Thursday, January 15, 2009

Diva, The Interview ...

There's a fun little meme-like deal floating around the internet this week and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to join the fray. I first saw this interview thang on Argentum Vulgaris's blog: Tomus Arcanum and I was most intrigued. I left the requisite comment on his blog and the following are the interview questions he's chosen for me. I must say it was great fun to do and I hope you'll enjoy reading the answers as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Be sure and check out any one of Argentum's eight! blogs. His blogs are fascinating and with a selection like that there's something for everyone. Personally, I'm partial to Tomus Arcanum ... just love that name, and Things that Fizz and Stuff. Always something interesting going on in Argentum's world. Check it out!

Without further ado, I now present: Diva, The Interview ...

1. I like your blog a lot. Why do have such a fascination with food?

Because its so tasty! I think I've always been fascinated with food on some level. At first my interest was very basic, making cookies or baking with my mom. Somewhere in my teens I started reading cookbooks, sort of as a hobby, and my interest grew. I came down with Chicken Pox when I was 19 - horrid! by the way - and I spent much of the recuperative period devouring The Joy of Cooking ... one of the 1970's versions and I still have that book. (Please note, I was not 19 in 1970. This is critical information. I am not *that* old.) That led me to prepare my first meal on my own - for my family ... some kind of chicken (naturally) and a pasta dish out of the Joy of Cooking that I still make to this day. (Pixelgal, do you remember that??)

I moved to New York shortly thereafter and had to cook for myself for real - and I loved it. While the husband was in law school, I spent nearly every weekend in the company of Julia Child, the Galloping Gourmet, Jacques Pepin and even The Frugal Gourmet. They taught me how to cook. I'd watch all their shows, then plan and execute elaborate meals based on what I'd seen. Such fun! It was during that time that I learned to make my own pasta and a really killer Bolognese sauce. That all morphed into a long time devotion to Gourmet and Bon Appetite magazines. Both of which I'd read cover to cover, before getting out my shopping cart and getting busy recreating the wonderful dishes featured on their pages. I credit PBS and both those magazines for fostering my obsession with food and dining ... and creating the need for me to become The Diva on a Diet! I learned too well and became a victim of my own good cooking.

I'm still fascinated by what and how we eat - though these days I'm more interested in eating well with an eye towards health.

2. By your own confession, there will be a lot of chicken, why?

Ah chicken, my beloved chicken. Who knows why I'm such a fan of the fowl?! I could probably eat some form of chicken or turkey every single day and never grow tired of it. Its lean, can be prepared in a myriad of ways, and its just plain delicious. I've eaten chicken in some of the best restaurants in the world. Prior to visiting Germany for the first time I made sure to learn the word for chicken breast: huhnerbrust, so I'd be prepared. (And P.S. it was never on *any* menu!)

Frankly, its become something of a joke amongst my husband, family and friends. If there's chicken on the menu, odds are I'll order it. Eh, what can I say ... I'm a cheap date!

I will add that at home, I'm a poultry snob. No Perdue or Tyson for me. Its got to be some kind of organic, hormone-free, grain fed bird or nothing at all. Those weird, yellow, chemically enhanced birds really freak me out and I steer well clear if possible.

3. We all know about the many things you like in the culinary world; tell us some of the things you hate, or at least dislike somewhat?

I think you all know how I feel about fish. I can't stand the stuff. With the exception of shrimp, I prefer to leave the sea creatures where they belong ... in the sea. I will force myself to eat it every now and then, because people keep insisting its good for me, but I don't really enjoy it. I loathe and detest all forms of organ meat. Can't even bear to think about it really. ~shudder~ And, if I'm being honest, I'm not much of a fruit girl. I love apples, grapefruit and pears ... but that's about it. I'll willingly choke down a few strawberries in season, maybe a handful of super fresh blackberries, but I could go a long time without fruit and not miss it. ~hangs head in shame~

I'm actually a very picky eater ... but getting better as I grow up. Part of the fun of cooking for me has been exploring new ingredients and finding out that things like pumpkin really aren't as evil as I'd thought. I went a long time with a very short list of likes and it pleases me to know I've made great progress over the years and expanded my horizons. There are few things I won't try at this point ... and they are limited to the weird and gross!

For the record, I'd also like to state that there is only one vegetable I cannot abide: cucumbers.

4. You have displayed an innate skill with the camera, tell us about it?

This one actually made me laugh. I'm delighted that you think so, Argentum ... but I think my food photography sucks! I'm trying to improve though and plan to buy one of those nifty light boxes so my shots will at least be decently lit. I'm also in search of a food photography class - but have yet to find one.

