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Because Who Doesn’t Like Talking About Themselves

May 23, 2007

Lisa over at La Mia Cucina, one of my daily reads, posted a fun and highly informative interview on Monday, and then asked her readers to join in the fun. Anyone interested could declare themselves, and she would send five questions to them in exchange for them doing the same for others. Passing on the chain of sharing, so to speak. I loved reading about how Lisa wanted to be an ichthyologist when she was younger (really? Sharks?) and since I love answering random questions, and thought it would be a fun way to get to know some of my other readers (if you exist…) I had to sign myself up.

Lisa promptly sent me five questions this morning. And here for your voyeuristic and entertainment edification, my answers:

1- Other than the sour dough, the chocolate, the food in general, why do you love San Francisco so much?
I often try to figure out why I love San Francisco so much. I fell in love with it when I was about 13 and have loved it ever since. My aunt Margaret says that once it gets under your skin it just sticks there, and she’s right. San Francisco isn’t just beautiful, it’s distinctive—it looks like nowhere else. Each neighborhood within the city is separately distinctive from the others, and yet it still feels like a unified city. Unlike Boston, the neighborhoods aren’t isolated. It’s very easy to get around, to go from the Mission to the Richmond to the Marina in one afternoon. The people are more open and friendly, but not in a hippy, let-me-hug-you-too-much kind of way. I like the exuberant sexuality, the exuberant celebrations of life, and the tolerance about relationships and lifestyles—the idea that you can live your life anyway you choose and it’s not considered strange or wrong by anyone. I like the fact that people are willing to experiment with different ways of living, and ways of thinking. I feel like it’s a place uniquely open to new ideas and experiences. I guess it’s just a place where I feel like I fit in. I even like the microclimates, and the way you can transition from warm and sunny to cool and breezy in less than a mile’s walk. I never considered California a land of milk and honey until I moved away. Then I realized it really is paradise, and San Francisco its capital.

2- So far you’ve turned me on to two different combinations of food flavors (as well as a myriad of other fantastic recipes!) – the sour dough and chocolate, as well as the avocado & soy sauce.. are there any other food combos that are not necessarily, “the norm”, that you can share? :D
I have a tendency to randomly put snacks together out of anything I can find in the house. Sometimes these combinations are not good, but more often than not they are. I love dry roasted almonds dipped in hummus. I used to eat fried egg sandwiches with hummus, too. Crystal turned me on to the peanut butter and pickle sandwich. It really is good! Strange, but good. I tend to make quesadillas out of anything I can find in the fridge—my most recently concoction involved pesto, ricotta, and gruyere and it was awesome, although that’s not really an unusual taste combination. I also prefer hot dogs to be wrapped in tortillas than hot dog buns. I used to love to add plums to veggie stir fries, and I always served stir fries over pasta instead of rice. I mix chocolate syrup into yogurt for dessert, instead of eating ice cream. And I’ve always had a weakness for peanut butter popcorn.

3- If you had to pick one cookbook only – which would it be and why? And I’m going to cheat again by sliding in another question – what are you top 5 favorite books?
I think if I could pick one cookbook only I’d want to go with something like The Joy of Cooking, because it gives you a base of knowledge from which you can exercise your own creativity. But it’s kind of boring, and I think I’d miss food pictures. If there was a similar cookbook that covered all the basics, but included tempting photos, it would have to be my desert-island cookbook. Is there such a book?
My top five favorite non-cookbooks is really tricky! I read a lot—an insane amount, really, and I have tons and tons of favorites. The list changes almost everytime I make it, and I always feel like I’m leaving off something important. I’ll do my best, though. White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Howards End by E. M. Forster, The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and Orientalism by Edward Said (mainly because it shaped my continuing academic interests in the most profound way of all the other books I’ve read). I would say that is nearly definitive, but I know there are others I’m forgetting.

4- Is there anyone special that you’d like to cook for but haven’t yet? If not, have you ever been nervous cooking for someone and if so, why?
I actually haven’t cooked for my parents since I was in college and didn’t really know what I was doing. The last time I made them dinner it was inedibly salty. I’d love to cook a really well-planned, elegant dinner for my parents. I’d say I’d like to cook it for my whole family, but my brothers are cooks and I think I would feel like it wasn’t really that delicious for them, because they could probably do it better, whatever it was I decided to cook.
I used to be nervous cooking for Mr. X, because I knew that he knew so much about food and cooking, but by now I’ve done it so many times, and he always seems to enjoy it, that the nervousness is abated a bit. Though I still do get a little bit nervous. I just always want to impress him.

5- Everyone is getting this question, just because I wanna know! If you were told that you could only have 5 foods and 1 beverage for the rest of your life – what would they be?
I’m going to assume that your proposed situation doesn’t include water, because, er, otherwise I would die. So assuming water is included, my sole beverage would be beer, for sure. I could get along without coffee, but a life without beer just seems sad. I must admit it’s a toss up between beer and champagne, but I think I have to go with beer. And food? I immediately found myself trying to create a balance of favorite foods that would still provide good nutritional value, because I’m obviously a dork. So I’d want pizza with spinach, broccoli, and red peppers, carne asada burritos without rice (because, damn, rice doesn’t belong in a burrito, people), really good macaroni and cheese with tuna, green salads with tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, and strawberry sorbet. Yes, I think I could live on that stuff for the rest of my life.

So now it’s your turn to play along!! Here’s what to do:

  1. Leave a comment asking me to interview you.
  2. I’ll respond by asking you five questions, so please be sure to include your email address.
  3. Update your blog with the answers.
  4. Include this explanation and offer to interview others in your post.
  5. And follow up the chain with five new questions for your readers.

I just realized that I’m not sure there’s a place where someone is collecting links to everyone who’s playing the game. I suppose I’ll search around and update if I find such a collection anywhere.

And just because, here I am, drinking beer and laughing at someone:

Me in San Francisco, July 2006

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2007 2:59 pm

    FABULOUS answers!!!

    I TOTALLY want to move to San Fran now. There is doubt in my mind.

    *perk!* peanut butter popcorn? How could this not have been blogged about? It’s not under “snacks” in your category list! Must. Know. How. To. Make.

    I’m making note of your book list, for I shall broaden my horizons!

    You HAVE to cook for your parents again. It’s a must.

    Pizza, Burritos, Mac & Cheese (I heart it as well with tuna!), Salad & Sorbet – So tell me? Crave comfort foods much? hehe Excellent choices!


  2. May 23, 2007 3:21 pm

    Hmm, maybe I will have to have some peanut butter popcorn tonight…look for it coming soon to a browser near…oh god, I really am a dork.

  3. Mr. X permalink
    May 24, 2007 11:44 am

    I think that might be you laughing at me in SFO last year. And, I think I know what I was doing…. We shall not speak of it.

  4. May 24, 2007 11:53 am

    Perhaps some chocolate would be nice on the peanut butter popcorn too…

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