Tuesday, June 14, 2005

MEME - The Cook Next Door!

I am proud to be able to take part in this new meme, The Cook Next Door, started by Nicky of Delicious Days.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
I can't remember for sure, but I can't imagine it would have been anything other than a fairy cake. I started baking at an early age so I would have been really young, which is the excuse for why I can't remember precisely.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?
Maguerite Patten. I learnt to cook classic British fare from her Everyday Cookbook. No one in my family was really into cooking, so I learnt many things from books. My mum's influence was such that she always encouraged me to experiment and bake. I must thank her for that.

Do you have an old photo as “evidence” of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?

photograph picture of Beccy's Snoopy Birthday Cake
My sister Beccy. She still plays tennis, she still eats cake.

Unfortunately - all of my earliest photgraphs live in my mum's attic on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, so I have to pick something for my limited supplies. I had a bit of a reputation as a teenager for making theme cakes. This is a picture of a Snoopy Birthday cake I made for my little sister back in the 80s.

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
Not really, although I never really grew fond of handling giblets. My main problem in the kitchen is that I am easily distracted and quite impatient.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest let down?
I loved my electronic scales that also do liquid measurements. Too bad I abused them so that now they don't work so well. I might just have to buy a replacement. *Tip never put something really heavy on your electronic scales.
On the downside, I bought a little rubber garlic peeler (shaped like a garlic) which is totally useless.
*Reminder: On this subject, you are invited to take part in the Utensibility meme being hosted this month by yours truly.*

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!
Fresh white bread sandwiches with salty butter, and a filling of marmite, cheddar and salt & vingegar crisps [potato chips] or
Fresh white bread sandwiches with salty butter, and a filling of fishfingers and chips [chips as in fat, soggy {as Rachael would put it) English-style French-Fries] or
The crust-end of an English white organic loaf, thick slabs of salty butter and sprinkled with at least half a container of mustard cress. [sigh - haven't been able to eat this 4.5 years] or
Microwave-melted cheese spread on spread on toast with loads of hot mustard. Embarassing but true - I love melted cheese, but not so keen when it goes all brown and bubbly from the grilling. I can't believe I publicly admitted that I microwave cheese. or
Peanut and butter sandwiches. They are far superior to peanut butter sandwiches, believe me.

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don’t want to live without?

If i have to limit it to just three, no question about it - bread, butter and marmite.

Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? Well then, feel free to add one!

The quickies section:
Your favorite ice-cream…
No preference. I am not an icecream fiend. When I was a kid and we didn't have much choice, it was always raspberry ripple though.
You will probably never eat…
Harry Potter vomit flavoured jelly beans, ever again.
Your own signature dish…
Roast lamb
Added by Sam of Becks & Posh. A common ingredient you just can't bring yourself to stomach...
Raisins. Ugh.

As I am among the first three to be tagged I am looking forward to seeing this one spread through the community. First I will send it to Lyn at Lex Culinaria in Canada because I think she has a great imagination. Secondly, I was going to tag a British Blogger, Tim at Fire & Knives. I don't know about you, but I absolutely love Tim's food musings. But I changed my mind and decided memes probably aren't his style. Then I was going to tag the lovely Moira because she is the opposite to me - an American living in Britain but she had already been tagged by my tagee. It has to be someone based in Britain. So next I am going to try my favourite South African food blogger, Jeanne who has assured me she will come up with the goddies when she gets back from Paris. Closer to home, I tried to select Molly at Spicetart because she has been neglecting her blog. But she has very good reasons ignoring her faithful audience so I told her I was going to ask Alice instead. Last, but certainly not least, Alice came up trumps!

posted in and and and and and
MEME - The Cook Next Door!


  • At 14/6/05 08:41, Blogger Sam said…

    ha - you are quick - i haven't even sent you the mail yet!

  • At 14/6/05 10:28, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Sam! Thanks for your quick response to the meme! It's great to discover similarities in culinary life... I, too, don't like raisins - always a point of discussion when we make Kaiserschmarrn (caramelized pieces of a fluffy pancake)... Your snoopy cake photo is an absolut hit - I would have loves to have such a creative older sister ;)

  • At 14/6/05 19:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I too share a passion for microwave-melted cheese! And my three couldn't-live-without foods would definately be bread, butter, and Promite which is close enough to Marmite to instill a feeling of solidarity. Hooray for simple foods!

  • At 14/6/05 22:58, Blogger Sam said…

    Lyn - looking forward to seeing your results

    nicky - I am glad I am not the only one with a distaste for raisins

    beccy - as I remember it you blackmailed me and if I made your lunch then you let me off some of your tasks. do we have a photo somewhere of the tent cake? I should definitely post that up on this blog one day. come to think of it fish finger sandwiches are probably better without the chips. Wish i could come for lunch at yours tomorrow.

    sarah - maybe weshould start a microwave melt club or something. Good to hear that other people know how to appreciate all the best things in life too.

  • At 15/6/05 07:10, Blogger Rachael Narins said…



  • At 15/6/05 15:07, Blogger Ana said…

    Hooray for another Harry Potter fan. I loved your answer to the "probably never eat.."

    Guess what I'm reading now? "A Muggle's Guide to the Wizarding World", a birthday present from my son. He wanted to order me the new book but I did pre-order it in March. So I got this one instead.

  • At 16/6/05 06:28, Blogger Cate said…

    I'm with you on the raisins. I don't mind them as part of a recipe, but by themselves? No way. My son, on the other hand, can eat boxfuls at a time. Yuck!

  • At 23/6/05 08:00, Blogger tara said…

    Sam, I posted it on my site, but I thought I'd ask here as well. For the peanut and butter sandwiches, do you mash the peanuts at all? In case I might attempt it in the future ... oh, and my mother joins you in the marmite solidarity movement!

  • At 23/6/05 13:00, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lol! sam, from your funny food combinations...do you happen to like, say, oh, i dunno...bread?!?! lol!

    you should also try - and this may sound absolutely disgusting, but for some reason, i thought they were the best invention when i was little - white bread, MAYO, and sugar sandwiches!

  • At 23/6/05 13:48, Blogger Sam said…

    my little friend at junior school used to have brown sugar sanwiches - blaech!

    I am a savoury bread girl not a sweet one.
    things I like - but cannot abide in sandwiches are as follows:
    fry's chocolate creme
    golden syrup
    (these are all sandwich fillings I have encountered other people eating in real life)

    Btw - i forgot a sandwich off my list.

    warm, oven roasted British pork chipolatas in a white bread sandwich with haha salty butter.


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