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Purple House Dirt

I’ve only baked for one challenge, but I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges,

and hopefully one day hosting a challenge of my own. I’ve enjoyed baking with the Daring Bakers because the challenges really push me – I don’t get to be lazy. I feel like I’m my own worst critic, but I sure appreciate the feedback of others who have tried to bake the same thing.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?

My mom’s old trusty pairing knife is my favorite gadget. It’s a piece of junk but is serrated and is a good size for my hands. I peel, cut, and repair all sorts of things with that. As far as my favorite appliance, it’s definitely my DeLonghi 1000-watt stand mixer. Oh, I love that beast. It weighs a ton, but that comes in handy when I’m doing things like grinding meat and making sausage. At least it doesn’t go walking around on the counter.

You’ve just won $5000.00!!!

I’d anonymously buy groceries for folks who need the extra help. You know the drill, go to a grocery store that may have a lot of older folks who frequent it. Chat with the store manager and see if you can get a plan worked out. Make someone’s day, but tell nobody.

What is the ultimate comfort food to you?

This is a toss-up between spaghetti and ramen noodles. Both are childhood standards for me, starchy and vibrant smelling. Yes, even ramen noodles can smell vibrant with the right additions.

Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?

Autumn for sure. Harvest is in, the heat is over, and now we get to buckle down and cook those homey stews. Enjoying hearth food with friends is better when it’s cool (but not freezing). I like to go outside with a big glass of wine, take a deep breath of cool air, and then go back in to a cozy house. What’s better than that?

You’ve had a rough week. We feel your pain. How do you relax after a rough week?

If it’s cold outside, I head to the Korean spa nearby and take advantage of their baths and heated rooms. A couple of hours of quiet is all I need to recharge.

Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?

This is a toughie, but so far I have to say I loved our recent trip to Indonesia. We’d just come from a solid few days of eating in Singapore, and the change of pace was so radical when we arrived in Yogyakarta. We spent our first morning listening to the call to prayer, and then headed to Borobodur, a huge Buddhist temple in the middle of the jungle. We spent our time in Indonesia surrounded by enormous generosity and spirituality, and an amazing sense of inner quiet.

What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?

Practically speaking, I’m a die-hard fan of Saveur because it’s accessible to me. Meaning, most everything they cover is food I’d eat, like to make, want to know. However, if we’re talking pure food porn, I try to get a copy of delicious from Australia every now and then. It’s too spendy to subscribe, but man, that stuff is always beautiful and different.

What did you eat for dinner last night? Did you prepare it or someone else?

We ate laksa last night, made by my awesome amazing BF Todd. He tasted it on our trip to Singapore and came home and made his first batch last night. We’ll be revisiting that one for sure.

If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?

You must be joking. Our kitchen is so small (chorus: how small is it?) that once the fridge door is opened, you have to leave the kitchen and enter the other side in order to put something on the counter. And when the fridge is open, you can’t open the drawers next to it or the oven door. The microwave’s kitchen timer turns on the exhaust fan. Sometimes the fridge freezes and the freezer melts. And the worst thing is that the counters are so small that my rolling pins don’t fit on them. So rolled dough is a challenge.

We will be renovating our house this year, but I have to admit that what we’ve been able to accomplish in our little galley is pretty incredible so far. Imagine what a few extra feet will bring.

The Martha – Angel of Domestication or Minion of Evil? Why?

More like Belle of the Boardroom. Any woman who can make a buck peddling the glories of doing laundry is a pretty sharp tack. And after throwing her in prison for a measly $7k, her comeback is incredible. While I wouldn’t want to work for her, I totally respect the empire she’s built. She may not bake her own stuff anymore and she may have a crew of gardeners that she yells at, but heck, how long will we continue to beat her up for her success? She’s no more vile than any other successful entrepreneur.

You can visit Jenny on her blog Purple House Dirt

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Katherine & John