Friday, February 03, 2006

10 random facts

Others have done it, so here goes: 10 things you might not know about me …

1. I was about 10 when I first started cooking. The first recipe I made was stuffed veal rolls (paupiettes de veau). It called for … among other things … a clove of garlic. Not knowing the difference between a clove and a whole head of garlic I erred on the side of abundance. My polite family ate it all up and no one could get near us for a few days.

2. I am addicted to cooking programs. I am a self confessed cooking TV slut. I’d watch someone boil water if that was all that was on, and watch nearly anyone cooking anything (except, of course, Ian Hewitson).

3. I learned how to make pelmenes (little Russian dumplings) from a neighbour who fled Russia for Shanghai and ended up in Australia. They are probably my favourite and most laborious thing to make and then eat for special occasions and this started my lifetime love affair with dumplings of any kind.

4. I love martinis. They must be made with Bombay Gin and Noilly Pratt vermouth and served straight up with a twist, not an olive. Next to that I love sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, especially Marlborough region.

5. I am an inveterate food perv. I try never to order in a restaurant until I see some dishes sailing past and have to have a squiz at what other diners are having, sometimes to the point of asking exactly what they’ve ordered. I always return the favour if someone’s perving at my food and let them know what it is. This has led to some of my greatest food and alcohol discoveries like s’groppino in Venice, and Averna amd Montenegro digestifs.

6. I was originally a psychologist. My mother is an archaeologist.

7. I learnt piano for many years when I was young. My music teacher ended up with a nervous breakdown. I decided to quit before ruining any more lives.

8. Terribly unfashionable I know, but I don’t like goats cheese. Not fresh, not aged, not at all. I just don’t like the taste of it.

9. Although I have been an accomplished cook for ages, I only recently mastered the perfect poached egg. So often we leave the simple things til last.

10. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but cannot under any circumstances resist a dessert soufflé. Ever.


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