Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thanks for having me guys! I am so excited to think more about food than I already do.

1.When was the last time you ate an entire, full-size candy bar? What kind of candy bar was it?

A snickers from the vending machine in the teacher's lounge, about two months ago, right before a sure-to-be long and boring staff meeting. I really enjoyed it.

What is a food you ate all the time as a kid, but which now disgusts you?

Oatmeal. I used to love Quaker oatmeal cinnamon apple packets, and now it looks like throw-up to me.

What is a recent food impulse buy which you regretted? Which you were delighted by?

I usually like Whips yogurt in key lime pie and lemon meringue flavors, so I saw they had added a new flavor, raspberry chocolate cake. It was disgusting. They really just did not get the taste of chocolate right. Stick to fruit pies, guys.

I am delighted by raw almonds. I've starting putting them in every salad after my teachers' coffee group told me that they had seen a whole Oprah about their health value. I don't usually go in for "Oprah tips" but man, they are tasty!

What was the most satisfying meal you ever prepared for yourself and ate while totally drunk?

My comfort food when I am drunk is a chile verde burrito from Trader Joe's smothered in Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend and Salsa Especial. It is always immensely satisfying.

If you had to have one of the FoodFriends design your diet for a week, whom would you select?

Definitely MattPod.

What food staple would it be most difficult for you remove from your diet?

I would have difficulty choosing between cheese and rice. I look forward to eating cheese, plus I just got three fantastic cheese graters. But there are certain dishes (mostly from my childhood) that I simply could not each without rice. Like hotpot, black bean sauce, spicy eggplant. How good is a steaming lump of jasmine-scented rice after a really spicy Chinese dish?

If I told you that you could only eat one of the following for the rest of your life, but you could always get whatever you chose as fresh and as good as possible, which would you choose? Also, assume that whichever you chose would be seedless: (1) Oranges (2) Clementines (3) Tangerines

Oranges, sliced around the equator.

Also, do you prefer plastic wrap or aluminum foil?


I keep plastic wrap for the microwave, but use aluminum foil when storing stuff in the fridge. I don't know why - I pretty much do what I always saw my mom and dad do.

When and how did you learn to cook?

I began to show interest at age 16, especially after I worked in a bakery for a while. I didn't like baking, but I got interested in recipes, and began to pump mom for hers. She was a fantastic cook. After she died, my dad learned to cook really well, and became something of a wine connoisseur. My stepmom cooks great Italian food. So my food education has been mixed, but with lots of exposure.

A quirk of fate leaves you in each of the following cities for long enough to have only one meal. What/where do you eat? Boston, Cambridge, New York, LA.

Food is tied to memory, and I have great ones for each city.

Cambridge: Buffalo chicken wrap from "The Wrap."

Boston: Dom's. Italian food.

New York: Little tiny Cantonese place on Canal St. Best congee in the US. (Weirdly, despite my detestation of Quaker Oatmeal, I love rice porridge with pork and junk in it.

LA: Garden's of Taxco. Delicious Mexican, with chicken mole that's booorrrrrnnnn in the sauce.

Name a fruit, meat, soda, and candy you despise.

FRUIT: Kiwi, 'cause it gives me a horrible tingling sensation on my tongue. I never ate enough to figure out if I am allergic or not.
MEAT: Liver. Can't stand the consistency.
SODA: Diet anything. I AM allergic to aspertame, I get horrendous sores all over my tongue and gums.
CANDY: "Payday" Bars, because our principal always gives them to us as a joke (she always says "hey, it's payday! here you go!" and then gives us the candy bars instead of our checks), but they have NO CHOCOLATE!!! I eat them anyway because I am so hungry by the end of the day, but I hate every empty minute.

I have a teleporter, and can send you anywhere in the world for dinner. Where will you go, what will you have?

I will go to Shabu Shabu in Taiwan, and have the giant seafood plate (it's a make-your-own hotpot type of place). I would have to go to Taiwan, because they have the best squid. I would also get the fruit plate as an appetizer. They have unimaginable fruits there.

Do you have any well-loved or detested cookbooks?

I wrote a cookbook last summer, dedicated to the memory of my mom. I raided her little tin recipe box and typed everything up, adding illustrations. If anyone wants one, you can order it from cafepress for $10.
I also am falling in love with my new Crockpot recipe book.

What is your relationship to caffeine?

I have been meeting three 50-something teachers for coffee every morning at 7:15am for almost three years now. We get McDonald's coffee each morning, and they always bring a treat, like little custard pies, cookies, brownies. It gets us all up in the morning, I think. That is just way too ungodly early to do anything else but drink coffee and eat sugar. I usually drink just one a day, but I've gotten used to getting some Starbucks coffee (always with cream and sugar, though not too much) right before the aforementioned BORING staff meetings on Wednesdays.

Are there any foods that would receive an f- grade from you?

Long John Silver's. I took three kids there today for a rewards lunch, and I felt totally sick after each too much greasy fried fish and shrimp.

Based on what you've read of the diets of each food reporter, which food reporter would you eat?

SC. He, unlike a Payday, would be full of chocolate!

Is there any food you are embarrassed about how much you like it?

Cocoa-dusted chocolate covered almonds. I cannot stop eating them, it's embarrassing, especially when other people are around.

What was your favorite meal in the dining halls of our fair college? How much would you pay to eat this meal tonight? To eat this meal, would you be willing to travel to Staten Island/Encino/a smelly cave in a swamp?

I liked broccoli-cheese chicken, with tomato soup sprinkled with parmesean and hot sauce.
I would pay $5. I would not be willing to travel anywhere for this meal. It would have to happen upon me.

What are your favorite beers? What are your favorite wines? What are your favorite liquors? What are your favorite cocktails? Do you feel that you have a signature drink? If a FoodFriend ever had to order a drink for you while you were in the restroom, what drink should they order?

I enjoy Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and Magic Hat No. 9, though any strong, well-made pale or amber will generally please me. I even like a good frothy Guiness or a Hefeweizen on occasion.
For wine type, I like merlot. My mind has been opened to whites recently, with the introduction of Smoking Loon chardonnay and Honey Moon voignier into my life. I like most cocktails involving vodka. My signature drink is a dry vodka martini with double bleu-cheese stuffed olives. Yum!

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