Monday, August 25, 2014


Take a picture of the front of your fridge. What's on it and why?

if I actually showed you the face of my whole fridge, you might be alarmed. 

The front of my fridge is a mess. Everytime I try to clear the clutter I can’t seem to part with anything. I have pictures of friends’ babies. A ballet studio's schedule that's a walking distance away (hey, they do have drop-in classes! and I need to know when!). Postcards from friends. 

Also, SO MUCH MAGNETIC POETRY. Amy gifted me a bilingual Canadian kit right before I moved to Missouri—it brings so much ‘bec to the apartment. It is an outlet in days of loneliness, frustration, and (most recentlt) near-inebriation. I want to buy more of it, because I can't seem to part with the poems I've made already--BUT I CANNOT FIND ME ANY CANADA KITS on Amazon! 

Also, my poetry is intense yo. Cyn has edited some of it, actually.

- Three things you learned in the kitchen in the last year/the last five years.

Grandma at the head of our table for Orthodox Christmas

1) A kitchen often betrays a great deal about a person. I’m not trying to come off as an ass, but if my grandmother had nothing but beer and fake butter in her fridge, it’s unlikely I would today crave the comfort of molokhia. I would have never begun to imagine the everyday struggles of working-class Egyptians without being made to eat ful during Lent. I certainly wouldn’t be wandering the grocers of Missouri seeking out veal like a lost family heirloom, at any rate. Food doesn’t just “bring people together”, it sticks you like molasses, like honey, to a life once lived--ancestry, perhaps. To hard realities of life, even if the food you cook isn’t ancestral to you. If you’ve read Miriam’s Kitchen (which you need to read if you haven’t) you’d get it that for many, history boasts a home in the cupboards, and tradition inhales a new breath every moment a meal is served.

2) ALL that said, the kitchen doesn't judge. It's okay to eat out of your pan when you're in a hurry (when you live alone, of course). It's okay to make scrambled eggs in a mug when you are in school and trying to excel. 

3) Set a timer, all the time. Even if I am frying salmon cakes or just warming something in the oven, I know I'll get distracted at some point. 

- If you have a decent budget for a small dinner party, where do you turn for food inspiration?

My wonderful, incredibly talented and gifted aunt Bella,  maestro of dinner parties 

The leek geeks, obvs. My aunt Bella, who truly is a dinner-party virtuoso in preparing, serving (she has the most elegant plates!), and entertaining. I am also quasi-obsessed with this website manned by a SAHD. By that I mean I like it so much that I legit remember to check it once a week. I love his site because I am terrible at following directions for recipes, and he always takes high-quality, step-by-step pictures of his meals. I also married my two inspirations in the New Year: we took a SAHD recipe and made it at Bella's house!  Of course, I misread how much flour was required :/ workin on that. BUt it was so much fun! 

- Have you discovered a new favourite cook book lately? Restaurant? Ingredient?
c'est beautiful!
I am getting into Jamie Oliver's cookbooks, if only because they are beautifully photographed. But I dunno...I once made a side-dish carrot recipe of his and was disappointed (followed it for real this time). The Bistro Cookbook was a $3 purchase from TJMaxx or someplace like that. It has rustic, beautiful pictures of wholesome French cooking. Seafood. Haricots verts. It is propped open on a gold bookstand (?) my counter and I turn pages every other day or so for inspiration. It also reconnects me to Montreal’s food culture.

- What were your favourite things that you've eaten in the last week?

I made an incredible vegan crockpot soup for my sister when I was in MTL because she was sick and only eating vegetarian foods. Seriously, it rocked. It was Julia's recipe, actually.

Also, the chicken at Nostos grill, a Greek resto on l’Acadie. Their Greek grilled chicken is really, really good. 

I brought over a few chocolate and cinammon danishes/rolls from the Homemade Kosher, my family's go-to bagel-bakery. I warmed one up in the oven while I showered (timer ON!) and wrapped it in foil to go to my first meeting with my clinical supervisor. Every. Bite. Was. To. Die. For. 

- What do you listen to when cooking?
Free Gavin Degraw concert in St. Louis for the 4th. I was SINGIN. 
When Matt is over and we’re cooking together, we will play music themed to our dish. Bob Marley for jerk shrimp. Latin if we are making paella. When I’m alone, depends on what I need. If I need motivation to feed myself, Gavin Degraw. City and Colour when I need calm. If I am lounging or food-prepping, Arabic or Butterfly Boucher.

- What are your favourite smells in the kitchen right now?

exam week breakfast, courtesy of Matt's wonderful mom

-Sausage patties. Crispy, hand-grated, red-potato hashed browns.

-When the Pezolds get together for a birthday party or a holiday, everyone brings a dish and the kitchen on the farm smells incredible. Granted, it’s almost always the same constellation of dishes: potato salad, bean casserole, mac and cheese, some grilled meat, cucumbers in vinegar--but who cares? Made with love and I am invited. THAT’s all that matters.

-Matt’s mom bakes these incredible vegan, almond-coconut oat cookies. And she make like 5 trays of them, so there’s enough to go around. Many. Many. Times.

-Home-brined whole chicken baking in the oven. It’s like the rotisserie chicken you get from Metro. But BETTER. See SAHD's recipe!

- What has frustrated you in your food & cooking life in the last year?

I am always choosing between cooking/trying a new recipe or studying.

I also keep buying Tupperware and I feel like I never have enough. WTF? 

I also eat out a lot more now, and though it’s nice to have someone prepare food for you, I feel like I’m cheating myself out of a healthier, more valuable meal by not making it myself.

I used to buy in bulk on the weekends so that I didn’t have to go grocery shopping during the week and study, but this isn’t working out. I am not making time to plan and make the meals, and food often goes bad. This kills me. I realized this wasn’t working and now buy the absolute minimum—it won’t kill me to go to the grocery store 2-3 times a week, and the Lord knows I need to get out of my house/school anyway.

- What do you want to get into or explore in the coming year?

-Learning to cook healthy, delicious meals fast? I suppose that means having a wealth of recipes that I know down-pat.  Every minute counts during the semester…

-Using the crockpot more—I get up bloody early in the AM anyway.

- Write a haiku about one of the following: a kitchen fail, a kitchen win, the last time somebody cooked for you, eating outside, or dining with friends.

"God, it's hot in here..."
It smells like burnt--OH MY GOD!
There goes my dinner.

1 comment: