My very dear friend Winterkatze has made herself a little meme titled “Buch & Brot” that I liked so much, I just had to do it. I’m translating a bit freely because I feel lazy today.
- Do you read while you cook?
Sometimes. Of course you can’t do it when you do “real cooking” but when you’re waiting for your frozen pizza, of course I do. Also, these days I’m trying to behave like a grown-up, and so I actually clean the kitchen when I have a short lull in cooking.
When I was still living with my parents I did it all the time. My mother said that she had never before heard of someone doing this. Since this is a question in a meme, I guess I’m not the only one. (But then Winterkatze and I go way, way back.)
- Do you read while you eat?
Yep. I don’t when we’re having family meals, and I don’t usually read when eating breakfast but every meal I eat alone or maybe with my son – I read.
- Do you like novels with a lot of cooking and eating in them?
I do like Diane Mott Davidson’s detective novels. Other than that I haven’t read anything like that. Since I mostly read genre fiction with only a minimal amount of description … I guess I don’t actually look for books with food in them.
- Have you ever tried a recipe out of a novel?
Again there’s Diane Mott Davidson. Her “what-to-do-with-all-the-egg-yolks”-bread has been a staple in our house at Christmas time. It’s even better nowadays because I can get real cranberries to make it. When I first tried it there was no place here where I could get creanberries, and a friend actually brought me some from the US.
- Do you collect cookbooks? And can you guess how many you’ve got?
I don’t collect cookbooks anymore but since my husband likes cooking very much there was a time when he got cookbooks right and left. We have three quarters of a bookshelf full of them, but that’s only because we threw out every book we weren’t using on a regular basis. The one thing that’s still missing is a good one about Chinese cooking. The ones we use the most are the Bavarian cookbook which has all the regular things in it, like pancakes, how to roast beef, and that’s where I’ll go first when dealing with things I don’t do often, and the Indian cookbook.
- What do you like better – cooking or baking?W
Not sure. I do very little of both. I used to prefer baking because I associated cooking with everyday drudgery, and baking was for special days only. What I really like about baking is that the final step is so neat. You pop that thing in the oven, clean everything up, and then you have your nice cake in your clean kitchen. When you’re done with cooking you have this mess of dirty pots, spoons, and splotches to clean.
- What kind of cooking do you prefer (Italian, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, others)?
When I’m cooking myself I mostly do traditional German dishes because those are the things I do better than my husband. When eating (and cooking) I like things best that are like stew. Everything is on the plate at the same time, and mixed. So I like Chinese food, German stews, soup, I also like Indian, Thai and Mexican food but not as spicy as my husband prepares it.
Having said that I also have a fondness for the meat with veggies and potatoes thing. I guess I just love to eat, and I’m not picky. When cooking I don’t usually do the fancy, my cooking is quite plain.
- Are you someone who always snacks or drinks while reading?
Definitely not. Not anymore. My idea of heaven used to be sitting in bed reading while eating potato chips and drinking beer. Fortunately I weaned myself from that habit, and I have a “only eating at meals”-policy. My teapot never leaves my side though so I’m drinking all the time, whatever I do.
- Is there something else you want to tell about “books and food”?
Well, it was definitely interesting how many of Winterkatze’s bookish readers also feel very strongly about food.
Now it’s your turn, dear readers, what about your reading, cooking, and eating habits?