What were you cooking/baking ten years ago?
Whatever pre-packaged foods I could combine into something interesting (Mac ‘n’ Cheese + can of chili + Spanish rice = Chili Mac with ... umm .. Spanish rice?); cottage pie using cheap meat, boxed taters, and frozen veggies; slice ‘n’ bake cookies; soup kitchen food (not for me—for soup kitchens): vats of canned baked beans, chopped salads, boxed potatoes, shredded barbecue sandwiches, etc.
What were you cooking/baking one year ago?
A lot of stocks, stews, casseroles, and soups from scratch; meat, fish, and poultry—sauted, grilled, braised, or roasted; opera cakes, tarts, gingerbread houses, and pate a choux pastries from scratch ...
Five snacks you enjoy:
Fresh, local, organic fruit (dates, pears, apples, etc.)
Greek yogurt with honey
Any pastry made with fresh almond paste (frangipane!)
Five recipes you know by heart:
Couscous curry salad
Coq au vin
Lumpia (Filipino eggrolls)
Five culinary luxuries you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:
A culinary tour around the world, with emphasis on Europe and Asia
A condo with a slightly bigger kitchen, a huge pantry, and more entertainment space
A 6-burner gas stove and double ovens (and a gas line to fuel it)
An ice cream maker
A 5 1/2 quart red Dutch oven
Five foods you love to cook/bake:
Big pots of chili or stew
Anything I can sear and finish in the oven
Marinara/sugo/any red sauces
Five things you cannot/will not eat:
Anything that is or contains bugs or worms
Doom (read: anything that will give me food poisoning)
Any food that is poison (poison sushi, rhubarb leaves, funky mushrooms, snake venom)
An entire raw Habanero pepper
Five favorite culinary toys:
Fire. Can I say “fire”? Or “heat”?
My KitchenAid mixer (thanks, Nikki and Al!)
My 10” chef’s knives (the Henckels on my wall or the Forschner in my knife kit)
My tapered French rolling pin
My kitchen scale ... or maybe my food processor. I love them both the same!
Five dishes on your “last meal” menu:
Broccoli cheese soup or New England clam chowder
Rice and my dad’s turkey gravy (I think I’ve still got gravy on the brain from Thanksgiving)
Wine-braised lamb shank
Almond cream tarts (frangipane!)
Five happy food memories:
When my new in-law asked for cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving—we didn’t know how to serve it, so we just plopped it upright into a bowl, straight out of the can; it didn’t go well with rice
Building the gargantuan, four-layer, 20-lb cake in Classical Desserts class (with buttercream between layers (some people did cherries ... whole cherries), topped with jam, marzipan, buttercream, then fondant—it was insane, and some of the classmates could barely lift theirs without help!)
Going to the Renaissance Festival with friends and eating our way through it: broccoli cheese bread bowls, turkey legs, candied almonds, artichokes, something on a stick, then a pastry and/or chocolate for the long trip home
Successfully cooking my first (and last) ham for Easter in 2001 (it was also the first big dinner I ever made, feeding about 10 people)
Watching my mom pipe out her buttercream roses when I was really little
I am passing this on to Mike, Ken, Marvin, Mark B, Lewis, and Julius (let the men represent!) with the understanding that no one is under any obligation to participate; let it be only as your interest and time allow. For those tagged and anyone else who would like to play along, please help yourself and be at liberty to customize this meme to suit your taste.