As promised, here’s Alex’s first post, answering a slew of basic questions that you might want to know about him.
What is your role in the kitchen?
Clean-up crew. My main role is to clean up the dishes after dinner. It’s not my favorite job in the world, but after such a great meal it’s hard to convince myself that I shouldn’t help clean up. My main cooking role is grill master and pancake-flipper.
Do you cook?
Um. Does grilling count? When I was younger I used to cook a lot of desserts like cupcakes and cakes. But I had this disastrous experience with peach cobbler when I was about 12 years old. I guess I mis-read the recipe and ended up adding 1/4 cup salt (instead of 1/4 teaspoon). When I took it out of the oven, it didn’t look quite right. Peach cobbler should be crusty on the top, right? Mine was kind of liquidy on the top and there was white stuff…but I just thought maybe that was what it was supposed to look like and served it to my friends and family. They might have been skeptical, but I think they were trying not to hurt my feelings. Everyone bit into it and said “mmMMmm” like you do when you want someone to know you like it. But then their eyes got all big, and I’m pretty sure everyone spit it back out. The general sentiment was “it’s really salty…” So, now I stick to more basic things such as pouring cereal into a bowl and adding milk. Jess does the rest. [Jess here: Alex is being humble. Remember, he has successfully made the pizza! Read about it here]
What did you eat before you met Jessalyn?
Egh. I don’t think I want to tell you. My typical college meal consisted of cereal or a Belgian waffle or a sausage and egg omelet in the morning from the dining hall, a burger and fries (dipped in my special combination of ketchup and mayonnaise) with Hawaiian Punch for lunch, and stir-fry or whatever greasy food the dining hall was serving for dinner, with Hawaiian Punch or Sierra Mist. I’m surprised I’m still alive. Luckily, I think I’m eating better now, and I no longer drink soda, which was probably one of the best life decisions I’ve made.
Does Jessalyn monitor everything you eat?
Yes and no…Yes, when I’m at home. No, when I’m on a business trip or visiting friends without her. But even when she’s not there I still try to eat well so she’s not mad at me when I come home and tell her what I ate. I guess she’s like a little voice on my shoulder reminding me “don’t you dare eat that high-fructose corn syrup!” or whatever.
What’s your guilty (food) pleasure?
What does that even mean? Like something you really love to eat but isn’t that great for you? Okay maybe Spudnuts [a local potato-based donut shop around here] or Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? Or Krispy Kreme donuts with ice cream? I did have a fried Twinkie with ice cream the other day and that was really good. That was when I was away…oops.
What do you eat for breakfast and lunch?
During the work week I’ll either pick up a bagel sandwich or I’ll have cereal for breakfast. Sometimes Jess cooks me scrambled eggs or bacon or sausage or toast. My lunch is usually packed by Jess and usually consists of some sort of sandwich or meat leftovers, potato chips, and fruit (which I do or do not eat, but get fussed at for not eating when I come home). When I don’t have a packed lunch I’ll go out to eat at Panera, or usually Five Guys (but don’t tell Jess!).
What’s one thing you wish Jessalyn would make?
Well, I saw this Good Eats show where Alton Brown used an entire beef tenderloin PSMO in different recipes, and I think it would be awesome to do that. I also want us to try knishes (Jewish potato-filled bread). And eggs Benedict, with Hollandaise of course. I guess I have expensive tastes.
Describe your least favorite food or food memory.
I don’t like cauliflower. It doesn’t taste like anything to me, and I don’t like the texture. I hate sauerkraut and Brussels sprouts. And I don’t like parsley and cilantro. Okay, I’ll eat a tiny amount of parsley if it’s the garnish on something. And cilantro is okay in fresh salsas, but that’s all. Who likes to eat the taste of metal??
My worst food memory was in 6th grade when I was visiting my high school and I went to the snack machine to get a bag of Cheetos. I was walking outside and I had just opened the little snack bag to begin chowing down on those neon orange things when either a) a fly flew into my mouth at the exact moment the Cheeto was about to enter my mouth, or b) I ate a moldy Cheeto, because it was the worst food experience of my life, and from that point on I vowed never to eat Cheetos again. Jess would argue at this point that Cheetos are not really a “food,” but still…
Any favorite food TV personalities?
Alton Brown of Good Eats, hands down. Pretty much the best cooking show for any scientist, engineer, or anyone who wants to learn about food and the chemistry behind it. I record all the episodes on my DV-R. It’s also full of trivia and facts about the foods that he’s cooking. For example, did you know that letting a steak cool on a rack for 5 minutes after you’re done grilling it (rather than letting it sit on a plate or cutting into it right away) will allow the juices to get soaked back up by the meat, greatly enhancing the gustatory experience?
If you could have a song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
Who thought of this question? Do I have to answer this one? This has nothing to do with food. Okay…if I had a choice, it would be…gah I have no idea! I don’t think about that type of stuff! I really don’t know what I would choose. Sorry for the boring answer.
So there it is! Alex’s first post. Have a question about something he said? Leave a comment to tell us about it.