Saturday, May 16, 2009

How I am not like Tom Colicchio

For one, I'm taller.

I like Tom Colicchio. Back when I owned a television, Top Chef was one of the two shows I tried to watch regularly (along with Ultimate Fighter). Interestingly, both shows aired Wednesdays at 10 which would have been quite a dilemma if not for reruns. I'm not sure how many people had that dilemma. I make for a fun demographic.

Returning to Herr Colicchio, he's an entertaining and thoughtful fellow who knows a lot about cooking. The New York Times recently ran a feature on him which I thought I would link here. But since this is also about me, I thought I'd save the New York Times some time and answer their questions before they schedule an interview with me (I'm really thoughtful).

Restaurant pet peeve: Using packaged food. Don't try to pass off boxed mashed potatoes or Jell-O cheesecake as something that you prepared. For that matter, just don't serve it. Either mash some taters or get into another business.

Always with him: An inane and often annoying running numeric and pattern analysis. Tonight for example we're driving home from practices and I say to the boowahs "You know, this is the only time where we have this symmetry in your educations. You have three years of school under your belt and nine to go and your brother has completed nine years and has three more before he graduates". I wasn't thinking about this at all. There was nothing to trigger it. My mind just felt the need to point it out to me.

Food aversions: Mushrooms. Mushrooms. Organs. Mushrooms. Wait, I'm missing one. I remember now. Mushrooms.

Worst thing about his kitchen: Electric oven and a dishwasher that doesn't take its job duties too seriously.

Why rent? I don't for one simple reason. I hate footsteps on my ceiling.

Favorite place in apartment: I'll answer this for the house. The baseball room/library, of course.

Morning routine: Up at 6, get Gaga up. Go downstairs and start the computer. Check e-mail and news until Gaga comes down. Visit with him for the seven seconds it takes him to inhale his breakfast. Make his lunch. Return to the computer until it is time for him to go. Give him a hug and watch him until he's across the street and on the way to the bus stop.

By this time Doodle is probably up. Eat breakfast with him. Make his lunch. Sign his assignment planner. He often commandeers my computer after he brushes his teeth so I will read or play Strat-O-Matic depending on my mood. Walk him to the bus stop and see him off. From there the routine varies daily.

Worst culinary creation: Some fifteen plus years ago I tried to make a recipe out of a Cooking Light magazine for braided blueberry bread. It tanked miserably. I would have had better luck trying to make bread out of the magazine itself and not wasted good ingredients.

Most-used cookbook: Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Collection: Baseball books. Approaching fourteen hundred. The majority of them useful for research purposes and not goofy fluff.

Music in kitchen: I don't listen to enough music and need to remedy that. Playing some while I cook would be a nice start.

Superstitions: Don't really have any. I always put my right sock, then right shoe, then left sock, then left shoe on but that's a habit and not a superstition.

Fishing gear: I don't fish.

Obsession: Baseball. Books about baseball.

Old-time religion: I was semi-raised Presbyterian. Started exploring various religions and cults in high school and college and found myself liking different aspects of Scientology and Buddhism. My personal belief system leans more towards the latter nowadays but I don't really categorize my belief system in any particular way.

Cooking philosophy:
Heck with the boowahs. Fix some vegetables.

Top “Top Chef” memorabilia: Don't have any. If I could have one thing, it would probably be Gail Simmons as a trophy wife.

Worst thing about TV stardom: Without a doubt, the groupies. Especially here in Lancaster County. The Amish are just horrible about it. I'm sorry, was I not clear? The lack of groupies is the worst thing. But that may have more to do with the lack of TV stardom I possess.

Always in fridge: Cottage cheese for myself and milk for the boowahs.

Worst meal he ever had: The worst time with food I ever had was in Kinston, North Carolina. Went there for a ballgame. The Holiday Inn was horrible and tried to pass off the above mentioned Jell-O cheesecake as homemade. The hot dogs at the ballpark were day-glo pink on the inside. Seriously, the color of the hot dog should never occur anywhere outside of the fallout zone of a nuclear blast. The best meal was at a Burger King where we got to talk to the incredibly tall (he was 6'7") witty and cynical Rod McCall in the parking lot while he waited for Pete Rose, Jr. to come out with his food.

Fitness routine: Crossfit, baby!!!!

Evening routine: My evenings are contingent on what I didn't get done during the day and what I feel like I have enough energy to do. Thus, they are unpredictable.

Obsolete item he won’t toss: My alto sax. It's more corrosion than metal and if I ever dared play it, it would sound awful. Plus, I have a wonderful tenor sax and have no need to play the alto. I won't toss it, though.

Best recent gift: My folks hooked me up with some new clothes for my birthday which were much needed.

Favorite cooking tool:
As mentioned before, my Kyocera ceramic knife is my favorite thing in my kitchen.

Least useful kitchen gadget:
One of the nice things about the divorce and moving out and starting a new home on my own was the ability (and necessity) to keep things simple. I don't have extraneous items. My dish drainer which I use when I hand wash dishes has all these multiple layers I don't know the purpose for. That would have to be my pick.

Best thing about job: I work in a library. One of my two favorite places to be (the other being the ballpark). Although I've only been a librarian for eight months, I haven't had a bad day. I've never walked into a library anywhere and didn't get a thrill out of it. I still get it every day when I go to work. Shame it took me this many years to make a career out of it.

Recipe inspiration: I'll get a hankering for a food and want to do something different with it.

Last meal would be: Fresh raspberries and veal piccata.

Travel ritual: Let someone else drive if at all possible.

Biggest self-indulgence: Peanut butter KandyKakes from Tastykake. I can't even get them anymore because I'll eat a whole box in a day. They would be my dessert for my last meal.

Favorite table decoration: Our table tends to be decorated with whatever hasn't been put away. School papers, empty bottles, folded clean clothes. My favorite decoration is a clear table.

Favorite movie: I can't pick one anymore. It used to be Real Genius because of the semi-biographical nature of the film (Val Kilmer's character Chris Knight was based on me. At least I think so). Wonder Boys is up there. The Sting. The Horse Whisperer. Those would be the big ones, I think.

Household issue he’s fussy about:
Everything. When you do it all, you have to be fussy.

Procrastination technique: Blogging instead of working on my homework.

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