After several very heavy, serious posts the last few weeks, it’s definitely time to lighten up. I’m working up a new grape recipe now (see more on that below), but in the meantime I thought I’d answer a few questions people have asked me. (Well, nobody’s ever asked me about the wierdest thing I haven’t blogged about, but I wanted to answer it, so that question is here, too.)
Q Do you ever get tired of all the baking and cooking?
A Every once in a while I do get tired when a recipe I’m developing just won’t work out—too bland, too time-consuming, or maybe just too ugly. (I once struggled with a yummy white chocolate mousse napped with mocha sauce that I finally abandoned because it kept coming out looking like mashed potatoes and gravy!) But most of the time, I think baking and cooking are fun. I’d add that if you don’t think experimenting and puttering with food and recipes is fun, you probably shouldn’t consider writing a cookbook.
Q How do you spend your free time?
A It depends. When I’m on deadline with a book—like right now—I often take little breaks from the computer ( in other words, stall) by working in the garden. For longer breaks I like to go to farmers’ markets or shop for photo props and kitchenware at antique and junk shops.
Sometimes, when I’m very punchy from a deadline I do silly stuff. I saw the eggplant in the pic at a produce store and bought it because it looked like Richard Nixon. Then I decided to name it Eggpert and decorate it. I made it look sad because it’s about to become eggplant parmesan.
Q Where do you get your recipe ideas?
A I once had a pet frog living in my front hall. Well, it wasn’t a pet exactly. It just happened to be hiding in a big potted fern I brought in from the garden one fall. By the time I realized Hoppy was there, it was nearly winter and I was afraid he’d freeze if I put him outside.
Everything went fine until he decided to move to the living room. A friend visiting me came into the kitchen, and she was white as a ghost. “I was admiring your very realistic ceramic frog on the coffee table,” she said, “and when I went to pick it up, it jumped.” I’m sorry to say I don’t have a snapshot of Hoppy, but poised on that table he was quite handsome indeed!