Ok, that is a slightly misleading blog title, but it is reflective of the format of this post. I am applying to enter a little friendly competition that came to my attention through the Foodie Blogroll - Iron Foodie! Co-sponsored by Marx Foods, this contest is meant to stir up some creative juices and get some foodies to make some fantastic food! Below is my application; I will attempt to make it as interesting as possible...so my answers are all in purple!
1. Why do you want to compete in this challenge?
After seeing the beautiful mushrooms and heirloom potatoes on Marx Food's website, who wouldn't want to compete in this challenge? One of my greatest joys in life is wandering the stands of farmers markets and finding those ingredients that have become obscure in our supermarket-centric lives. Taking those fruits and veggies and trying something new - an interesting combination, an unconventional use (yes, spinach makes good cookies!) - is all part of the magnificence of being connected to your food.
That is what makes this food challenge so exciting! Beyond the inevitable fear as a vegetarian that I will receive a mock turtle or a peter rabbit among my eight secret ingredients, the prospect of designing a dish around mystery ingredients, stretching my creative muscles and developing something tasty and innovating is exhilarating!
2. Limitations of time/space notwithstanding, whose kitchen would you like to spend the day in & why? Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, James Beard, Marie-Antoine Careme, or The Swedish Chef?
Oooh, that's a tough one! Who didn't love the Swedish Chef growing up (and even now)? If we are talking about interesting combinations, then this less-than-PC muppet chef takes the cake!
But in all seriousness, James Beard would be my dinner guest of choice. Besides our obvious shared propensity for the Pacific Northwest, we both love the outdoors and good food. Beard was an advocate for local ingredients and real food during a time when America was going through its Jell-O and casserole phase. And in addition to leading an amazingly diverse and fascinating life, he lives on with a foundation to support our diverse American culinary traditions!
3. What morsel are you most likely to swipe from family & friends’ plates when they aren’t looking?
What type of plate are we talking about? If it's a typical dinner plate, I wouldn't hesitate to steal a roasted root veggie off my sister's plate. Give me a sweet potato, sunchoke, turnip, rutabaga, etc. and I will be a happy camper. However, if we are talking about dessert plates...watch your chocolate brownies and mousses (hold the moose). I think we've already established that I'm a hard-core choc-o-holic.
4. Sum your childhood up in one meal.
Imagine a blue-rimmed plate, heaped with reasonable child-sized portions of green beans, rice pilaf, and salmon. I think that my parents fully-embraced their adult lives in the Seattle region, enjoying the flavors of the area, if not the 300 days of over-cast skies. While my plate definitely morphed over time - going through your typical childhood obsession with junk food and then losing the salmon and replacing it with boca burgers - my parents have been flexible and supportive (for the most part) guiding forces in everything from school and extracurricular activities to food. Many are not so lucky to have had that opportunity for growth and learning from one's mistakes...and my plate has definitely had its share of undercooked, too salty, or complete failures. I thank my lucky stars for such a healthful, balanced childhood meal ... do I get a happy meal toy with that, too?
5. The one mainstream food you can’t stand?
Potato Salad. Am I un-American? I just can't stand it. Don't judge me...I like Apple Pie!