Do you believe in love at first sight?
No. But I believe in attraction and interest at first sight. I definitely believe in lust at first sight.
Real enduring love takes time, knowing, and patience. And it doesn’t always work out the way you planned or hoped. Attraction and desire need but a nanosecond — and no one expects them to work out.
Your first car?
The first car I owned, that was in my name and was my personal vehicle was a 1979 Ford Pinto. It was as close to British racing green as an American car could be.
It was a 5-speed manual transmission and I indulged myself and got the better radio and speakers. It was on the road for almost 15 years before someone drove it into a bridge abutment.
Who taught you to ride a bike? How did it go?
I taught myself to ride my bike because all my friends were riding and I had to learn or be left behind. The bike was too big for me. I couldn’t sit on the seat and reach the pedals, so I could only ride it standing up.
And it was a boy’s model, making the whole “standing up” thing ever so slightly perilous to my future ability to bear children.
What was the first dish you could cook?
Like everyone else, pasta and sauce. Before that, I could make sandwiches and I think I grew up knowing how to cook eggs and other simple things. If you hang out in the kitchen with your mother or, in this case, my father … or anyone who cooks … while you’re growing up, you’ll learn something. Everyone should be able to cook at least basic dishes. You just never know what life will bring. Cooking is basic to survival.
Pasta sauce was my first independent production. After that, though, I seemed to have learned to cook without ever learning to cook. I picked up tips from other people. If I like something, I’d ask them what was in it. I learned to cook Chinese from a cookbook. Actually, I learned most things from cookbooks. I learned to bake from “Beard On Bread,” which is still one of the all-time best little cookbooks.
Cooking isn’t hard. You figure out what goes with what. Cook it at the right temperature for the correct amount of time — and the rest will follow.
Some people are born with “kitchen sense” and cooking comes naturally to them, like toddlers learning to walk. Other people have no culinary instinct. My mother was one such. My brother and I learned to cook early. It was self-defense.
And finally, for what am I grateful? That I made it through and got everything on my calendar accomplished. It’s been highly productive, but I’m beat. Next week, I’m looking forward to a slower pace and some perfect autumn weather.