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My blogging friend (I’m happy to call him that!) Nick over at FrugalFeeding has just asked me to participate in an “Unplugged” interview. Nick has such a gift with words, is very clever and is brilliant at saving dollars (pounds) on dinners. I enjoy following his blog so much. This is another one of those answer-a-slew-of-questions-and-then-pass-them-on to another 5 so that eventually, most of us bloggers will have been tagged and we can share the embarrassment of having revealed one or two too many details about our inner workings. I’ve discovered though that others really aren’t quite so bad at that as I am, so I’ll try to be a bit more discreet and veiled this time around. (like I know how to do that!)

I so don’t want to bore you. Move along if you’ve got better things to do with your time…and really, who doesn’t? : )   My next post (today I think) will have real food in it!

But because Nick is a jolly good fellow and an all-around nice guy and a good cook besides, and because he kindly asked me to…

here we go, this is………….

(because I cut and pasted the questions from Frugal Feeding, I have some sort of formatting error that I can’t seem to correct.

That problem’s completely resolved if you just click on the “unplugged” title of the post.)

Who or what inspired you to start your blog?

I found I was fixing dinner and snapping photos with my phone and emailing them to my daughters or friends and sharing recipes for things I’d discovered and loved. It seemed like a natural progression to take it to the inter-web.  (Though don’t for a minute think that I did that without being, first of all, scared to death, and second of all, scared to death.)

Who is your foodie inspiration?

This is a cop-out, right? I haven’t one. I have more like dozens. But they’re constantly trading places…this is like a game of musical chairs. I can’t keep track.  But in all honesty, I think food is my #1 inspiration.

Your greasiest most batter splattered cook book is?

So you think from the answer to that question that you’ll know my favorite cookbook? Oh no, not so. I have a weird thing about books. I kind of love them. And I take very good care of them. And my very favorite cookbooks, I shield from my greasy fingers and flying food, under plastic. I know, really anal. So there you have it already, embarrassing detail #1. Embarrassing detail #2 – despite the care I take of my cookbooks, I can (and often do) make a tremendous mess in the kitchen!

The best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it and what was it?

I think it might have been chocolate croissants that came fresh and still warm to our room every morning, along with thick & extraordinary coffee with cream. This was in Paris, in a darling room that could only have been in France – the sheared fabric on the walls, the upholstery on the chair, and the curtains on the tall windows were all in an identical pattern. I wouldn’t want that at home, not in any room, but there, it was lovely. We all know though…food is all wrapped up with memory. And those chocolate croissants are all wrapped up with those very happy days my husband and I spent walking the streets and parks of Paris.

Another Food Blogger’s table you would like to eat at?

You know by now that I write my own rules on occasion. So, ok, three blogger’s tables that I’d like to eat at…Roger & his wife Jenny’s (Roger’s blog: Food Photography & France), at Chicago John’s with the rest of his family (From the Bartolini kitchens) and on Tanya & her Big Man’s patio on a mountain in Spain (  Andaluza’s.)  (French, Italian, Spanish.) I also happen to love their blogs. There’s more, lots more, but I’m held (very loosely) to rules.

What one kitchen gadget would you like Santa to bring you? (if money were no object)

A new garbage disposal.

Who taught you how to cook?

I’d have to say I taught myself. I wasn’t the best of teachers, but together we got it done. The inspiration for cooking though came from home. Both my Mom and Dad cooked and my brothers and I grew up eating GOOD, well-flavored food, with ventures into different ethnic cuisines. That makes such a difference when you’re learning to cook, first of all knowing what good food tastes like and second,  not being afraid to play and experiment.

I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?

Oh, you are? What time of year? Roasted chicken or grilled salmon, or seared ahi, or half a dozen good soups, or pesto on pasta, and always a good salad at our house.

What is your guilty food pleasure?

I don’t eat anything I’d feel guilty about. If there’s something I want to indulge in, I do. I just “behave myself” before (as in the case of chocolate mousse last week) or afterwards, cutting back on this or that. It’s a balancing-the-books sort of thing. (My mother will be so happy to read that, because she taught me, “All things in moderation…including moderation.”)

Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?

When I cook, I have a habit of opening cupboards and drawers and leaving them open. When I make an especially elaborate meal, my husband loves to follow behind me and count the doors as he quietly closes them one by one. I have a lot of cupboards. He gets quite a kick out of it. Much more so than I.

My next job seems to be choosing other bloggers whom I would love to know more about.  I feel terribly guilty about this. I’m a bit at a loss. I’ve done this before, and I might have even annoyed a few. I follow some Really Great Blogs, but only a good handful, so I don’t have hundreds to choose from.

I’ve got an idea! And I swear it just came to me! Why don’t YOU comment back to me with ONE other blogger you’d like to know more about! Let’s make this an unusually democratic process! Tell me who, and tell me why and I’ll share it in a brief follow-up post. What do you think? (Thanks for reading all the way to the end…You’ve got such patience!)

