MEME - The Cook Next Door!
June 12th, 2005

EDIT: If you’d like to directly jump to the map click right here.

I have been thinking about this for quite a while now, the idea is almost as old (or young) as my blog. But especially in the beginning of my blogging existence and being the new kid on the block, it didn’t feel right at the time to start a meme like this ;) But with a few months on my back, my confidence is growing, ha!

Because I see cooking primarily in the context of people connecting with each other and having been inspired by Anthony’s cookbook meme not so long ago, I thought it would be a nice idea to share some tidbits about one’s cooking related history. Even though some blogs and sites have an about/profile page – this is where I typically stop first -, more often than not, they don’t portrait the bloggers personality very well! So who is it, that spends so much time on both cooking and blogging, sharing their experiences with everyone else?

MEME - The Cook Next Door!

Some of these questions may have been answered already by posts that are now buried in the depths of an 12 or so month old archive…and not easily accessible for curious souls like me :) If all the above doesn’t work for you, then it is a least another good excuse to do what all foodbloggers enjoy so much, write about food and cooking

The concept follows the established standards; with this post, the first three invitations will go out to three blogging cooks/bakers (via email), who will post their answers and then in turn forward the invitation to another three (food) blogs they know and would like to include in this meme (more info on memes can be found here>>).

Please let me know once your post is online and I’ll include it in a summary, which will be a continuous process. Send your permalinks to meme(at)deliciousdays(dot)com or simply add a comment. You can directly access this post via the available button at the top of the right column of delicious:days.

This meme is not a self-activating meme (it’ll be great to see how it developes); so in the first round, I’d like to pass the stick on to Sam (Becks & Posh), Chefdoc (A Perfect Pear) and Zarah Maria (Food & Thoughts).

EDIT: Because of the ever growing, multi-cultural food blogging space, I thought it would make a nice contribution to also include the non-english speaking blog scene. Bending the “rules” a tiny bit, I extended invitations to Sigrid (il cavoletto di bruxelles) who will translate and forward to three Italian blogs/cooks, Petra (Chili und Ciabatta) for the German food bloggers, Clea (Clea Cuisine) for the French version and Sao Mai (Cocinalia) for the Spanish one.

EDIT2: Any takers/translators for missing languages etc.? Just send me an email ;)

Long story short, here are the questions and my responses…meme away… N.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?

Without hesitation, it would be the Advocaat Choc-Chip Cake (very little amount of alcohol, no worries ;), which I baked at the age of 10. No kitchen scales, all ingredients were measured by eye – thinking about it, I can hardly imagine it ever tasted good…(always got yelled at for making the kitchen a mess…)

Who had the most influence on your cooking?

That’d be granny, she was definitely a passionate cook. Her brother owned a little bakery in the countryside where she helped out on a regular basis. She was such a sweetheart, that even when I had asked her on a Sunday night at 10pm (way past my curfew!), she would bake a full cake for me. I would barely manage to eat a piece and fall asleep right after. And not to forget the mini dumplings she made for me, whereas all the grown-ups had their real ones. While my mom perceived cooking more like a duty, my grandma simply loved it. She always had answers to my many “why’s” and when she prepared my favorite dishes (wild mushroom soup, plum dumplings, roast pork, …) I became her assistant.

Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?

See picture above. I had to decide between pictures of myself and ones showing my mom slurping her soup from the plate…guess who won? This also proves where I got may eating habits from ;) By the way, I find those old black and white pictures much more charming, even a simple picnic (my grandma and her kids) in the field looks quite elaborate…

Mageiricophobia – do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?

Whenever I try to convince myself to buy a whole fresh fish and prepare it from scratch, I hesitate, and finally give in at the fishmonger and order filets – I wonder if I ever will overcome my deep rooted fears and just do it?

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?

Good appliance: A chili mill (WMF) for dried chilis. No crying anymore.
Bad appliance: KitchenAid Grater Add-On, it basically gets never used, not very practical at all.
(For a meme specifically on kitchen appliances, please visit Sam at Becks & Posh!)

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like – and probably no one else!

I could write a book about it, including banana (lengthwise cut) with crème fraîche and lemon juice and dressed salad on a pizza, which I only dare to eat at home.

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?

What I always have in stock is parmesan. Most of the year I’m craving for fresh strawberries (ones that actually taste like strawberries) with whipped cream. And I do need a hot curry once a week (at a minimum!) – or I might get grumpy!

Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? Well then, feel free to add one!

Three quickies:

Your favorite ice-cream…

Cookies and Cream, Basil Sorbet

You will probably never eat…

Oysters (edit: forgot snails!)

Your own signature dish…

Classic lasagna

Other cooks from next door:

The brave, not yet tagged cooks ;-)

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