SECTION I: FOODIE? PROVE IT!
1. What’s your favourite type of honey?
Clover, without a doubt.
2. Yuzu juice – yes or no?
Sí! I enjoy yuzu juice most on oysters. It really packs a punch (more so than lemon or lime juice, in my opinion). I also used it in a cocktail last year.
3. Do you bake your own bread? If so: dry or fresh yeast?
With intervals. 😉 I’m a dry yeast adept, mainly because I can’t recall ever working with fresh one before. Does this mean I’m not a true foodie? Hehe.
4. How many cookbooks do you own?
*runs off to the kitchen* 58. Yikes!
5. Have you ever bought a cookbook without ever making a recipe?
Hehe. A few, to be honest. Just a matter of time, though! *Surely!*
6. Have you ever travelled anywhere just/mainly for the food?
Our honeymoon to Bali in 2015 ticked a lot of boxes, great food being one of them, but it wasn’t the main reason. Mrs Pomegranate and I did take an Indonesian cooking course in Seraya, and had an amazing time trying out local food at warungs.
Our road trip through the Malaysian peninsula this summer would definitely fall under “foodie travel”. I have a (loooong) list of street food I’m desperate to try, along with a “must-eat-there” guide. *giggle* Counting the weeks!
7. Sea salt, rock salt or fleur de sel?
Sea salt is the most useful, in my opinion, although I do enjoy using Himalayan rock salt at times (great on oven-baked potatoes). Fleur de sel I don’t use that often.
8. French, Swiss or Italian meringue?
French is my go-to meringue, but I have made Italian meringue for a fruit pie now and again. Swiss I have yet to try.
9. Have you ever made your own pasta?
Oy. There’s a pasta maker that’s been sitting in a kitchen cupboard for nearly two years now. I’ll take it out this summer! Promise!
10. Freekeh, couscous, pearl barley, spelt or quinoa?
I love freekeh’s taste, couscous lightness and quinoa’s versatility (the best veggie burgers you’ll ever try, using quinoa).
As for pearl barley, I like it best in a salad, but I’m not a huge fan. I don’t think I’ve ever used spelt “independently”; always a spelt/quinoa/freekeh combo. Overall, I’d go for couscous or quinoa.
11. How often do you visit a foreign specialty shop?
Not nearly as often as I’d like to! I’m a sucker for Asian supermarkets, but we don’t have that many around. *sob*
12. What’s been your biggest kitchen splurge so far?
Does the actual kitchen count? :-p I suppose that would have to be our American side-by-side.
13. Grilling: griddle or oven?
If at all possible, I’ll choose a griddle over an oven any day.
14. Have you ever smoked meat/fish yourself?
Nope. I’ve looked into smokers a few times, but I don’t think I’d use the bloody thing often enough.
15. Do you indulge in food porn? Actively or passively?
HA! As a blogger, I suppose I should, shouldn’t I? My photography skills aren’t exactly up to standard, though. I do enjoy looking at other people’s food photography (I even devoted a seminar to it this year… Poor students!), but as for my own pictures… Not terribly arousing… yet.
SECTION II: FAVOURITES
16. What’s your favourite cuisine?
I’m particularly fond of Asian cuisine. Indonesian food (mie goreng, beef rendang and sweet&spicy tempeh are but a few dishes that will bring warm feelings to my heart – and will have me acting like Pavlov’s dog – time and again) is my absolute favourite for the time being. After this summer Malaysian cuisine may be a new addition to the team! (I can already picture our bookcase no longer being able to bear the added weight of Malaysian cookbooks come September.)
17. Do you have a favourite ingredient?
A fair few, like most people, I imagine. If I had to choose one, I’d say… chorizo. Mmmmm!
18. Which ingredient do you loathe/think is overrated?
Feta. Not my thing. Not swooning over fresh coriander leaves either.
