Tuesday, November 15, 2011

introducing Amy

Hi there! I'm Amy.

I often cook with a baby strapped to my body.

Me writing in my new kitchen.

Food philosophy: Whole foods, organic foods, bulk buying, trying to kick it old school and peasant-ly when it suits me but happily using several gadgets to make it happen.
Top culinary influences: Italian, British Isles, and Mexican food.
Favourite cook books: Jamie Oliver's Italy, The Joy of Cooking, Vive Le Vegan.
Favourite 5 ingredients: cheese, tomatoes, garlic, flour, lentils.
Favourite 5 dishes: lasagna, pizza, falafel, stir-fried vegetables with tofu, creamy parmesan chicken.
How did you learn to cook?: Somewhat from my mom, more when I became a vegetarian at 13 and started discovering the world of pulses and spices, more yet when I got into meat again, and then whole foods and seasonal cooking - but generally all from books.
Your week in cooking: I bake bread once or twice a week, make a dessert or sweet snack 1-3 times per week, and use a meal plan for our suppers. We always have soup on Friday and pizza and wine on Saturday. Our produce basket is now every other Wednesday (for the winter season).
Culinary fascination of the moment: cardamom; soaking/fermenting grains.
Culinary ambitions: I would love to get more into pastry, which I mention in part because I've recently decided to take the plunge and get rid of our white flour, switching to whole wheat pastry flour instead. I look forward to figuring out how to work with that. I would also like to get into making beer and wine. Also, there are many herbs and spices I know very little about. For example, I have both tarragon and sumac in my pantry, and have no idea what they smell or taste like! (I don't even remember buying the tarragon!) This needs to be corrected!
Top serving tips: Keep it simple and real. Balance colours. Presentation is 80% of the enjoyment of a meal.
Your dream kitchen: Is functional and beautiful - lots of storage space and knick-knacks, a double sink, and no more stuff than we need - but most of all is a place where people feel welcome, loved, and nourished; a warm, pleasant place where people can just hang out and drink tea for hours and feel like a part of the family.

An icon of the Hospitality of Abraham, written for us by my God-son's father.

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