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. I loved reading this post and finding out more about you and the photo was so clever and quirky! You are most welcome Up Our Mountain anytime – can you imagine what fun that would be?! And I think your mother is a very wise woman – “All things in moderation…including moderation” 🙂

    January 23, 2012
    • I absolute CAN imagine, Tanya! I may angle for an invitation in September! I would so love to spend an afternoon into the late evening on your patio with you!

      January 23, 2012
  2. I’m with Chica Andaluza! How I love that photo and that quote of Grandma’s. Whatever questions you’re answering, I feel like I’m right there with you. Fun journey that is. I would never have known, for instance, that chocolate croissants in Paris were your favorite. Thanks for sharing more of yourself here. Never boring.

    January 23, 2012
    • I can’t say that the croissants are the very favorite thing I’ve ever eaten…oh, but I did, didn’t I? You see, if I have to say OUT of the country, and just ONE item, and because it was April, and because it was Paris, yeah, I’m sticking with my answer. 😉

      January 23, 2012
  3. You really couldn’t eat anything but chocolate crossiants and strong coffee for breakfast in Paris now could you? That’s what I would be eating anyway! (And thanks for transporting me for that beautiful French moment…*sigh*)

    January 23, 2012
    • No, how could I? I couldn’t. And the French moment was sweet for me too…(sigh too)

      January 23, 2012
  4. I read your answers down to the end and think you are one clever gal! If I may nominate one extra blogger, can it be ME?



    January 23, 2012
    • Absolutely! You’ve made the list!

      January 23, 2012
  5. I had to laugh when I read the question about the best thing eaten in another country – I am one of the least world-traveled people I know! How bad is it? I have traveled up the entire length of Michigan, crossed over the bridge (the Mackinaw too) and entered Canada. And the best thing I ate there? A waffle at the tacky diner my mother insisted upon going to for a bit of “local flavor.” I think I will love vicariously through your adventures!

    January 23, 2012
    • Local flavor in a waffle! That’s pretty awesome! 🙂 If I were going to name the best meal I’ve ever had, it would be about 20 minutes from where we live. You don’t have to go far for good food. (And it would seem you should never cross the river for waffles!)

      January 23, 2012
      • I crossed LAKE SUPERIOR for that waffle! And it really wasn’t very good! Tell you what! I know that I had to have had coffee with that meal, and since I don’t remember anything about that coffee, it must have been okay, so I am going to change my answer to: COFFEE!

        January 23, 2012
        • Oh you crack me up!! Thank you for good laughs!

          January 23, 2012
    • CF, if you had maple syrup on that waffle, at least you did have a taste of a Canadian classic while on Canadian soil! 😉

      January 23, 2012
      • You are correct, Kathryn! And if I had a side of Canadian bacon, it would complete the trifecta!

        January 23, 2012
  6. Love the “electric” mortar!! Somehow I’m not terribly surprised at your answers to the questions, but I like them very well indeed. Both the answers and the elegant way you weave them into prose–wonderfully enjoyable.

    January 23, 2012
    • Well, I’ve been trying to study at your feet dear Kathryn! And about the mortar, there weren’t many of these made! I was very lucky to come by this! 😉

      January 23, 2012
  7. I loved this opportunity to get to know you better, Ms. Spree! From the opening picture to your replies to everyone’s comments, a real pleasure to read. Thanks for mentioning my table and I’ll tell ya what. I’ll be more than happy to wine and dine you, just so long as I can join your trip across The Pond to see Roger & Tanya. Deal?

    January 23, 2012
    • Oh you have SO got yourself a deal John! (what’s the line? I may be stupid, but I’m no fool!) I can hardly imagine a deal better! 🙂

      January 23, 2012
  8. Can't live without.... #

    Glad I came here from FrugalFeeding. Your pictures are beautiful…and food truly inspiring. Nice to know you.

    January 24, 2012
    • Well, I am so happy to make your acquaintance “Can’t Live Without…” !

      January 25, 2012
  9. Our garbage disposal has been broken forever! I’ve seen so many people do this, I’m not sure who hasn’t…. Hmm. Has Natalie over at Cook, Eat, Live, Vegetarian? Oh no if she did like yesterday, I’ll be embarrassed.

    January 24, 2012
    • Great idea Greg! I’ll go ask her.

      January 24, 2012
  10. To read this is to get a tiny slice of your sheer adorability: your fresh, candid, playful way leaves me hungry for more, Spreenkle. Please do more interviews. 🙂 You truly Sparkle!

    And…when will you be on TV next?

    January 24, 2012
    • Shhhhhh…we don’t talk about that!

      January 25, 2012
  11. Deb schneider #

    You are an adventurous sort! What I love is not only your willingness to share yourself, but to do so with such freedom. What a cherished memory – chocolate crouissants in Paris. Ahhh . . .

    January 25, 2012
  12. Loved reading your answers 🙂 I do leave the cupboards and drawers open too and my husband keeps telling me someday you’ll bang your head really bad (I’m rather tall) and then maybe you’ll start closing them lol

    January 26, 2012
  13. Totally didn’t see this! I’m SO glad you did it. You must stop paying me so many compliments! (I love it really). Good to know more about you! Sorry about the formatting issues!

    January 28, 2012

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