Saturday, July 02, 2005


Another Cooking Meme

Well, it took a few days, but here are my answers to the latest fun little food blog meme. I may be the last person to answer these questions, so I am not tagging anyone else, but feel free to play along if you want! A huge thank you to the awesome J at Kuidoare for tagging me!

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?

I have lots of snapshot memories of making all sorts of interesting dishes and whatnot from about 8 on. My earliest memory of a full meal is the time I was visiting my (also 8 year old) cousin Va-Voom (at the time she was more adorable than Va-Voom, but you get the idea) and we made a meal that started with the extra exotic Bean-Curd and Beef Ball Soup. (I do wonder where we got that recipe. And how we procured tofu in East Hampton circa 1982) That meal also included filet mignon (which my Uncle went apoplectic over the cost of) Needless to say, we hadn't exactly mastered clean as you go, so there were pots and pans on every available surface and a few on the floor. Of course the best part was us blithely flambeing cognac wearing our idea of safety outfits: bikinis, wet towels on our heads and large rubber boots all while trying not to pass out from fear of getting caught/laughing so hard.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?

The last woman in my family to even find the kitchen was my great-great grandmother. The story goes that on return from her honeymoon tour, she roasted a chicken, feathers, innards and all. Her husband came home to the charred mess, a lock was installed, a chef was hired, and no one ever looked back.

The benefit of that was that I was incredibly lucky to have been exposed to amazing, fresh, seasonal foods as a child at home, in restaurants and in far flung cities across the globe. I developed a love of cooking very early on, and lots of people (family and friends, housekeeping/chef/nannies) encouraged and indulged my passion and I am thankful to them all.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadget was the biggest letdown?

Well, my knives travel with me, so I would say those are the most valued. I have a healthy respect for them and treat them accordingly. The worst is, hands down, a corn kernel remover/creamed corn maker thingy I just can't help laughing at. What a silly and useless contraption, that I cannot seem to part with (and its mate, the plastic yellow hairbrush looking "corn silk" remover.)

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!

I like to put seasoned croutons into my last few sips of champagne. I must be tipsy by that point, because I think they taste pretty good!

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?

Artisan bread, caviar and sweet, fresh fruit

Your favorite ice-cream?

I love Ciao Bella Valrhona Chocolate, and Swiss Gourmet Brown Sugar Cinnamon. For other frozen treats, Out of a Flower sorbets rock my world.

Your own signature dish?

How funny am I? My signature is that I try not to ever offer the same meal/dish twice. (At least, for anyone other than me) I do make an outstanding martini though and try to make sure everyone who comes into my home gets one (who wants one)

You will probably never eat?

I am perfectly happy to admit I am a picky eater, there are lots of things I wouldn't try. Malto Mario I am not. I am also just as happy to admit there are lots of foods I will eat with varying degrees of success.

A common ingredient you just can't bring yourself to stomach?

Cilantro (shudder). Please refrain from adding a comment about how much you love it. I know you love. You LOVE it, you salivate over it and you would shout it from the rooftops if you could. The thing is, I don't. Thanks. :-)

Any signs that this passion is going slightly over the edge and may need intervention?

Not really. I mean, I'm a chef, so it would be odd if it weren't my passion. Right?

Who would you want to come into your kitchen to cook dinner for you?

Oh wow. Anyone? Does anyone know if Ira Glass can cook?

Which one culture's food would you most like to sample on its home turf?

Japanese. I would love to go to Japan with my father who lived there for a few years in the early 50's and picked up quite a bit of Japanese. Can you imagine? That is my current dream. I wonder what it will take to make it come true? Daddy?

That's all for now kids, tomorrow, it's back to cooking!

For information about where to buy Out of a Flower products, call (800) 743-5696


hi rachael, what a fabulous post! totally agree about trying not to cook the same thing twice - i blame it on my attention span of a gnat - am all the more intrigued now...cheers,j
J- Thank you again for tagging me. I really liked doing it!
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