Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. My opi (grandfather) was a bäckermeister (master baker) in the Black Forest. As a young child, my favorite thing to do was to spend hours with him in the kitchen. While I was too young to learn true baking skills from him, my time with him instilled in me a strong sense of the importance that food has on family and friends. It was always a lively and fun kitchen, full of people sharing good food, which to me symbolizes love and friendship. These days, I share my recipes at my blog, Cup of Sugar :: Pinch of Salt.
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What's your least favorite kitchen task? I am not terribly fond of cleaning the oven. My oven is an antique from 1954 and cleaning it is a very labor-intensive process, and one that kind of scares me.
Your favorite kitchen tool? By far and away, my favorite kitchen tool is my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with all the attachments. I use it nearly every day to make everything from cookie dough, to ice cream, to pasta, to learning how to make my own sausages.
What is your idea of comfort food? Spätzle, the little pasta noodles/dumplings from Southern Germany (Swabia) are my ideal comfort food. Learning how to make them from scratch is a tradition in my family, and I can make dozens of variations.
What is your greatest kitchen disaster? I learned the hard way that making anything with whipped cream in the summer is likely not the best idea! I made a Black Forest torte for my birthday one July with the heat index over 90º F -- no air conditioning. You could watch the whipped cream slide down the sides of the cake and curdle into a mess. Never again!
Photo of Kat Suletzki and top two photos provided by herself; top photo by Mark Weinberg; bottom left photo by Alpha Smoot