July 06, 2005

If you don’t know me by now…

I’ll have to supply more details!

Linda has tagged me for The Cook Next Door meme.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
I was seven years old, making oatmeal cookies that I had “assisted” with many times before. I panicked and added only 1/8 of a cup of flour instead of 1 cup plus 1/8 of a cup. The cookie dough was very liquidy, but I pressed on anyway, and the entire pan of cookies flowed into a solid, caramel coloured mass. We pried it off the sheet and cut it into squares, called it candy and ate it anyway. It was tasty, and my family was very reassuring that it wasn’t a dead loss, but I was quite embarrassed. It didn’t stop me from tackling independent cookery again, but from here on I was more disposed to ask advice if something didn’t look quite right.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?
Without question, my mother, who was not only an excellent cook, but had an almost magical ability to make great dinners out of almost nothing at all. There are some other significant influences, though, including the Dutch neighbour we had when I was growing up. She introduced the family to Tai-Tai gingerbread, olieballen, krokets, and all manner of fascinating food. She had been a professional cook for most of her life, and had stories to tell from working at exclusive clubs to being the cook for a logging camp. I was impressed at how much enjoyment she took telling stories about various culinary flops ("The next perogie filled the entire plate!") and her blithe manner of handling things not working out as they should.

Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?
Nope. There are very few photos (other than school pics) of me as a child, and it would never have occurred to us to photograph something going on in the kitchen.

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
I suffer from Fear of Frying. Specifically, deep fat frying. I’ve done it, but it makes me nervous, and I tend to avoid it.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?
Best: My mother’s cast iron frying pan, and my Goldhampster 8” chef knife
Worst: None, really. I have a zester that's not as useful as I'd hoped.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!
Peanut butter on pancakes
Fruit yogurt on pancakes
For the record, I don’t think these are weird at all, but this is what I am told…

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

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

Three quickies:Your favorite ice-cream…
Dark chocolate

You will probably never eat…
The still beating heart of a cobra.

Your own signature dish…
That’s a toughie… I love inventing dishes, and am immediately smitten with anything that turns out well. Perhaps my Bengali Red Lentils, or braised lamb shanks. I make a mean sour cherry soup, too…

I think everyone that I know in cyberland has already been tagged, but if you’re reading this and want to participate, go for it (and send me the link)!


linda said...

Very interesting Dawna! And for the record, I don't think yoghurt or peanut butter on pancakes is weird at all. But I do have a peanut butter thing....

Dawna said...

Thanks, Linda! I'm always amazed at how often people seem to think of peanut butter as strictly a kid's food. I use it in cooking (sate, maffe, soup), baking, and as a condiment/spread. Viva peanut butter!

Templar said...

OMG... I saw him eat the cobra heart thing.. is was very creepy