19. What is your favourite fruit and vegetable? And your favourite herb/spice?
Vegetable: garlic and asparagus
Herb: kaffir lime leaves
Spice: smoked paprika and cinnamon
20. What’s the strangest dish you’ve ever tried?
Nothing too wild so far. I once had a (yummy) Tandoori insect burger in Ostend.
Last year, I had grilled barracuda on Gili Air (absolutely delicious!), but I wouldn’t call that particularly strange given the surroundings.
21. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
22. Who’s your favourite celebrity chef?
Nigel Slater! Woop woop!
23. What’s your favourite food-related TV programme?
The Great British Bake Off! (Yay!)
24. What’s your favourite food magazine?
Loyal BBC Good Food subscriber here.
25. What’s your favourite food destination?
Indonesia still #1. I had some great food in Edinburgh as well.
26. What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
I’d never refer to my knives/casseroles/graters/measuring cups/… as gadgets, so apart from the bare necessities I would go for… my potato ricer. Such fun!
27. What’s your favourite chocolate pairing?
Chocolate and pomegranate, chocolate and cherry and chocolate and nuts.
Just to be clear, though: there is only one kind of chocolate: dark chocolate.
There is no such thing as milk chocolate in my world. What’s that? White chocolate? Blasphemy!
28. What kind of oil do you use most of all?
Groundnut, sunflower and rice for the most part, with a hint of olive/toasted sesame/chilli/basil if necessary.
29. What’s your favourite comfort food?
A sandwich. Any sandwich. Or tarama. Or chocolate.
30. What is your favourite food memory from childhood?
Gosh. Tricky one.
My earliest memory from childhood is actually kind of food-related: me sitting on my Mum’s lap as my Dad comes in, just having milked our goat (I was allergic to cow’s milk).
Apart from that one, I remember Mum’s spaghetti, which never tasted exactly the same twice.
SECTION III: VICTORIES, FAILURES & TALENTS
31. What has been your biggest success story in the kitchen so far?
Making our wedding cake ranks pretty high up there (even though the cupcakes were a mess).
32. What about your biggest failure?
I once made an apple pie with an “alternative” filling, which had a rather strong baking powder aftertaste.
33. Have you ever created a recipe yourself? (Feel free to share!)
A few, but my ultimate favourite remains Ullsdamse lookbollen, a recipe based on a bake from my fantasy novel (which is not getting published any time soon *sigh*). Find the recipe here.
34. Is there any particular dish you just can’t get the hang of?
Shortcrust pastry is a nightmare. Mine always breaks up in the rolling pin stadium, and I’m left putting together scraps of pastry to fill the tin. Works fine, but still…
35. Do you have any kitchen specialities?
I make a mean batch of Balinese chicken wings (my parents have been begging for the recipe for years), and I’m pretty good at baking savoury bread treats.
SECTION IV: RANDOM
36. Have you ever made your own granola?
I have, many times. I tend to include dried figs or cranberries and always use agave syrup rather than honey.
37. Pie crusts: home-made or shop-bought?
I tend to use ready-made pastry. Who has the time to make their own puff pastry, or the patience to make their own filo? Not me! I’ve never used pre-baked crusts, though.
38. Are you a bug eater?
Not a consistent one, but I’m not put off by it either.
39. Are you a liver/lung/tripe/… person?
Aaaaah, I love liver! Quite the haggis aficionado too.
40. Have you ever invented a cocktail/non-alcoholic drink?
Did this as part of my 30 before 30: Stapelsmoor Essence!
41. Are you a fondant/an icing whizz?
42. Cookbooks: paper copy or online?
Paper! Love browsing the web for recipes, but e-cookbooks? No, thank you.
43. Eggs: poached, fried, scrambled, …?
Sunny side up with a bit of sweet spaghetti spice mix on top, or poached.
44. Recipe or a bit of improv?
How about a recipe with a personal tweak or two? 😉
45. When hosting a dinner party, is there anything you can’t spend time/effort on? In other words, do you use any shortcuts?
I go a bit wild when hosting a dinner party, so no real shortcuts for me. If possible, I do tend to choose a main course that can be made ahead.