1. Do you have a “Grandma’s secret recipe” in your cooking repertoire that you are particularly proud of?
I really don’t. There is my mom’s recipe box collection that I have combined with my sisters. My grandma on my mom’s side was not known as being a great cook – although she could fry some chicken – but truth be told, her daughter, my Aunt Hope was a better chicken fryer. My grandma on my dad’s side was a pretty good cook. I never received the celebrated strawberry beet cake recipe. If I had to pick a special family recipe it would probably be Bob Andy pie – a variation on a Chess pie.
2. What’s your favorite dessert?
Cheesecake. Then next would be Pecan pie.
3. What are your top 3 staples “special” ingredients that are always in your pantry?
- gluten flour (the key to no-knead bread up here in the high altitude
- hatch green chilis (frozen and in the freezer – they creep up in everything.)
- Old Bay seasoning (a recent addition but it is great in scrambled eggs and on baked potatoes.)
4. Do you have a “Worst Cooking Nightmare” story?
I once was making some Texas chili and still a naive young cook and instead of four cloves of garlic, I used 4 heads of garlic. I did not catch a cold in Gunnison that winter.
5. What’s the fanciest dinner you’ve ever had? (either hosted or as a guest.)?
I had a very formal dinner with the General Staff of our Army Command and Generals from Germany and France. Our office had to help with the setup and protocol and setting the tables with all the fancy spoons and forks and name placards and fancy folded napkins, the whole deal. Pretty close to a state dinner. I didn’t have anything to do with the cooking but I did have a lot to do with the setup and grunt work in the planning.