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Monday, January 16th, 2006

Meme: Weird & Random

Kevin over at Seriously Good just tagged me for the “10 Weird and Random Facts About Myself” meme. Here are mine:

1. When I was 12, I started a newsletter called “Kitty on the Front Page.”

2. I think it’s disgusting when people put lemon slices in their water.

3. I like to stay up really, really late watching bad TV.

4. I’m a native Seattleite and I don’t drink coffee.

5. I like haggis. A lot.

6. I’m terrified of flying.

7. I microwave things in plastic containers.

8. I would never date a vegetarian.

9. I love Mexi-Fries.

10. I live in Seattle and I hate the fucking rain.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

23rd Post Meme

I’ve been watching (and reading) with amusement as this meme went around. Just when I thought it was safe, William from Never Trust a Skinny Chef tagged me.

So… my 23rd post was about a day trip over to Bainbridge Island and my fifth sentence was about licorice:

I have never really liked licorice very much but after trying some of Zach’s I’m open to the possibility that I just don’t like bad licorice.

This is actually a very fitting sentence for me as I think that I would like just about any kind of food as long as it’s was done well.

I seriously doubt that I know anyone who hasn’t already been tagged, so I will just leave it at this: if you want to participate, leave me a comment and consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Meme: Childhood Food Memories

When I read The Scent of Green Bananas’ post titled “Where memes come to die,” I started laughing. Then I remembered that I had been tagged for the Childhood Food Memories Meme by Accidental Hedonist back in August and then again by Chubby Hubby in September.

Despite my lateness, I really did want to do this meme. It’s an interesting idea and became even more “interesting” when I compiled my top five. Sadly, most of my food memories from childhood revolve around secrecy and foods that are bad for you. Which is odd because I grew up around lots of food—really, really good food. So what I craved as a child were the processed foods that all my other friends were eating.

I’ve done a few comparisons for an example:

FRIENDS: Sugar Smacks
ME: Cheerios (upon which I heaped spoonfuls and spoonfuls of sugar when my mom wasn’t looking)

FRIENDS: Snicker’s Bars
ME: Wha Guru Chews

ME: Water

Okay, so you get the picture. I’m just trying to explain (disclaim?) why my childhood food memories are so strange…

1. This memory has always stuck with me, partly because it’s so shameful and partly because it’s so hilarious: One hot summer day, my mom found me huddled up in the corner of the porch (I obviously knew I was doing something bad), with an entire stick of butter in my greasy fist. I was licking it like a lollipop. And from what I recall, I wouldn’t give it up.

2. I have very fond memories of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets with Sweet and Sour Sauce. As a kid we’d stop by McDonald’s almost every Sunday, after the family game of tennis, and my brother and I would each get a container of McNuggets. The strange part is that everyone accepted this as normal behavior and treated it like a reward for exercising.

3. Another odd memory I have is of my mom telling me to dust the household plants. For some reason I got it in my head that if I washed them, I could then eat them. I managed to eat half a leaf before my poor mom noticed and asked me WTF I was doing. What’s really funny is that we had that plant for a really long time—and until it died it always had a bite mark taken from one of the leaves.

4. I was desperately addicted to Twinkies during my middle school years. I would stop by the corner gas station EVERY DAY on my way home from school and purchase a two-pack, which I then consumed in secret. There was something about that artificial fluff stuffed into a spongy container that I found wildly comforting.

5. The last memory I’m going to share is the time I ate MSG. We had a container of it in our spice drawer (probably from my Chinese grandma) and one day curiosity got the better of me. It was the most disgusting thing that I’ve ever tasted. Hands down. MSG is supposed to enhance the flavor of whatever you’re eating, and in this case it was just enhancing the flavor of my mouth. Imagine the five people you know who have the worst breath. Now imagine them licking you all at the same time.

I’ve probably over-shared, but there it is. I’m passing this on solely based on who I think might actually participate AND who, as far as I can tell, hasn’t already participated:

Seriously Good
The Pragmatic Chef

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

Meme: The Cook Next Door

Okay, I got tagged twice on this one because I took so long to post (sorry)! This time I was passed the torch by Melissa over at The Traveler’s Lunchbox and then Fatemeh at Gastronomie. Here goes…

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

    I think I was about eight and I convinced my best friend to help me cook a coursed dinner for our parents. I remember little about the night except that I came down with the chicken pox. Oh, and a vague memory about making pudding from “scratch” (which meant from a box, but not the instant kind). I covered the hot pan with plastic wrap and it melted into the pudding.

  2. Who had the most influence on your cooking?

    Definitely my parents. They were always entertaining and throwing elaborate themed parties… so I inherited the bug.

  3. Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world?

    I laughed when I saw Melissa’s photo because I have a similar one with me stuffing my face with spaghetti, but I couldn’t find it. What I did end up finding was equally funny. Obviously, I didn’t like greens at a young age, but I loved the drink. I guess some things never change.

  4. Mageiricophobia – do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?

    I’m a very bad baker.

  5. What are your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?

    I know this is uninspired and tame, but it really is a toss up between my chef’s knife and my cuisinart. I like to chop.

  6. Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like – and probably no one else does!?

