1. How good of a cook are you? I'm a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S cook! Cooking and eating are one of the greatest pleasures in my life.
2. Who taught you how to cook? I cooked with my mother starting as a toddler right up until I left home at twenty-three. She was a good cook but in a 60s-housewife kind of way.
At ten, I discovered our local public library and I'd sign out ten books each week; half novels and half cookbooks. My exploration of world cuisines began and we were finally able to leave the horror of Velveeta Cheese Lasagna behind forever.
My basic cooking knowledge came from my mother and grandmothers. For the rest, I'm mainly self-taught but I now benefit from a large collection of cookbooks and many cooking DVDs. And now, my daughter and I discuss all the exciting things she's learning in culinary school.
3. Who does the cooking in your home? For twenty years of my marriage, I did 100% of the cooking. My wife could cook but generally was too lazy and too exhausted / angry / stressed out to do anything around the house. The old expression: "No woman with a mean heart can cook well" could have been written for her. Also, my ex was just too A.D.D. to cook well; everything was burned!
But I didn't mind... I love cooking and I still do most of the cooking. My son likes to barbeque on the outdoor grill and my daughters will occasionally make a special meal. My eldest daughter cooks seven days a week at culinary school and at her restaurant job, so she never feels like cooking at home.
4. Do you cook more or eat out more? I rarely / never eat out except when I'm travelling. First of all, I can't afford it right now.
But the main reason is that I can usually can produce food at home which is far healthier, cheaper and better-tasting than what's available at most of our local restaurants.
But when I visit Toronto, the world's most ethnically diverse city, I LOVE sampling as much exotic food as possible from hole-in-the-wall eateries in the many ethnic neighbourhoods.
6. What was your worst/funniest cooking moment? On our honeymoon, camping and canoeing on an extremely remote wilderness lake, my wife and I were cooking chili over a tipsy alcohol burner. A sudden, fierce storm tore our tent up from it's pegs and it landed atop the burner and burst into flames.
My new wife, in panic, dumped the pot of chili onto the tent in an attempt to douse the flames. She then tore off her t-shirt and bra and started beating the fire with them, big boobs a-flapping!
I then grabbed the tent and hurled it into the lake. What a soggy, charred, chili-stained mess! We laughed until we were so exhausted that we couldn't laugh any more. Fond memories!
7. What's your best dish? I have so many favourites, it's impossible to pick! In various categories:
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: To make my ultimate comfort food, I use basic supermarket cheddar or mozzarella but add one or several of the following: fried onions or mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, pesto, artichokes or slices of apple or pear. Or, my greatest guilty pleasure: grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Soup: I love all soups and eat them all winter long. But my favourite since childhood is authentic Scotch broth made with lamb, barley and root veggies.
Pizza: I bake home-made pizza three or more times per week, sometimess for my son's breakfast. It's pretty darned good! (he says modestly.) I plan to go on a pizza-tasting trip to Italy one day to find out how the masters do it.... as well as to check out the hot Italian men.
Ethnic: I can cook some pretty mean Indian dishes which I posted about here, which are the result of many cooking lessons from a dear neighbour and colleague from Bangladesh.
My Grandmothers' Dishes: I love cooking and eating these dishes both for the taste and the fact that they remind me of my grandmothers and the love they expressed by cooking them.
They immigrated from Finland in the 1920s so all of our recipes are frozen in time and are not altered by modern innovations such as exotic spices or imported ingredients. Some of these dishes include pulla, Karjalan piirakka, lanttulaatikko, Finnish rice pudding with fruit soup and Karjalan paisti.
8. Is revenge a dish best served cold? No. Remaining bitter about some grievance is like an acid which corrodes the vessel it's in. I do not dwell on slights.... just move on! Let shit go!
9. Is the best way to a man's heart truly through his stomach? Maybe, but only in combination with many other factors. But it's very important for me to cook special things for my family as a way of showing my love.
I would do the same for my special man but would also show my love to him in every other way possible, particularly in the bedroom. And I would expect him to treat me in a way that made me feel special too.