British newspaper The Guardian recently started a Kitchen Encounters: My Kitchen series, in which the interviewees (people in food -- sorry if that sounds unwieldy, I refuse to say "foodies") respond to the same 10 questions. I'm probably correct in assuming that they won't be contacting me for an interview any time soon, so I thought I'd just interview myself!
Besides, I've had an extremely busy week or so working on freelance projects with clients and haven't had much time or energy left to cook for myself and my blog, so this is a perfect way to post this week.
I hope you'll leave a comment and tell me a little something about your kitchen or anything else you have on your mind.
My Kitchen: Food writer Jean at Delightful Repast
My kitchen is ... U-shaped, not especially large but what I call "maximized" since I remodeled it eight years ago, with quite a lot of countertop (quartz) and efficient storage. The walls are pale butter yellow because that is simply a must for me; I've had a yellow kitchen nearly all of my adult life. Another must is a big, deep, single-bowl cast-iron sink (and no waste disposal unit, called a garbage disposal in the US).
My favourite (British spelling, not typo) kitchen tool is ... a Danish dough whisk, the utensil in my header (see it there between "Delightful" and "Repast"?). Since I'm a breadaholic and constantly making yeast dough, it's something that gets a lot of play in my kitchen. You'll find more here at 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets and 10 Favorite Kitchen Essentials.
My storecupboard staple is ... organic unbleached all-purpose (in the UK, plain) flour. I panic when my flour bin is down by a quarter and I don't have a spare bag on hand. Though I also have a huge stash of other flours (whole wheat and all the gluten-frees) in my freezer, I never buy bread flour or cake flour and like to say I can make anything with my unbleached all-purpose.
When I'm starving I ... head for my Number Two storecupboard staple: 16-ounce cans of organic refried pinto beans. I usually cook dried beans, but if I need a quick hit of protein I just heat up half a can of beans and shred a little cheese on top, and my day is saved. I eat this only when alone; my husband thinks it is disgusting!
My culinary inspiration is ... my heritage. My Southern (US) paternal grandmother and my English maternal grandmother. And my mother who was an inspired cook with "perfect pitch," able to taste any sort of dish and recreate it. I learned a lot from them and I have lots of my mother's things in my kitchen, so I'm always sort of communing with them in the kitchen.
My best-kept kitchen secret is ... I have no kitchen secrets. I'm always happy to tell my readers and friends (and even total strangers standing by the produce looking lost) anything I know about food. My best-kept secret of all is my blog. Almost none of my friends and relatives even know I have a blog.
My current obsession is ... sourdough. I make all kinds of bread and bread-y things, but it had been several years since I had made sourdough. Then several months ago I decided to start another sourdough starter, and I'm constantly making sourdough breads and bread-y things. And, of course, anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time knows of my lifelong obsession with tea (the beverage and the occasion).
Everything tastes better with ... bread. No, just kidding. Everything, well, many things taste better with lots of coarsely ground black pepper. I don't like the powdery stuff, but I no longer bother with pepper mills. My pepper snobbery is limited to insisting on coarsely ground. I buy it in 4-ounce jars and use it up quickly enough that it doesn't lose its "freshlygroundness."
When I go shopping I ... use a list and don't use a list simultaneously. I go down every single aisle of the store, picking up things from my list and from my head. If something looks especially good or is an exceptionally good deal, I change my meal plans on the spot. And I never shop for more than a few days at a time. I find a lot less food goes to waste that way than if I try to shop for the entire week.
For dinner tonight ... I'm pulling a homemade meal out of the freezer. It's been an extremely busy food week, so I'm glad I always have something homemade (like Golumpkis or Sheet-Pan Tamales) in the freezer for days like this.