Do you come up with the National Days for Small Plates? No, these are actual real days. I don't make any of them up. Yes, there really is a "Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day", a "Crab Meat Newburg Day" and a "Take Your Pants for a Walk Day".
Where do you find these days? Just do an Internet search. There are a ton of places that have most of the food days and plenty of the off the wall days. Even places that send out e-cards list special or strange days.
Do you cook everything on the National Days? I do see what days are coming up during the month and plan maybe four of five meals that correspond with special days. The problem is, life sometimes gets in the way and it may be several days after the National Day that I actually cook with that ingredient. Because of this I rarely post a National Days recipe until quite a while later.
Do you take your own photos? Of the meals I cook yes. Usually I just plate the dish and take it with the lights on the stove if there is no natural light. I take most of the hockey photos and scrap photos. I don't have any special lights though I did get a nice light box from my mom to use once I have room to set it up. If the photo isn't mine, I try to give sources. I use Wikipedia a lot for generic photos. As for the photo above...yes, I took a ride in a B-17 a couple of years ago and this was from the top of the plane (no I wasn't riding up there, they had a hole in the roof you could take photos out of...I just reached up with my camera and took the shot). That photo was taken with my old Minolta SLR. I like photography but honestly, I photograph in auto mode most of the time.
What kind of camera do you use? Though I have a Canon Rebel XT, I use my little Canon PowerShotSD500 for most of the food photos (I am upgrading to a SD950 this coming week). I rarely photoshop my food photos.
Who does these taste tests you talk about? Mostly Mr. L and my mom. I do take some things into work and every once in a while I get enough courage to take something I've made to a potluck. I think in the past year, other than my mom and husband, I've only had two people that I've actually cooked a meal for at the house.
How many cookbooks do you own? Um. A Lot. Too many. More than I could ever use. Yeah, that answer is another post entirely. I can't tell you the count without trying to justify the answer!
Why haven't you learned to cook earlier? See cookbook question. That will be answered when I get enough guts to post about my cookbook collection.
What cooking magazines do you subscribe to? HAHAHAHA. Just a couple. Bon Appetit and Gourmet. And Food and Wine. Oh and Savour. Of course Cooks Illustrated. Should I include Sunset Magazine since I cut out the recipes? And I pretty much buy most of the Fine Cooking magazines...and...well, maybe the question should have been which cooking magazines I DON'T subscribe to!
Do you ever eat out at restaurants? You talk about them, why don't you review them? Honestly we do eat out a fair amount, especially when we travel. I've felt a bit uneasy about restaurant reviews since I'm not an expert. That being said, since I enjoy reading others reviews, I think I might start posting my own. I would have given the review of Manresa earlier, except they never sent me the menu I was promised. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what we ate!
How do you chose the recipes you make from cookbooks? There is no set way. Sometimes, if there is an interesting National Day, I may look through my books trying to find a recipe that has that ingredient. More often than not, I just pick up a cookbook and try to find something to cook. Sometimes this is easy as only a handful of recipes pop out at me. Other times it's a gargantuan task as I want to make everything in the book. Sometimes it's by default...I may be in an "orzo" phase so those are the recipes that stand out and scream to be cooked. Or maybe I've been cooking a lot of meat dishes and look for a fish dish. I may make a dish because it's something I know my mom can eat. Sometimes (most of the time) I'm really tired and busy and want to make something simple. Or maybe I just got off the scale and all those delicious fattening recipes just remind me of extra inches on my hips so I try to go low-cal. Currently I only have access to about one sixth of my cookbook collection so I try to find things in the books that are available.
How often do you buy new cookbooks? I never buy new cookbooks. Never. Really. They just show up on my doorstep. Yeah, that's the ticket, they just show up asking to come inside and be part of my collection. Yeah...be sure to tell Mr. L that if you ever run into him. Yeah, tell him you give me cookbooks, that's why new ones are in the house. Seriously, they are like rabbits, they just multiply.
Just how old are you anyway? Like I'm going to tell you that.
Why don't you use real names or post photographs of yourself? Because we are actually government spies...no wait, we are in the witness protection program...no wait, we are complete paranoid freaks...no wait...I honestly don't know. Mr. L and I talk about it. You may catch photos of us in the coming year, and most of you know our names anyway, but, we like the little air of mystery.
Do you go to all the Sharks games? I used to. For many many years a group of us went to every pre-season game, every home game, the playoffs, various road trip games and yes, even to some practices. And I watched or listened to every road game on the TV or radio. There was no life outside of hockey. Then there was the lockout and I found Mr. L and other things in life started happening. I still have season tickets. Mr. L and I go to around ten games a year plus the playoffs.
Do you ever scrap? Not as much as I'd like to. I'm hoping to get to a point where I can balance my life and get to do all the fun stuff I like to do such as scrapping. I do like to, ahem, collect a lot of scrap stuff though. Yes, I have an entire room devoted to scrapbooking. Yes, I hope to post more scrap pages and projects in the future.
Well, I think that's all the questions I remember people asking over the last year. If you can think of something else, just let me know.
And really, I never buy cookbooks....wait, why is everyone laughing????