A few weeks ago, before departing for Vienna and other lovely places (we're waiting for the reports) Tanna, of My Kitchen in Half Cups responded to the 'Interview Me' meme. I was so fascinated with reading all about her that I jumped on the wagon, so to speak.
Here are her 5 questions for me (and a couple for the bonus round) and my well-thought-out (kind of) answers. BTW Tanna, as someone for more
infamous than me would say "These were hard!"
1. Considering all the things you've done in your life, what are you the most proud of?
The question implies only one answer, but it's not an easy one.
I'm proud of some of my 'physical' achievements: climbing Casa Manya in Andorra, winning a golf tournament (harder work than climbing the mountain) and maintaining my exercise routine for over 25 years but none of those seemed worthy to be the answer.
I'm proud of things I've contributed to: a fine man for a son (he was lucky – 2 loving mothers), former employees who I mentored and who became successful but I was only a catalyst. The ultimate achievements belonged to others.
So, what am I most proud of? At the moment? Thyme for Cooking. My website, not this blog. It was an idea I conceived all by my little self, although I later discovered there were/are other similar sites. I developed it, designed it and implemented it all without any outside help (I don't count web server hotlines and 'For Dummies' books). It's been running in it's current form (second edition) for over 18 months.
My original idea, and the purpose of the site, is twofold:
1. To help inexperienced cooks learn how to put a healthy dinner together quickly and successfully. To this end I give complete and detailed 'menu' instructions , so that the pasta, vegetables and meat are all done at the same time. Cooking is easy, fun and interesting. Anyone can and should do it.
2. To help busy people put together a varied and nutritious weekly menu without having odd bits left lurking in the fridge – the other half of a banana, as a friend would say. More importantly, to do this without spending the time searching for recipes and doing the planning; without the stress. To do this the menus are carefully planned and a shopping list prepared using up all of the ingredients (other than pantry staples). Most meals can be prepared quickly, a bit more effort on the weekends.
I have always cooked. When I was working, a glass of wine while preparing, then enjoying a real dinner made from scratch, was a way of relaxing and unwinding after a hectic day. I'm trying to pass on that way of life to those that don't think they can do it or have the time.
Oops, yikes, thump, bump….. Ouch. Damn, but that soapbox was high. Well, I'm off it now….. You shouldn't have asked….
To all of you foodies: that was not an ad – you are not my target audience, you already cook. Hopefully, you all will appreciate the fact that I am trying to bring a skill that we are all passionate about (and talk about endlessly LOL) to people who say 'I don't know how' and 'I don't have time'. (Oops, crept back onto that soapbox, Bad human! Bad, bad human! Sorry)
2 . How did you meet your husband?
That's easy: in a bar. As he tells the story: my roommate was trying to get his attention. He was trying to get mine. As a good friend and roommate, I told him to F### off! He was smitten by my tender sensibilities and the rest, as they say, is history. Not an easy history, though. We had a very bumpy two years, dating, breaking up, living together, he throwing me out on Valentine's Day (do you think I will ever let him forget that one?). We finally decided that we didn't date well, or live together well so we got married. We do marriage very well. It's been 29 years.
3. What is the happiest cooking experience for you? What makes you happiest?
Very sneaky, Tanna. That's two questions.
I love cooking during the holidays. When we lived in the U.S. I usually did Christmas Dinner. I would plan for weeks and start baking in early December. I took a day or two off work to do all the prep work, organize the table, etc. I would do a huge sit-down dinner for about 15 with way too much food and lots of 'fancy' stuff that my family tolerated, and, occasionally, even liked. It was great. I miss it.
As to happiness: that's fleeting. When the feeling comes over me I try to acknowledge it and cherish it. It's walking with mon mari and the girl dogs on the beach, sitting at a sidewalk cafe sipping a chilled glass of wine, or glancing out the window to witness a perfect sunset. I'm not talking about the general feeling of well-being, good cheer, etc. I'm talking about the rare feeling of perfect happiness that washes over like a warm wave.
I have always wanted to be the eccentric but lovable American lady living at the top of of a 5 floor walk up in Paris that's having a torrid affair with the devilishly handsome man half her age. Mon mari says no.
As we are trying to sell our house at the moment it's a very good question! We don't know. We might stay here in the Vendee, we might look closer to the mountains, in the Ariege. We'd like to live in an area with a bit more character. Our nearest city was designed by Napoleon and is perfectly square and boring. Or maybe Spain, I love the Spanish lifestyle. I'd love to go back to Ireland but it's too expensive. I still have family in Norway. Then there's South America – a whole new continent to explore! When we sell we'll panic and frantically look. Then we'll know. It's a big world, lots to see. The challenge is our 2 little dogs.
5. How has blogging changed for you from the time you first started to the present? How has blogging changed you?
I like to tell stories. I needed a place to talk. I was writing things on my website that really had no business being there so I stared the blog. Initially, it was mainly travel stories and bits about the people we had met and the places we had lived. A part of that was the food. As I became more involved, reading other blogs and participating in events, it became more about the food. It satisfies that bit of the voyeur in me; giving me glimpses of other peoples lives and other peoples kitchens….even peaking inside fridges. It's connected me to a great network of foodie friends! I love the challenge and opportunity to write….Just wish I had paid more attention in typing class..
And the bonus questions:
If you were given only two wishes, what would they be?
World Peace and the Miss American Crown. Oh wait, that's been done. How about: religious tolerance and intelligent, capable leaders.
If I could get in your head, what would be the question I'd most want to ask you?
You really don't want to go there….Oh wait, How's this? Why was your picture on the front page of a major metro newspaper when you were 18?
And the official ending to this meme:
Here’s where you get your chance
DIRECTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW MEME
1. Leave a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Beware, I'm not shy of asking personal questions! Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Th-th-th-th-That's all folks ;-))