1. What five things, whole dishes or even just preparations, do you think all people who cook should learn to do well?
First up would be the mother sauces or grandes sauces. Knowing how to make a proper Béchamel (white sauce), Hollandaise, Espagnole (brown), Velouté, or Tomato is imperative. Each of them yields countless 'small' or daughter sauces.
Béchamel is used to make Mornay and soubise plus others.
Hollandaise is the base for bernaise and noisette plus others.
Velouté is the base for Allemande and supreme plus others.
Espagnole is the base for Bourguignonne and Sauce aux Champignons in addition to being the base for demi-glace.
Tomato is of course the base for marinara.
Second would be know how to sauté, pan-fry, poach and shallow poach.
Third would be knowing how to properly temp your meats.
Fourth is knowing how to blanch/shock.
Fifth is knowing how to season, taste, and adjust.
2. You're going to speak to presidential nominees from each party. What concerns or issues that directly affect you and/or your children would you ask them to address?
Improving our children's education is I think one of the most important issues we face as a country. Foreign language needs to start in elementary school when those little brains are just begging for knowledge. There is nothing wrong with our children knowing how to speak something other than English early in life. I would also like to see teachers allowed to teach. Quit tying their hands and let them do what they went to school to learn.
Food supply is another. I'm a huge proponent of organic and sustainable farming. Our crops and livestock do not need to be injected with all the hormones, fillers, and pesticides. Our earth needs the chance to recuperate from all the crap we have done to it.
Renewable energy sources need to be looked into. Being dependent upon others for the fuel to transport us around needs to stop. The government needs to be encouraging those individuals with the aptitude and desire to come up with alternatives to fossil fuels.
3. How have you evolved in the past five to ten years that makes you feel as though you are a better person or causes you to be more comfortable with yourself?
OMF that's a deep one. I am far more sympathetic and empathetic than I have ever been in the past, even as a child. I had always let my logic win and refused to ever allow my heart in on any of the thinking going on. It took a long time, but I did finally realize it isn't all black and white. There is a whole lot of gray in the middle. I figured, if I could deal with something, then so could the rest of the world. If it didn't hurt me, why should it hurt you? I like me better now.
4. Fill in the blanks: In the future I want to _______ more and _____ less. Expand on your choices, please!
Ok, honestly, I want to eat more and weigh less. I love to eat but I don't need for my ass to get any bigger. So, once I'm through with school, I'm sitting myself down and coming up with a way that I can do this. Hell, I'm a chef and nutrition buff, surely it can be done, without having to exercise every waking moment, cause truly, exercise is the biggest four letter word of all.
5. I know and, much to the chagrin of many, others know as well that I could talk for hours about knitting, even to non-knitters. What topic can you start on and talk about for hours?
Food and cooking, without a doubt. I could sit and talk food forever. Hail, that is what typically happens when me, SB, and another friend get together. We will sit and talk food forever, getting thrown out of the bar 30 minutes after closing time, but we move to the parking lot or IHOP or somewhere and discuss it some more.