    How about tempura bacon? I also really like ground beef and oyster sauce wrapped in a tortilla. Hey that’s FUSION!

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

    Bacon, prosciutto and duck confit

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

  • Your favorite ice-cream… Homemade mango ice cream that’s fresh out of the ice cream maker
  • You will-probably-definitely never eat… Balut
  • Any signs that this passion is going slightly over the edge and may need intervention? I have fantasies about getting fired from my job so I can spend more time eating and cooking. But that’s not really obsessive. Is it?
  • What’s on your all-time foodie dream list? (gadgets, destinations, restaurants, dishes to try…) This changes a lot, but this month it’s: a doufeu, a thermapen and a dinner at French Laundry.
  • I tag: Uh, no one. I’m so late on this I think everyone I know has already been tagged. However, if you would like to be tagged, let me know and I will happily oblige.

    UPDATE: I have tagged Kevin over at Bacon Press. You’re it!

Sunday, June 5th, 2005

Tagged Again! Five Favorite (Cook) Books Meme

Josh over at The Food Section has tagged me on the Five Favorite Books Meme that’s been going around. It looks like the original topic was open to any type of book, but like Josh, I’m going to stick to food / cookbooks.

1. Total number of (cook) books I’ve owned:
I just weeded through my collection and ditched a few that weren’t getting any play, so I’m going to guess somewhere in the vicinity of 70.

2. Last (cook) book I bought:
I haven’t bought a new cookbook in a while (for shame!)—I’m still trying to get through the cookbooks I already own, plus two large binders of recipes I’ve clipped from F&W and Saveur over the years. But to answer the question… I got on this bent of buying used cookbooks from the 50’s that have weird and unusual recipes. So my last purchase was either a lard cookbook or a “Fun with Aspic” cookbook.

3. Last (food) book I read:
It’s been a while since I’ve read a purely food dedicated book (besides cookbooks, of course), so I think the last one was The Book of Salt by Monique Truong—a beautiful and sad story about a gay, Vietnamese cook working for Gertrude Stein in Paris. I loved that book.

4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:

  • The Frugal Gourmet: This was the first cookbook I ever owned and it taught me that I could entertain and throw dinner parties even though I was flat broke and inexperienced in the kitchen.
  • The French Laundry Cookbook: This is the most beautiful cookbook I own. I have yet to make an entire recipe (I can only manage parts of recipes), but I just love sitting down on the sofa with this breathtakingly gorgeous, heavy book in my lap. I meander through the pages, reading bits here and there, but mostly I just ogle the images and daydream of food.
  • Chez Panisse Café Cookbook: When I want something simple, yet sublime, I reach for this book. It has never failed me.
  • Glorious French Food: I love French food. I love the richness. I love the sauces. I love the slow cooked food that takes time, but not necessarily effort to make. This cookbook is my bible for French cooking.
  • The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook: This cookbook is deceptively simple. The recipes are all geared towards big, event-type parties and serve large quantities with minimal effort and everything tastes delicious.

5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?

Accidental Hedonist
Food Migration
Deep End Dining

Tag. Your it!

Saturday, February 5th, 2005

What I listen to when frying bacon.

A great big THANK YOU to AugustusGloop for roping me into this. I am supposed to answer a few highly personal questions about my musical tastes and then pass the baton. The problem is that I am what you’d call… musically challenged. So I listen to a lot of NPR.

Here it goes anyway:

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
I have no clue, but I CAN tell you that anything on my laptop was not put there by me. I think people feel bad that I have a musical disability so they offer to put things on my iTunes list. It never gets listened to.

2. The CD you last bought?
Marianne Faithfull – Before the Poison, and I bought it just last week. This was a total fluke because the last CD I bought before this was about two years ago. I never go into record stores, but I was eating at the Easy Street Cafe—which happens to be attached to a record store. So they told me to wander around in the store while I waited for my table. Clever ploy.

3. What was the song you last listened to before reading this message?
Uhhh. Oh, wait! KEXP was on, and I got the message at about 11am this morning. So that would make it… Myrkur by Sigur Rós—although I couldn’t tell you what it sounded like even if you offered me a million dollars. Thank god for playlists.

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
I can’t really list songs because I don’t know the names of many songs. The best I can do is list artists.

My latest favorite is A Night at the Hip-Hopera by the Kleptones. They took Queen songs and combined them with hip-hop lyrics. I’m obsessed with it and it drives my boyfriend nuts.

I really love Nina Simone and Cassandra Wilson because they’re both so, so sultry.

I also listen to a lot of Ani DiFranco. I couldn’t really even tell you why. She has the biggest section in my CD collection—but that sounds misleading and like a have a collection. It’s not like that. And, no, I’m not a lesbian.

Kruder & Dorfmeister. Just because.

Lastly, I would have to say, uh, maybe Neko Case. Also because she has that sultry thing going on.

5. Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
This is my favorite question and actually the only reason I did this survey. I am gleefully passing the buck to…

Molly, because I’d like to know a little more about you before we meet for dinner.

MeatHenge because we’ve been having some great conversations about pork. And you talk like a cowboy, so I’m curious…

KitchenMonkey, because I’ve always wanted to know what monkeys listen to.

TAG! You’re it.