I will admit to having some skill with the camera in other areas of still photography a/o vacation and nature shots. I've taken many shots over the years of which I am proud and have some hanging in my office. I owe any talent in this area to my parents, both of whom are exceptionally skilled behind the camera. We've got strong artistic genes in the family and if you could see their work you'd know what I mean.

I will also admit to having a background in art. I was a double major in college and have a degree in Studio Art and Art History. I know I've got a good eye for color and composition ... I just don't know much about getting the best out of a digital camera. I'm much stronger with the old fashioned cameras ... hang in there with me ... I'm learning. :)

5. If there is something you really dislike, or that really peeves you about the blogosphere, what would that be?

In all honesty I'd have to say that I've been pleasantly surprised by the blogosphere. There's a real sense of community out here (there?) and that was something I didn't expect to find. The food blogging community has been particularly welcoming. I've received nothing but encouragement so far, and have "met" some really great people.

Certainly, I'd hoped to create a kind of community when I launched this blog, but I had no idea how far it would reach ... like all the way to Brazil with your blog, or across the pond to Scarlet's. That's pretty damn cool! And much like Sassy said in her interview the other day, I had no idea how much I'd care about this whole thing ... or how many hours I'd need to devote to it!

If I had to come up with a peeve, or something negative, I guess I'd say that its something of a disappointment to me that I can get 40 hits a day ... and only 2 comments. I wish more people were willing to at least pop into the comments section and say hello. I don't expect prize winning prose, but it would be nice to know who's out there reading me. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone? ;)

Thanks so much Argentum, I think you've got a bright future ahead of you as an interviewer. Such great questions. I had a blast doing this! And may the deity of your choice forever continue to bless you for *not* asking my weight, or any other diet related questions. ~wink~


If you’d like to play along, just follow these instructions:

* Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” (I won't post your email address in the comments.)
* I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
* You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
* When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.



pixelgal said...

I so enjoyed reading your 'meme' and remember some of your past musings with great pleasure and some (the chicken pox) with horror. It was awful and you and bro had a terrible case of it in your teens. I think he came home from H.S, with it and you got it. Anyway, I do remember your cooking for us but not the exact things you cooked. And I can't help but feel that some of the food issues you have are inherited...lack of fruit (Irish), pickiness (Irish), love of food (Italian and Hungarian as are all good things) and love of cooking--grandmas from both sides and the husband's late mother who always put me to shame. But you are too modest about your photos. I think Argentum is right about them. I loved his blog Tomus Arcanum--very informative. And unusual. I'm so pleased that in addition to branching out in food choices from the days of grilled cheese only to more exotic tastes you have cultivated some new cyberfriends. I look forward to reading their comments each day.

Deb said...

Wonderful new information about you Diva. Great interview questions Argentum!

No cucumbers fish or fruit huh? I guess that means if I ever get the pleasure of cooking for you dear Diva I shall have to abstain from some of my usual ingredients!


Juliet said...

Cool. I'm tempted to do the interview. :) Decisions, decisions.

It was fun to read some more about you. I love hearing more about the people behind the posts. :)

Anonymous said...

Diva, well done, great answers. Thanks for the plug at the begining... much needed. I have the same disappointment as you, lots of visits, few comments. But generally you are right the blogosphere is surprisingly friendly.

Deb, thanks. Cucumbers never mind if there are other cucumbers in the fridge.

pixelgel, thanks and look forward to seeing you over at Tomus.

Juliet, procrastinate not. Be a big girl, Do it!


The Duo Dishes said...

How awesome for you! And wonderful answers. You're famous now!


Fame can be hard on a gal - but lovely interview lol! I think I need to do this but I can't imagine what kind of questions you're gonna be asking me!


Scarlet x

The Diva on a Diet said...

Pixelgal - true, we also have some strong cooking genes in the family, yourself included! :)

Deb - I can manage the fruit but will have to pass on the cukes. They're seriously the only veg I dislike. Would love for you to cook for me! Pixelgal is thinking of spending some time in FL next winter ... so who know?! :)

Juliet - just say the word and I'll fire off some questions. I agree, I like reading more about the people behind the posts too.

Argentum - Thank you! Your questions were really magnificent and I'm happy to provide the linkage. We all need that. :)

Duo - I'm trying! LOL

Scarlet - would love to interview you, sweetie, just say the word. I promise I'll be gentle. ;)