my mom when she got married -- my first dog chewed the handles when he was a very young puppy. As a preteen, I used the smaller chef knife to learn proper knife skills. She let me take the 6-inch knife with me when I moved away a few years ago, and I was lucky enough to score the rest of the set when she bought herself a new set of knives.

Click here for the recipe for Old-School Swedish Meatballs!

What's your least favorite kitchen task?
Cleaning and defrosting the freezer; I hoard every bone, vegetable peeling, leftover bit of frosting, etc. until the freezer becomes a giant frozen midden.


What is your idea of comfort food? 
Comfort food, for me, is an aromatic braised dish from the slow cooker. I can practically smell it waiting for me. As someone who is perhaps overly preoccupied with the availability of food (I hate being forced to buy takeout), a guaranteed wholesome dinner is pretty comforting. 

What is your greatest kitchen disaster? 
For my awesome dissertation project, I recently went to the Isle of Rum off the coast of Scotland. While there, I lived in a bothy (traditional stone house) that had a coal-fired stove for heating, cooking, and hot water. You know how in cartoons, the stove suddenly blows open and belches loads of soot all over the person, food, plates, cupboards -- everything? I made that happen.

Meatball photo by Mark Weinberg; poached chicken photo by James Ransom; all others by Corby

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Picholine January 18, 2015
I am making tonight ! Excited to taste it !
drbabs January 14, 2015
Congratulations, Corby! One day you'll have to tell us what it's like to be a paleontologist.
Annie S. January 14, 2015
Posted too soon ...I cannot wait to make these I have been searching for the right recipe and this seems to be it! Congrats!
Annie S. January 14, 2015
I received Chicago Cutlery knives as a wedding present in 1976 and there is nothing like them! I must say learning knife skills cut down on the ER visits of a less -than -patient young cook!
AntoniaJames January 14, 2015
Wonderful Q & A, wonderful recipe. So glad to be reading this today. Congratulations! We'll be trying your meatballs soon. ;o) P.S. My best ever knife is an ancient Chicago cutlery boning knife we got from my husband's family's meat packing company. Oh, how that little beauty holds an edge!
Kukla January 14, 2015
Congratulations Corby!!! It is so nice to be a winner!!!
cookinginvictoria January 14, 2015
Congrats on your win! It is so nice getting to know you through your lovely Q&A. Freezer hoarders of the world unite . . . I am too! P.S. Love your knife and the family story behind it. :)
Corby January 14, 2015
Solidarity! Frozen solidarity!
aargersi January 14, 2015
I love that you made that happen - it's funny now right? Congratulations!!!
Pegeen January 14, 2015
You must share some of your Scottish recipes with Nancy!
Corby January 14, 2015
Oh no, I don't have any! I ate fantastic things while I was on Rum, but it was all about locally produced, simple things. I think two of the best things I have ever eaten were from that stay, and they were an egg from a free-range (semi-feral?) chicken and a trout baked with just salt and bay leaf. When people weren't bringing me phenomenal produce, thought, I ate plain beans from a cast-iron pot :[
Pegeen January 14, 2015
Congratulations, Corby! These sound delicious - a cozy winter meal.
Bevi January 14, 2015
Congrats and what a great Q and A!