Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
I come from one of those big Southern families where even relatives who don't like to cook still do a pretty good job of it, so I was always surrounded by great food. But the first time I remember thinking about food and my role in preparing it was at a church crab boil when I was 4 or 5 years old. An older congregant was appalled that my parents were picking my portion for me, so he took it upon himself to teach me, and not completely patiently. It was a little scary at first, but SO exciting to conquer something that seemed so far beyond me just a few minutes earlier! That short lesson taught me to be fearless in the kitchen. Oh, sure, pie crust will always vex me, but I know I COULD get the best of it someday if I applied myself.
What's your least favorite food?
Anything with mint. Can't abide the flavor.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
I just made my first pavlova and after seeing how easy it is, I'm mourning all those years spent pavlova-less.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
My oven fries are a running joke in this house. Whenever I threaten to make them, my husband gets his car keys ready just in case they're spot-welded to the pan again.
What is your idea of comfort food?
Mac & cheese or, ok, just cheese. As long as cheese is involved, I'm comforted.
Apron or no apron?
Apron. I'm a spectacularly messy cook.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Bob Balaban having a moment of ecstasy while eating his jelly sandwich in Ghost World.
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
My husband. See kitchen disaster question above.
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
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.