1. Do you enjoy food from countries that are not your own?
Absolutely. Most American food is boring. It is particularly boring locally. I have learned to cook Chinese, some West Indies dishes. Italian. Some Creole and French cuisine.
We both love Japanese food, but it’s expensive and most of the other food you can buy locally is awful. It’s not only not worth the money, it isn’t worth leaving home and going somewhere to eat it.
2. When you prepare a salad for yourself, do you rip your greens (lettuce, spinach, etc), or do you cut them?
It depends on how I feel at the moment. I’ve done both. But I do like the pieces small and tearing them seems to make them bigger than I find convenient.
3. There’s a saying that goes: “Life is short, eat dessert first.” What do you think of that advice?
I think you are going to get fat that way.
4. Have you ever thrown spaghetti against the wall to test for doneness? — If it sticks, it’s done (so they say) — What other such kitchen habits might you have?
Yes. It turns out, it’s not the best way to test for the doneness of spaghetti, but it’s more fun than burning your fingers and getting a piece into your mouth to taste. Best way?
Time it. How long it should take is printed on the back of the bag or box. I like it NOT al dente, so I add a minute. Timers are great!
When it goes “ding,” it’s done. Remarkably, it works. No spaghetti stuck to the wall, no burned fingers or tongue. And the spaghetti or pasta is exactly the way you like it all the time.
5. How often do you eat fish?
At least two or three times a week. It depends on what is available at what price. It has been getting more and more expensive and if we keep polluting our oceans, fish may become a real delicacy.
6. When purchasing food for yourself, do you check the nutritional label? If so, what are you checking for?
No, because I buy raw food. I don’t buy almost any packaged food except for bread and pasta.
7. How often do you eat salad as a meal?
Almost never. I have it on the side, but too much roughage makes me sick.
8. Do you have any food quirks? For example: do you arrange a particular food in a certain way before eating? Or eat certain foods in a particular way every time? (i.e.: bite the heads off of gummy bears).
I don’t like anchovies, olives, or okra. I’m not overly fond of chocolate. I like vanilla and I like dessert sometimes. But I don’t need it and I don’t feel deprived if there’s no dessert.
9. When boiling water for pasta or whatnot, what are your “tricks” for keeping the water from boiling over?
Umm … don’t fill it up so high that it boils over?
10. Are there any recipes that have been passed down through the generations in your family? Have you passed them to anyone outside of your family? or are they a closely guarded secret?
No. My mother was an awful cook. Her best legacy was making it easier to learn to cook than eat her cooking. I bet that was the idea, too. She didn’t like cooking and by the time we were 10 or 11, we could all make our own meals. Anything but mom’s cooking.
11. In general, how do you feel about “diet” foods? Meaning: foods with artificial sweeteners or alternative fats in them. For example diet soda or low-fat muffins.
I use Splenda in my coffee. Otherwise, I don’t use any artificial sweeteners. It doesn’t help you keep thin. I have been my fattest when I was eating the most “diet food.” That stuff is evil.
12. Have you purchased food online? What do you think about that idea?
I buy spices online because I can buy large packages and it saves a ton of money. I also get better quality. Sometimes I buy fancy jams or marmalade from England, but that’s a special treat.
I also buy dog biscuits and dog food online because some of it isn’t available any other way. I can get larger quantities for less money — AND they deliver. I love delivery.
13. When cooking for you and yours, what kinds of experiments have you tried?
I try different kinds of spices, but I’m pretty good about knowing what goes with what, so it’s not much of an experiment. More like deciding how I want it to taste.
14. Do you now, or have you ever, grown or raised any of the food you eat?
15. Are you a vegetarian? If not, has the idea of becoming one ever crossed your mind?
I’ve thought about it, but haven’t done it. I probably never will, though we eat a lot less meat than we did.
16. When arranging the food on your plate, does everything have to be separated, or is it okay for your food to touch?
My pasta bowls
I don’t mind if food touches other food, but I hate mixing it all together. If I wanted it to taste like a stew, I would have cooked it that way.
17. When eating out, what foods on the menu might push you out of your comfort zone? (For example, pineapple on pizza makes some people twitch).
I just ate pineapple on a pizza. It was a first. It was okay. It’s not really my idea of pizza, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Just skip the olives, okra, or anchovies.
18. Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, what kinds of foods generally satisfy the craving?
I love dried fruit. And fresh fruit mixed with yogurt.
19. What foods (if any) do you like to mix that other people might find strange?
Nothing really. I like some things other people might not like, but that doesn’t make them strange. We all have specific taste and not liking — or liking — something different isn’t odd or strange. Unique maybe.
20. When eating out, at what kind of restaurant do you prefer to dine?
21. In general, how do you feel about organic food?
Nice when affordable. All our locally grown food is organic. It’s a valley “thing.” I think it’s because the water table is very high and everyone has a well. Fertilizer and insecticide are bad for well, river, and all water. I suspect that we are organic because we don’t want to poison our water.
22. What foods (if any) do you eat when you are happy or unhappy?
I sometimes forget to eat if I’m really happy. But I don’t eat for soul satisfaction anymore. My eating habits have changed a huge amount over the years. If you’d asked me these same question 10 or 15 years ago, you’d have gotten entirely different answers.