Saturday, July 16, 2005

Food Network

I got tagged by Sunshine for a cooking meme. Even though I'm a little memed out, I wanted to do this one since I am a former chef. She has turned me onto cooking blogs now, and I am so grateful that I will soon be working full time as I would never ever ever get off the computer with this new discovery. So here is the meme. I am not tagging anyone. But feel free to add any funny cooking/food stories in the comment section.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
I used to bake little cakes in my Easy Bake oven for my brothers and their stoned friends. Everyone would sit at my ladybug table and chairs in my little kitchen down in the basement. (I know I know, I've mentioned this before, but not everyone has read that post) Later, I had one of those cookie shooter gadgets. They were way cool. I remember helping my dad bake bread, and learning how to tell when to punch down the dough. Everyone in my family can cook, so just about all of my memories are food related. I still have my first cookbook too - The Pooh Cookbook - and I still make the PoohanPiglet Pancakes.

Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it? No, but here is my last-day-of-culinary-school picture. I'm down in the front - right in the middle - being squished by a boy. Where else would I be?

Mageiricophobia – do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat? I once had to cut up two dozen beef tongues for a catering job. I don't remember what the recipe was - some sort of anti-animal jambalaya. I was a vegetarian for 10 years after that. To this day the memory of it makes me gag. I would probably break into a sweat if I had to do that again.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown? I'm not so into gadgets anymore. The most disappointing was probably the vege/fruit juicer - they sound like a good idea, but they are really not worth the trouble. I have all the usual - food processor, coffee bean grinder, hand held cheese grater, etc. I do love my KitchenAid Mixer. It's so very pretty. I long for a Francis Francis cappuccino maker - but since they are approximately the cost of a month's rent - that isn't happening anytime soon.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like – and probably no one else! I love mixing things up! I'm into mixing my condiments. I like mayo on everything - and often I'll add hot sauce to the mayo too - that is fabulous. I also like to mix salad dressings together. Honey on ricotta cheese. Pretzels and cream cheese. I used to go to this local place back home and order clams casino and pizza. Then I would dump the clams casino right on the pizza - to the horror of all my friends. Now it's on the menu.

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?
Pasta. Even though I constantly try to give it up for carbs. A world without pasta is a world without sunshine.
Pecorino Romano Cheese - for the pasta of course.
Popcorn - I put Pecorino on popcorn too. Don't knock it til you try it.

Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? A lot of people have said which celebrity chef they would most like to work with - and though I have found that most celebrity chefs are jackasses in general - I wouldn't mind working with Tyler Florence. If he's a jackass who cares - he's hot.

Three quickies:
Your favorite ice-cream: Hazelnut gelato
You will probably never eat: Haggis or puffer fish
Your own signature dish: Soup (signature dessert: sticky toffee pudding)

Bon Appetit!


MoDigli said...

A few random thoughts:

- I remember baking with my easy bake oven, too! :)

- Pooh pancakes? Now, I'm sure you're a great cook. But that sounds a little off! ha!

- You look cute in chef school! I picked you out before reading the answer to that question. But who are those two guys with the porn mustaches?

- I L O V E hazelnut gelato,too!!! OMG, another thing in common!!! They called it Nocciola in Italy. Even better when mixed with chocolate.

MoDigli said...

PS. Wow! I got the first post on this one!
(and the second!)

and I see brunei has 14 today.

Brookelina said...

MoMo - give them a break! That picture was taken in 1985. LOL

Everywhere I went in Italy, I had the Nocciola. And I actually had some today that was very good. My favorite!

I hope they have Nocciola in Brunei.

JJ said...

The one thing that has remained frustratingly out of my grasp is the ability to cook a decent meal. I can't believe you went to culinary school and then turned your back on your true calling. You are of the sith, obviously. Soup chefs for the dark side.

WhiteBoyBob said...

Now, a few years back when I was in a meat eating phase I ate Haggis once. Not as bad as it sounds, in fact actually pretty nice tasting. Maybe it tasted OK because we'd all drunk too much ale that evening?

gone said...

oooooohhh, toffee pudding. that sounds delish!
Tongue...eating a tongue...people actually enjoy it and that is crazy to me.

darth said...

mmmmmmm...toffee pudding.....

i have had pufferfish in tokyo (overrated), and beef tongue in both korean and mexican food (grilled in korean, stewed in mexican)..

haggis...well, i have this thing where i want to try everything (foodwise) at least twice (because the first time might be a fluke)..but i haven't searched out a local haggis joint yet. :scared:

darth said...

oh..and my favorite kitchen gadget lately is my cuisinart griller..its like a george foreman grill on steroids..i loves it.

Brookelina said...

JJ - I was a chef for over 15 years. I finally got tired of working when everyone else was having fun. In two weeks I start my new calling - as a teacher. That is a much more noble profession. Sadly, both jobs pay for shit.

WBB- maybe??? I'm thinking yes. Definitely.

Sarah - google sticky toffee pudding. There are a million recipes for it. It's easy to make and it's life changing. Make sure you serve it warm. The sauce makes it. I've often said that sauce could be put on a shoe and people would eat it.

Darth - you are quite the adventurous eater. Let me know if you try haggis. And make sure to give details.

The Moviequill said...

did someone say they wanted their buns squeezed?

MoDigli said...

dang! You guys start school in 2 weeks?!

that's awfully early, isn't it?

Brookelina said...

It's Florida. All about the FCAT - the standardized testing that has the whole state in its grip. They start the school year earlier so they can have more time to prepare for this test. Another reason I am considering moving back to good ole NJ!

Oh and by the way, where did Florida get the idea to do this? From Texas of course! Another state that had a Bush in charge and one of the worst records for education and teacher salaries.

