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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Cook Next Door Meme

So what's a meme? The food bloggers know this as a sort of questionnaire, similar to those surveys that got passed around via email when I was part of the Yahoo Trivia crowd. I have a special place in my heart for surveys because one caused me to be introduced to the funniest, most handsome, witty guy who eventually became my husband.

I was tagged by Chronicler at Food Chronicles. Originally authored by Nicky and Oliver over at Delicious Days! They also have the geneology of the meme. It is the most amazing list of bloggers! Almost everyone in the food blogging community has been tagged and there is so much to learn about everyone. Off to the meme:

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own? My early adulthood memories of attempting to cook on my own are not very good. Lots of mishaps and discarded food. I wasn't aware that meats should not be stored in the fridge for more than a couple of days before cooking and should not be kept for more than a couple of days after cooking, either.
I recall having a pound of hamburger in the fridge that I felt I shouldn't waste and decided to mix it with one egg (I only had one left) and a box of corn bread mix in an attempt to create something like a meatloaf. Ack... the most disgusting smells came from the oven that day... quite like I had pulled it out of a dumpster. I probably didn't cook anything for a long time after that.

Who had the most influence on your cooking? Certainly not my mother who was (and still is) an extremely impatient cook. If she can't cook it in 10 minutes, it's not going to be cooked. Even her microwave is not fast enough for her, most of the time. Cook a Thanksgiving turkey for 4 hours? No way... she flew off for a long weekend in Las Vegas instead. So much of my cooking knowledge comes from The Food Network and my own drive to read cookbooks and try new things.

Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?

The second picture shows a visit to my grandfather's house, and the nutritous breakfast I had there? Pop-Tarts and Cool Whip.

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat? Cooking lobsters or crabs. I just don't think I could eat something that I've seen alive moments ago... I'll eat them if I haven't seen them alive, though. I may overcome these two at some point: pie dough; buttermilk biscuits. They are two things I love Love LOVE but am very afraid to try to make for myself mostly because I know that they require a previous knowledge of proper texture and minimal kneading.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown? Most valued: my KitchenAid mixer... a gift from my husband at Christmas one year. It took me a very long time to be brave enough to actually use it. I think it sat on the counter for over a year before its first actual use. Now, I'll bet the mixer wishes it could have a rest.

Biggest letdown: A salad bowl/vegetable grater combo thing that I got (as a gift?) years ago. It seemed cool until I tried to use it. It had 3 parts: the bowl, the grater thingy and the lid. The whole thing was plastic (which should have been a hint as to its functionality) and the idea was that you could connect the grater to the bowl so you wouldn't lose any carrots, cheese, whatever while you were grating them. The plastic wasn't really sharp enough to grate anything and after taking it apart the first time, it never fit back together properly. *Thumbs down.* I still have it, though... packed away somewhere.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like and probably no one else. Kraft macaroni & cheese with nacho cheese Doritos crumbled on top; vanilla ice cream topped with blueberry pie filling (from a CAN) and hot fudge sauce; fried chicken gizzards (though this is popular among my family); a new thing I just tried and liked: grilled steak with BBQ sauce. Normally, I would poo-poo anything going on a steak but this was quite good! Back to Doritos, this time with 'hot pimento cheese' (which I haven't been able to find since I left Lynchburg, VA), topped with white cheddar cheese popcorn. Sort of like redneck hors d'oeuvres, I guess... I actually learned this from a girl I worked with in VA, but I doubt many other people have this on their menu. Cheeseburgers with spicy potato chips tucked between the burger and bottom bun (which I then eat upside down). I think I have too many here!

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don't want to live without?
1) Cheese (I'm still Jonesing for deep fried cheese curds since I wasn't able to get any while visiting Wisconsin).
2) Really good chocolate (Dove is very good, in my book. Also RitterSport Hazelnut from Germany... I'm hoarding some of this in my freezer right now... shhhhh.)
3) GFIC Italian Cappuccino (I go very far out of my way to buy this and stock up on it since it's gotten very expensive and somewhat difficult to find.)

Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? Well then, feel free to add one!

3 quickies:
Favorite ice cream: Mint chocolate chip (only if it has tiny flecks of chocolate throughout); Ben & Jerry's: Chubby Hubby, One Sweet Whirled; Breyer's Natural Vanilla

You will probably never eat (again??): Liver, brussels sprouts, potted meat, Limburger cheese (I had almost eaten some once but couldn't get it past my nose.), head cheese, Scrapple, any type of brains, anything with more than two legs still attached.

Signature dish: My super fudgy brownies

I followed my meme forebears here:Question added by Zarah: On average, how many times a week would you cook something to satisfy your sweet tooth? I actually buy sweets more than bake them (a shame, I know) because I can often buy just one or two cookies or whatever from a bakery rather than baking a whole batch for myself because my husband won't eat many baked things. Still, I often bake in spurts... 3 or 4 different things at a particular time. I feel it's good if I can freeze a portion of something I've baked, but my freezer is getting full of these things I plan to go back and eat some day. They never look as appealing when they're frozen as when they've just come out of the oven so there they sit sadly gathering freezer burn.

Question added by Cathy: What do you usually eat for breakfast? Weekdays: Boca breakfast patties (in the red box), lately with a slice of whole wheat toast and one of the many jams I've made or purchased. Weekends: my husband makes glorious Pecan Waffles with real maple syrup... one of the few things he cooks, but oh, how wonderful they are! And of course, coffee.

Question added by Alice: What are your stand-by dinner options when you don't have the time or the inclination to follow or create a new recipe? I love to eat out. There is a local mexican place, El Toro Bravo, that we often visit. They make really great chile relleno and a fabulous strawberry margarita. Too often I opt-out for fast food, which is really never very satisfying.

Question added by Karen: What would you like to cook someday that you haven't tried before? A whole roast pig... the way they do it in Hawaii... burying it in a pit and covering it with banana leaves to smoke all night. I don't know when I would ever have opportunity to do this, but I'd love to try it.

Question added by the chronicler: Sweet or savory? Since I doubt I can get away with saying, 'yes, please'... I'll say: Sweet. Sweets are my life, at least for the time being. I'm a pastry chef and I love to eat sweet things. Though, washing down a slice of chocolate cake with a few strips of bacon is never out of the question.

Question added by Grommie: Do you have any food quirks you'd like to admit? Ahem... no. Er... well, just a couple: I don't like the food on my plate to touch. Chicken should be separate from potatoes should be separate from green beans (this can be witnessed in my previous post). I realize this may send shivers down the spines of some of you: I don't like for my upper lip to touch my silverware and often end up scraping my teeth. Then when it comes to liquid foods on a spoon: I slurp. I try not to do this when I'm around other people (I've been reprimanded by many people) but sometimes I forget.


Now that you know so much goofiness about me... lets choose a couple more victims participants to show their stuff.

Foodgoat
Morsels of Megret
Roast Chicken Reasoning

Hopefully they haven't already been tagged.

1 comment:

chronicler said...

Yay Grommie! I feel I know you already! Who wouldn;t be a pastry chef when they started out life with Pop tarts and cool whip for breakfast? I love your answers. It would be fun to get together sometime to compare all our little cookign quirks!