Did you guys see this quiz in the New York Times a few weeks back? I'm a sucker for quizzes (don't tell me you're not!), so of course I took it. It turns out I'm an innovative cook, which sounds cool, does it not? Until you actually sit down to one of my dinners and realize that means I just figured out how to use the dusty can of garbanzo beans in the cupboard. And the leftover ricotta cheese. In one dish. ("MOOOOOOM! Do I HAVE to eat this?!")
Plus I waffled, so on two answers I'm a c/e.
Okay, let me just give you my answers. I believe there is some plagiarism involved in this exercise, so if you see me sweating, that's why. Also, I'm not going to replicate the entire quiz; I'm just going to give essay answers to multiple choice questions (which is something I ALWAYS want to do).
Question one: when I prepare a meal, I typically:
Start with five cookbooks, a very tiny budget, a conflicting welter of input ("I want mac and cheese from the box!" "I want something spicy!" "I want soup!" "I want something satisfying, yummy, cheap, and healthy!"). Sometimes I go for the tried and true staples--something I've made in the past that the kids will generally eat and which satisfies my criteria for a healthy meal: i.e., at least two colors of vegetable, some protein, and lowish in salt and fat. Sometimes I shape my meal around an ingredient (such as that impulse-purchased purple cauliflower sitting accusingly on the top shelf. Ugh.)
This process worked out to "c" in the quiz.
Question two: some of my favorite ingredients are:
Spinach, shrimp, cheese, zucchini, basil, fresh tomatoes (in season), yams, corn, leek, chicken, lovage, broccoli. I'm also an impulse buyer of weird fruits and vegetables, some of which actually get eaten. Some don't. See above: purple cauliflower.
Best fit: "e". Or maybe "c," if you exclude fish, since the only fish we can afford to eat on a regular basis is catfish. And just because we can AFFORD it doesn't mean we WANT it.
Question three: in my free time, I like to:
Blog, write, plan my garden, read, run, hike.
Best fit: "e." ("take part in creative or artistic pursuits"--sounds classy, no?)
Question four: my favorite things to cook are:
Bread, stir-fry, cool new recipes. Sometimes.
Best fit: "e" or "c". I like fresh ingredients and herbs ("c") just fine, but I like them better when they're from my own garden, which means I can cook this way for approximately one month out of the year. The rest of the year: "e" ("Ethnic foods and wok dishes"). Only having kids to feed is gradually kicking my desire for "ethnic foods and wok dishes" out of me.
Question five: other people describe me as:
Ha ha ha HA. Depends on the person (Guess who said this? "You're the meanest mom in the WHOLE WORLD!"). My MIL, who thinks sugar is the base of the food pyramid, would probably describe me as "health conscious." Somebody who was actually health-conscious probably wouldn't ( I eat hot dogs! And ice cream! And see my inappropriate love of cereal.) I guess I'd like people to describe me as "curious" (e), but that might be wishful thinking. "Health-conscious" (c) sounds boring, so it's probably the most accurate.
So I guess that really my cooking personality is "healthy" (optimistic, book-loving, nature enthusiast--sounds pretty accurate, if a little, er, sweat stained [also accurate]). I'm definitely not a "giving" personality, either in the kitchen or out of it. I often start my days methodical, but by the time I've drunk my coffee I've usually begun to fudge the details. I'm not competitive, either (GOD. As if.) So: healthy, unless the kids are out, and then I can revert to my "creative and trend-setting" self. Ha ha.