25 Things: A Foodie List
(Note: I still have a hard time with the term "foodie"—but that isn't one of my things.)
- I'm not Italian, but I strive to cook like an Italian.
- I could eat pasta every night of the week—even though my diet advises whole wheat pasta only.
- The last good meal I had: last night's Oscar fest. Even though it was just three of us, we had caramelized onion tarts, curried prawns served on greens, and salmon with mashed potatoes and green beans (somehow ice cream was added to the menu, but I take no responsibility for that).
- Yes, I am supposedly on a diet. When it works, it works really well.
- I follow cookbooks (and I have shelves full of them), recipes from the newspaper, recipes from the Food Network, and recipes I find on tastespotting.com—as long as I can define "follow" loosely.
- My favorite restaurant in town: Serafina.
- My favorite fast food: Drunken chicken sandwich from The Baguette Box. (Note that we have no traditional fast food joints in the neighborhood; we have pizza, but it isn't my favorite.)
- My favorite ice cream is homemade--honey bay, honey lavendar, scented rose geranium, or scented rose geranium and strawberry.
- I like to have a lot of vinegars on hand: Balsamic, White Balsamic, Red Wine, White Wine, Champagne, Sherry, Cider, Rice, regular old White, and sometimes Fig Balsamic. For some reason, this comforts me.
- I like dark chocolate, especially dark chocolate from Theo's.
- Pie is a food group —and one that I've been neglecting.
- Most nights, I don't feel like I'm cooking; it's more like I'm slinging hash—perfunctory and obligatory rather than creative.
- These days, I'm like a short-order cook: One person who should eat only whole-grain pasta and bread (me), two people who loathe whole-grain pasta and bread, and one of those is a vegetarian (although she will eat fish). Either I compromise, or I run out of burners.
- I'm still learning how to cook for only three—an apprenticeship for when I'll be cooking for only two.
- Finding the Herb Farm cookbook completely reinvigorated my cooking. Even under obligation, I can throw in some fresh thyme.
- I now have thyme, lemon thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley, and mint in the garden. In odd stretches, I have lovage, cilantro, and dill. I also have lavender—but it came with the house and, if left to itself, would take over the entire yard.
- In my youth, I was a vegetarian for more than a decade.
- Now, I can do some pretty damn fine things with a piece of pork (chop, loin, tenderloin, bacon, prosciutto, pancetta).
- I am scrupulous about not wasting the grains of rice that spill from the container when I'm measuring, but I inevitably throw out some of the rice after it's cooked.
- I enjoy wine—tasting it, savoring it, pairing it with food (I'm not so good at this yet, but I enjoy trying).
- I own a crockpot, but I've never used it for slow cooking. It is quite effective, however, for keeping soup, mashed potatoes, or risotto warm.
- When I was younger, I used to want to do everything myself—no electric mixer, just a whisk and a wooden spoon.
- I waited years to use my food processor (too much noise, too many parts to clean). Now, I use frequently, especially for pasta dough and anything involving butter that needs to be cut into flour—think biscuits, scones, or pastry dough. (I also use my electric mixer.)
- I am the Queen of Cholesterol. I blame it on my Scandinavian heritage and the associated hereditary love of cheese—and let's not even mention cream and butter. (Did I tell you about the vanilla ice cream in Copenhagen--so rich it's yellow?)
- I grew up thinking I needed to stay thin, and over the years this has constantly conflicted with my love of food and flavors and eating—a constant conflict. After decades of this, I'm going to try to write my way out.
P.S. I just realized that of course we have fast food in the neighborhood: We have Dick's. Yum!