Congratulations to Waverly, whose Morel Crostini won this week's contest for Your Best Mushrooms, earning her a handsome All-Clad Copper Core Sauté Pan from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Q&A with Waverly
- Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
- My parents were foodies before we used that word. My mother was the cook, and she cooked every meal with my father in mind (not the children). My father loved her cooking. This, of course, was not always the case for us children, but we were exposed to a good variety of fresh food from cookbooks and authors like Mastering the Art of French Cooking, James Beard, several Junior League Cookbooks, Helen Corbitt, The Galloping Gourmet (remember him?) and The Joy of Cooking just to name a few. While I tend to cook very simply on weeknights, I understand the importance of eating as a family. Sitting down with each other to share a home cooked meal made from fresh, wholesome ingredients is fundamental to our family life. It makes life better.
- What's your least favorite food?
- The thought of haggis makes me gag.
- What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
- It sounds like I am "kissing up", but honestly, the morel mushrooms on crostini with goat cheese are by far the best thing I have cooked... even eaten this year. I haven't seen morels in the stores since!
- Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
- I have had so many... this time I will tell you that it was Vietnamese Spring Rolls. They look so simple. They should be simple. They were a mess, they were bad, and worst of all, they took up way too much time. I have made them twice. Rice paper is not my friend.
- What is your idea of comfort food?
- Today, I am going to say ice cream because let's face it, simple sugar goes straight to the brain and makes you feel swell... we'll just ignore the rest of it (the sugar low then the tight jeans). And, when I say ice cream, I mean the high fat all natural 5 ingredient kind, straight from the carton; no sharing.
- Apron or no apron?
- I usually wear an apron. I wash my hands often when I cook and it saves on paper towels.
- What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
- I have to stick with an old answer - the scene in Sixteen Candles when Jake brings Molly Ringwald a birthday cake.
- If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
- I would invite Thomas Jefferson to be the guest of honor at a dinner party. Among his many talents, he was an extraordinary farmer. His vegetable garden at Monticello was 1,000 feet long. I would serve his favorite vegetables -- fresh tomatoes, French beans, and peas along with grilled leg of lamb and homemade bread.
- You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
- I prefer to cook everything myself, but I enjoy having everyone in the kitchen.
- 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.
- I clean as I go.
Waverly used to be a lawyer and is now a mother 24/7. She has made a commitment to cooking for her family and absolutely loves it even when her family does not. She is teaching them, one meal at a time, to enjoy wholesome homemade food. She abhors processed food but recognizes its insidious nature and accepts the fact that her children will occasionally get some Skittles, Doritos, or the like. Her philosophy and hope is that if she teaches them well at home, they will prefer wholesome healthy foods when they go out into the world without her.
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