Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday Meme From The Common Room

The Headmistress found this questionnaire in the back of a 70's magazine and tagged me to answer. I just spent a snowbound weekend cooking up a storm, so for once, I am feeling accomplished enough to answer. Here goes:

How many meals does most of your family eat at home each week? HOw many are in your family?18 meals, including one who brownbags leftovers. 3 people.

2. How many cookbooks do you own? How often do you refer to a cookbook each week? Roughly 20, referred to on a twice weekly basis.

4. Do you collect recipes from other sources? I look for the high-rated recipes on sites like and glean some frugal basics from sites like Hillbilly Housewife and Prairie Homemaker. Trying to learn what I can from Sue Gregg's site without having to buy the cookbooks.

5. How do you store those recipes? I copy and paste into a Word folder, separated by subject.

6. When you cook, do you follow the recipe pretty closely, or do you use recipes primarily to give you ideas? I was once a recipe slave, to the point of weighing dry ingredients like flour for baking. (Many lab classes gave me a taste for precision.) When my husband became diabetic, I learned to change recipes to suit his dietary needs. Overall, this has led to much more creativity in the kitchen!

7. Is there a particular ethnic style or flavor that predominates in your cooking? If so, what is it?Hmmm...a lot of what I'd call "country cooking lite" (lower in fat, sugar, starch) and Tex-Mex. Tons of salads.

8. What's your favorite kitchen task related to meal planning and preparation? I like finding what's on sale as a super loss leader and making a menu plan from those items.

9. What's your least favorite part? The cleanup, especially anything sauteed in my stainless skillet. I am chintzy on the oil and always regret it later.

10. Do you plan menus before you shop? Sometimes, but most often in my head while I'm in the grocery. I never plan before checking the loss leaders.

11. What are your three favorite kitchen tools or appliances? Kitchenaid mixer, old but good Waring blender, food processor. I love my gadgets!

12. If you could buy one new thing for your kitchen, money was no object, and space not an issue, what would you most like to have? A grain mill and/or a complete set of Sue Gregg cookbooks.

13. Since money and space probably are objects, what are you most likely to buy next? Whatever gadget beckons at the next yard sale. I would like to get a tortilla maker that both presses and cooks. We eat a lot of WW tortillas.

14. Do you have a separate freezer for storage? Nope, but I pack it in tight enough to equal two!

15. Grocery shop alone or with others? I almost always have my little buddy along. Now that he's doing a morning preschool class, I can go to Harris-Teeter and Fresh Market alone. I couldn't believe how long I took examining labels without being pestered.

16. How many meatless main dish meals do you fix in a week? Not many. Breakfasts of oatmeal and eggs, of course, PB & J's for lunch, and perhaps one main meal sans meat. We have to avoid many fillers and starches for diabetes, making meat a more important ingredient.

17. If you have a decorating theme in your kitchen, what is it? Trying to go for the spare, granite, and stainless look in this home, but already looking forward to a big country kitchen in the next!

18. What's the first thing you ever learned to cook, and how old were you? Thanksgiving dressing for 65 people, so I could impress my future husband! I didn't learn how to cook anything until I was courting in my early twenties. I know...pitiful.

19. How did you learn to cook? Lots of calls to my grandmother. Lots and lots.

20. Tag two other people to play. Anyone else, feel free to copy the questions and answer at your leisure!


Anonymous said...

Meredith, a suggestion from Mary Hunt's website ( about making a good stainless skillet release food better when you are using less oil. She answered this after someone wrote in about her nonstick skillet never lasting very long, needing to continually replace it.

Heat your skillet very hot while it is empty. THen lower the heat until it stabilizes at your cooking temp, THEN add your oil. Then your meat. She says this works because the heat closes the pores of the skillet so the oil and food bits can't soak in and thereby stick. I have found it works, it takes some patience. my husband is very impatient and always sticks his eggs, so he insists on a teflon skillet.

Hey, your husband is diabetic too? What are your favorite websites? It's a constant challenge, cooking for them, isn't it!


Anonymous said...

I've been a lurker, but have been enjoying reading your site! I took your kitchen meme and put it on my blog! thanks!