Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. My earliest food memories are of watching the Galloping Gourmet on PBS with my mom trying to write down the recipes as he talked (before the internet!) so we could re-create them. Also, I remember eating my Indiana grandma's mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and my Maryland grandma's Virginia ham. Finally, I remember cranking the handle of our manual ice cream maker with my dad in the back yard until my arms hurt! They all show how cooking should be fun, and that the memories you create while cooking last longer than the meal.
What's your least favorite food? Once my roommate bought a package of these “dried sugar crabs” from the Asian market. They were basically tiny whole crabs covered in a hard sugar syrup coating. Now, when I type this out I think — no kidding, that would taste bad — but we were feeling daring. We each gagged one down. Needless to say, I won't be buying a bag of them in the near future.
What is the best thing you've made so far this year? Recently I discovered making my own butter. I really enjoyed making it, and it's so good when its fresh. It may not be the best, but is satisfying.
Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster. The first time I made dinner for my family I was in 6th grade. I made a pizza in the oven. I took the pan out, placed it on the carpeted kitchen floor and melted a hole right in the middle of the kitchen. Also, once I attempted making a “Spam Horse” (basically just Spam and Velveeta) from a joke recipe out of a convenience store cookbook. That was an altogether different sort of spectacle.
What is your idea of comfort food? Oatmeal
Apron or no apron? I love aprons, but not to cook in.
What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie? In Blues Brothers, when Elwood and Jake visit the diner, order ”white bread, toast, dry, nothing on it” and “4 whole fried chickens and a Coke" followed by Aretha Franklin singing “Respect”
If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be? Martha Stewart
You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood A. I definitely like cooking alone, but serving people.
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. A. I can’t enjoy a meal if I know there are dishes waiting for me in the sink. If I'm cooking for someone else, they get the dishes.