This is the second edition of an occasional series of interviews with other food bloggers. This week it is with Kristen of Gezellig Girl. I love her blog because she has a great converstational tone, talks about all sorts of things related to food, shares new products she likes, shares recipes and often gives tips on where to eat in NYC, which I enjoy because we are frequent vistors to the city-in fact, we are in NYC right now. I also like that she very opinionated and a little snarky, so many blogs are so polite and it is refreshing to read one with a real "voice".
How long have you been cooking/baking? Before I got married, I didn't really cook much. I got easily overwhelmed by anything with more than a couple ingredients or steps to follow. But, in early 2001, my new husband and I decided to go vegan -- at which point my minimal cooking repertoire was totally shot. I had no choice but to buckle down and learn to cook for real, from scratch. A lot of my initial efforts were not good (I once made something with tomatoes and TVP that looked --and, thanks to the acidic tomatoes, smelled -- like vomit) but I was quick study. Our foray into veganism was fairly short-lived, but I cameout of it with some keen cooking skills.
What are your favorite foods to make? I don't make it nearly often enough, due to the mess and the amount of time it takes, but I love love love baking bread. I love the yeasty smell; I love kneading the dough by hand; I love the will-it-rise? anticipation. It's my favorite thing to make. I think everyone should try it.
What inspires you in the kitchen? Honestly, what inspires me the most is a half-empty refrigerator. It really forces me to be creative and see what I can make out of seemingly nothing. Last night, I made a chicken cacciatore with leftover chicken, half a can of tomatoes, and some fairly undrinkable red wine --and it was great! Moments like that really excite me.
Why do you blog? I'm a semi-obsessive diarist. My mom's sister gave me a little diary for my seventh birthday -- 25 years ago as of this Saturday -- and I haven't stopped since then. I'd be writing this food blog even if no one was reading it. The fact anyone reads what I say just tickles me.
What is your favorite post so far? Honestly, I think the 'DON'T MESS WITH GEZELLIG' one is my favorite so far, because I think it comes the closest to who I am in real life: snarky and maybe a little nuts.
Best thing about living in NYC? Oh, god. Everything. The ability to eat at different place every single day without even trying. The hundreds of different ethnic foods to try. But most of all, the feeling that people here really love food and take it seriously. You can see it on the faces of shoppers getting their food at the Greenmarkets, asking when things were picked, when a food is in season. That cheers me immeasurably.
Do you share what you make? Other than just blogging about it, no. I don't really know anyone well enough here in NYC to come toting a pot of soup over to their place. I have a friend who lives in Minneapolis and I'm always telling him, if he would just move to NYC, he'd be the best fed bachelor in town.
What do you do when you are not cooking? If I'm not doing something food-related, I'm probably doing my other job: being a stay-at-home parent to my almost 4 year old daughter, Trixie. And if I'm not doing that, then I'm probably knitting while I watch TV. Or sleeping. I am inordinately fond of sleep.
Favorite places to eat? I get bored too easily to be someone who can say, "oh, yes, we go to [restaurant] all the time and order the [food]." My favorite type of places to eat are the little nondescript joints you've passed by a bunch of times that happen to have something really exceptional. I think that's part of the reason I love Big Wong King so much -- it looks like any other hole-in-wall, but as I've said before, I would marry its roast pork if it were legal.
Any other interesting facts? I make really bad pancakes. Really. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but they're just bad.