Congratulations to piccantedolce, whose Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade won this week's contest for Your Best Poolside Cocktail, earning her big prizes from Viking, OXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!
Q&A with piccantedolce
- Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
- My earliest food memory was of cracking eggs while my mom or dad made brownies from a mix. I must have been 5 or maybe even younger. From that day forward I've always loved cracking eggs and alway thought of food and cooking as something you do with and for those you love. When husband and I first met we would cook together all the time and now when good friends and family come to visit we either cook together or seek out delicious food. It's become a part of who I am and the experience I like to share with those I care about.
- What's your least favorite food?
- Green peppers. I think I inherited my distaste for them from my mom. She used to make stuffed green peppers for us and only eat the stuffing. It was the only time we could get away without eating a vegetable.
- What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
- It's a toss up between a take I did on my grandmother's Rouladen and some decadent prime rib burgers, which are my hubs vote.
- Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
- Well most times I'm in the kitchen it's a disaster, though not often with the food. I'm more of a mess maker, or mess-meister as many call me. I can't remember my last spectacular food fail, but there was one day this past April where I managed to scald my hand on the handle of my cast iron skillet which was just out of the oven, drop a cake pan on my toe which then bounced and hit my shin AND gave myself a nasty cut with a brand new knife. All in the span of a two hours. It was enough to make me not want to be in the kitchen for a few days.
- What is your idea of comfort food?
- Comfort food is food that warms you from the inside out. That just the smell of it makes you smile and brightens your day. It can even be a dish or a cuisine that reminds you of a specific time in your life. My ultimate comfort food is a creamy tomato soup with a rich and gooey grilled cheese sandwich, followed closely by baked mac & cheese with anything Italian coming in a close third.
- Apron or no apron?
- Apron always. See question 4.
- What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Big Night, hands down, is the best food movie. From the customers wanting pasta with their risotto in the beginning and it pissing Primo off, to when they are making the timpano, to the massive dinner party, it's all about food and how it brings people together. It is exactly what I love about food. But if I had to pick one scene from it, it would be the last one where Secondo (Stanley Tucci) makes eggs for himself, Christiano (Marc Anthony) and Primo (Tony Shalhoub). It one long take and not a word is spoken but somehow through the sharing of a simple breakfast after a long night full of ups and downs you just know everything will work out for the brothers.
- If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
- I think it would have to be my grandmother. She didn't make fancy food, just hearty german and polish fare, but she always fed everyone around her. You couldn't walk into the house without being offered three different things, and if you didn't want what she had, she'd make it for you. And you had to finish whatever you ate with a slice of pie. I'm not sure she had many show-stopping meals in her day, so it would be pretty great to be able to give her one as a thank you for always feeding everyone around her.
- 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.
- C, see question 4.