So, this meme has made its way to Gastronomie via Alice at Epicurean Debauchery... It's a fun one.
What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
Truthfully (and here's where I differ from a lot of my fellow food bloggers), I really never did much cooking when I was a kid. Oh, I made my fair share of noodle "play-doh", and enjoyed the chemistry of mixing condiments and seasonings, but I can't remember actually cooking an edible dish for someone until I went off to college--Mom, am I forgetting something?
Who had the most influence on your cooking?
Most definitely my mom. As I've said before on this blog, she's the best chef in the family, and I think I picked up her ability to fine-tune a dish.
Do you have an old photo as 'evidence' of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?
Nope... don't have one. The closest picture I have to anything culinary is me, at the age of 7 or so, wearing big, yellow rubber gloves and an apron, positively thrilled at having the chance to do dishes after one of my parents' parties--I got to hang out with all the ladies in the kitchen.
Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
Pastry/pie dough makes me want to cry.
What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest let down?
I adore my Kyocera ceramic mandolin, all of my Microplanes and my enormous bamboo butcher block. I also love my Santoku and my tomato knife (I was given the latter as a shower gift, and never thought I'd use it. It's turned out to be a wonderful knife, and far more multi-purpose than I expected).
Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!
I love, love, love Raisinettes and popcorn at the movie theatre--3 kernels to one raisinette. I also love the balance that comes from mixing dark miso paste with tamarind paste--I always have a batch made up in the fridge for quick glazes and marinades. Oh, and C makes a "grossed-out" face every time I put a spoonful of yogurt into a bowl of chicken-noodle soup, but it's soooo good.
What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don't want to live without?
Pomegranate molasses. Really good tomato paste. Sushi.
Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? Well then, feel free to add one!
Your favorite ice-cream... Discontinued, it was Starbucks' Brownies au Caramel. It was heaven. It's gone. I don't wanna talk about it anymore, or I will get farklempt.
You will probably never eat... Lamb testicles (dombalan, in Farsi). I have this fear instilled from years of hearing that girls shouldn't eat them because they will cause hormone imbalances. And besides they're, you know, BALLS.
Your own signature dish... Can't say I have just one. Any number of Persian dishes, my strata, a fig & walnut tapenade I serve with parmesan fricos.
A common ingredient you just can't bring yourself to stomach... Tinned anchovies. C loves bagna cauda and I gagged just trying to make it for him.
Which one culture's food would you most like to sample on its home turf? (Added by Fatemeh)... Mine would have to be Morocco.
I'm not very good about forwarding memes (I didn't tag anyone on the Five Books meme), but I'll tag three of you for this one: