Friday, March 10, 2006

My mental pile

Well we've been home from Vancouver for a few days now. It was a real good time. I ended up being more interested in the conference than I had anticipated, which meant that we didn't eat a single bite of gelato. We did have some excellent dim sum, though, which in a future post I hope to show you. (The picture here is the view from our hotel room at dusk, with E sitting on the bed reflected in the windowpane.)

I have been asked to fill out one of these questionnaires by the estimable ToastPointress, Katherine. For the record, I really like these things. I like reading other people's and I especially like answering questions all about myself. This one is called the "recipe collection meme."

1. Where do you obtain the recipes you prepare?
Mostly cookbooks. When I search online for recipes, I almost never follow them faithfully. I find three or four that look good and improvise based on various ideas from each one. I tend to stick with common techniques and ingredients that I find in all of them (e.g., I'm not about to make chicken cacciatore without chicken). And I rarely clip recipes from the newspaper. There's a Bittman brownie recipe that has been on our fridge for a couple of years. It's never going to get made but I can't bear to part with it, to acknowledge that it was a waste of my time clipping it in the first place. My new favorite source is blogs. Lately when I cook from a blog recipe I try to leave a message at the post letting the author know how I did but I don't always get around to it.

2. How often do you cook a new recipe?
All the time. Even if it's an old recipe, I try new things with it. I try fried rice with yellow onions instead of green, or chicken cacciatore with cremini instead of white mushrooms. Nothing revolutionary.

3. How do you store your favorite recipes?
The ones that aren't online or in a book are in a disorganized pile. Some are stuffed in an orange folder of the sort Canadian schoolkids call a duo-tang. But it's overstuffed and there's a pile of loose sheets of printer pages on top of it. It's a disaster, actually. I should take a picture.

4. How large is your to-try pile? Is it organized? How?
The to-try pile is enormous. It's mostly mental, though. It's organized in eccentric ways: things to make for a crowd, things to make when I'm cooking just for me, things to make in the summer, things to make when I run out of mayonnaise...

5. What is the oldest recipe in your to-try pile?
Hmm. I've been thinking about cooking a leg of lamb and a whole roast duck for a few years. Also cassoulet.

6. Are you really ever going to make all those recipes in your to-try pile?
You bet I am.

7. Do you follow a recipe exactly, modify as you go, or 'What Recipe?' I invent new recipes every time I cook.
I wish I did follow a recipe exactly. When I try, I inevitable screw up by forgetting something, mismeasuring, losing track of time, etc.

8. What is one new recipe that you're scared to try?
Fergus Henderson's cold lamb's brains on toast.

Now for the interactive/social dimension:

1. Tag at least one new food blogger for this meme. (New as in only blogging a few months):
Peanut Butter and Purple Onions. Maybe not that new but not as old as this blog.

2. Tag at least one food blogger you visit regularly but never interacted with:
The Hungry Tiger. I've been reading this blog for years but have never interacted with its author. I only found out recently that she is the daughter of someone I interact with all the time, Lindy.

3. Tag at least one food blogger you constantly visit and leave comments:
TBTAM. Well, I visit constantly (I'm there right now in the next tab!) but I've only left a handful of comments.

4. Tag anyone else you want.
Ideas in Food is chefy in the extreme but I really like reading it. I haven't interacted with the Ideas in Food folks either (unless you count linking to them a few posts back). I really would like to know if they follow recipes, where they get them, etc. Are you there, Ideas in Food? It's me, Haverchuk.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a great blog! Your beautiful assortment of ice creams have just contributed to my "to-try" pile of recipes!

7:32 AM  

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