JJ said...

Yes, you can blame us and our retarded former governor for the standardized test craze - just the latest attempt by those who don't to suck the fun out of teaching.

MLA is a teacher also, SMG: Special Ed. Not the filthy CC muppet, but the actual should-get-combat-pay job.

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a noble professon that paid $100 an hour? Is being a Man-Whore noble, do you think? Anybody?

Ruben said...

I'm an intelligent, funny man and yet I can't cook to save my life. I went through a five pound bag of rice one evening just trying to learn how to cook rice.

Neil said...

I love food talk! Educate me, Brooke, why Pecorino romano cheese over parmesan?

Nick said...

Honey on Ricotta?

Mayo on everything?

Although I am sure that you are a fabulous cook, I can't help but be a little disgusted by your affection for Mayo, or, as I like to call it, The Devil's Gravy.

I like honey. And I'm a big Ricotta fan. In fact, I have both of those things in my house. Is there a method to eating this or do I only need a spoon and some determination?

Übermilf said...

Is Alton Brown a jackass? 'Cause I love his show.

I love cooking, too. But I'm strictly a home chef. I bet the hours and pressure are killer in the restaurant world.

Brookelina said...

JJ - I love Special Ed. Yay! Yay! I've got mail!

Ruben - I think it's wonderful that you put forth such an effort to make a side dish.

Neil - it's all a matter of personal preference. I am a Pecorino snob. I'm sure there are Parmigiano fans who are just as rabid.

Nick - Mayo is Satan's Gravy? That devil! He comes up with all the good condiments! As for the ricotta-honey mix, just use your judgement. Always better to start out with less honey - you can always add more. Good advice for any cook.

Ubie - I get a huge kick out of Alton Brown - I'd love to hang out with him for a day. And you're right, the hours and pressure are nightmarish. I used to spend my days off lying in bed watching my feet throb. If you want a real feel for what it's like - read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. When I read that book I actually felt nauseous - it brought back the memories of the restaurant world that strongly.

Neil said...

You seemed like a Pecorino snob.

Brookelina said...

I'm telling your mother you said that.

The Dummy said...

Since you're a chef, do guys you date get intimidated when they cook you something? Do you still even eat the stuff that they make?

gone said...

I will google the pudding.
I'm all about sauce so I'm sure I'll be pleased.

I can't help but think of two chef's dating and...well...I think intimate dirty food thoughts.
hey, at least I'm honest.

Brookelina said...

DD - funny you should ask. Everyone I know is intimidated to cook for me, which is ridiculous. I would expound on this, but you've inspired me to blog on this matter. You will be given proper credit!

Sarah - because teachers are held to a higher moral standard, I have to be careful of what I say along those lines. So I'll say nothing.


TrueJerseyGirl said...

Wow, I know nothing at all about cooking except where my takeout menus are. So I am impressed!

Cactus Prick said...

I invented a concoction that is on a restaurant menu too. I named it the "Christmas Pie." Don't ask why.

And I'm still waiting for my royalties.

im here somewhere said...

stop this your making me hungry!

i think i fi hadnt taught myself how to cook i would hahve starved. noone in my life knows how to, and when they are hungry they come to my house. i should start charging because my grocery bill is getting pretty ridiculous.

brroke, send me some soup will ya? im too lazy to cook right now1

Neil said...

I wouldn't be intimidated at all to cook for you. I would figure that if anyone can fix the crap that I would cook, it would be you. You'd throw some spices, some tarragon, some dill on top -- and we'd have a first class dish.

sunshine said...

Hot sauce and mayo? I will have to try that.

I used to put parmesan cheese on my popcorn sometimes but now the pecorino is sounding good.

Congratulations on your first teaching position! Just remember -- the first year is really and truly the hardest, and not representative of what it's going to be like the second time around. I hope you'll also be paired with a good mentor. I was lucky in that regard my first year and it made a huge difference.

Brookelina said...

TJ - thanks! And just so you know, I have a selection of takeout menus here as well.

Cactus - so what is in Christmas Pie?

Lilred - no soup for you! lol

Neil - that is exactly the right attitude! But I would never do that, I would just eat what you made and be happy I didn't have to cook.

Sunny - I am very lucky in that I know my mentor already and she is fabulous. I know I'm in for a hard year, and I am appropriately terrified.

sunshine said...

Enjoy these last few days, get lots of sleep and take your vitamins. Don't know about you, but this week is my last hurrah. Next week I'm taking a couple of days of math/social studies training and then starting Weds. the 27th, gulp, I'm going to bite the bullet and get started on my room. School starts Monday Aug. 8 or something like that-- don't have my calendar in front of me. They give us a week of paid pre-planning but it's kind of a joke because they load it up with so many meetings. So I'm getting started a few days early on my own dime.

Anyway, congratulations again and I'm so glad you like your mentor!

MoDigli said...

brooke ~ I'm just realizing this is your FIRST year on your own. You're ganna be G R E A T ..... enjoy every minute of it.

I'm excited about finding a new place for myself job wise; but I'm really missing the fact that I won't be starting a new year in August. It's the best part to see all the kiddies excited and nervous and in their new school clothes! Have fun.

Anthony said...

mmm... soup.

im here somewhere said...

*steal anthonys soup, then locks him in the giant chest of drawers*

Übermilf said...

Babbles, post something new. You have bored the Ubermilf.

christmas sugar cookie recipe said...

I’m on the lookout for a different variation of this great new . I heard someone talking about it on a forum and it sounded so delicious! She said she used low fat butter and replaced the sugar for Splenda, and it still turned out just great. Have you seen this lowfat ?