23 Answers About Cooking and Eating

I got tagged by Sebastian for this (until now) German-speaking meme about eating habits.

1. Can you cook? If yes, do you actually like to cook?

I can cook. So many guests wouldn’t be coming again and again just for my beautiful black eyes (Turkish saying), I assume. And I love to cook. I love the food-shopping, I love the idea-finding, I love the tackling of difficulties and the meditation-like quality of simple tasks, I love eating the results and I love seeing that others like it as well.

2. When does your whole family come together to eat?

My family being just T and me, we always eat dinner together on weeknights and on weekends every single meal.

3. What do you have for breakfast?

Weekdays breakfast is usually rather late (after an initial couple of hours in front of the computer) and in my favorite cafe of the moment (right now Herbertz). If all is well, some kind of sandwich (at Herbertz rye bread with smoky raw German ham); if I am on low-carb, scrambled eggs with some veggies. Always a cappuccino. Weekend breakfasts may be at home, then some fresh fruit and cereals (no milk, no yogurt) or eggs in case of low-carb need (yes, I do eat a lot of eggs when I am on low-carb and yes, I have excellent blood cholesterol levels). When we are on the road, breakfast can be anything. I mean anything.

4. When, where and how do you eat during the week?

Breakfast as above; lunch kind of gets lost (I know, shame on me!), it is very late due to the late breakfast (eggs do fill you up) and is usually some left-over vegetable from the night before or some cocktail tomatoes or cucumbers at home, in front of the computer (I work at home). If not low-carbing, it can also be some sushi, Thai, Lebanese or French lunch in our neighborhood. T has the choice of crappy Italian, crappy Chinese or crappy German in the vicinity of his workplace. As breakfast he takes some fruit with him to work. Both meals are for him a lot earlier than for me. Dinner is around 8 (if an experiment hasn’t taken unexpected routes and forced us to wait till 10). I admit that if I haven’t prepared something elaborate and if we are without company, we do eat in front of the tv. The foodie gods will be furious!

5. How often do you eat out?

Well, depends on what you count as eating out. Is eating over at friends’ houses eating out? In Munich we have a great circle of foodie friends, so we have at least twice a week guests over for dinner and are over at friends’ places also once or twice. Restaurant visits (other then lunch, see above) are maybe once or twice a week. In Stuttgart we have less company (we live here only temporarily), so restaurant visits can be more often, especially if the weather is nice.

6. How often do you order-in or take-away?

We order very rarely, once in 3 months maybe, and then it is either from a certain Indian place or a certain sushi place (both in Munich). Take-away might be also once in 3 months and then only from a certain pizza place with a wood-burning stone oven (also in Munich) . The quality of 99,9% of order-in or take-away places is not acceptable, and if the food is good it is almost always better to eat it in the restaurant. Of the above three, only the sushi place is a solely-delivery business. Almost always the reason to eat foreign food at home will be a soccer game on tv combined with a total laziness on my side.

7. (re. 5 and 6:) If money was no question, would you like to do it more often?

Money is no issue, we like to spend our money on food and wouldn’t do the above more often. Maybe we would go to higher level restaurants more often than we do now (like check out all the three star restaurants in Europe), but the total outings per week wouldn’t increase.

8. Are there any standards that make regular appearances on your table?

Oven-roasted vegetables are very common on our table, especially as breaks between periods of having-friends-over, being-over-at friends’ and eating out. Also a high-end Brotzeit, i.e. a cold dinner featuring excellent bread with various cold cuts and cheeses, with some fine wine can be found very often at our home. On these occasions, the table looks like an international (at least European) gathering place. We don’t mind serving this to company, either! And T and I wouldn’t mind eating pasta everyday but I do try to slow this down a bit.

9. Have you ever cooked for more than 6 people?

Other than buffets where I have fed up to 40 people, I regularly cook sit-down dinners for 8 (this is the physical limit in our apartment), 8 or 9 courses being the maximum, 3 to 5 courses more regular.

10. Do you cook daily?

As you can see from the above answers, no.

11. Have you ever tried a recipe from another foodblog?

I constantly get inspirations from a lot of foodblogs, but it is rare that I actually carry out a concrete recipe. This also has to do with my style of cooking: Almost never do I follow a recipe! One great exception that comes to my mind is the Crème Brûlée I have made various times according to the delicious:days recipe, only I make a plain version of it, just the custard with vanilla. It always works and gets raves.

12. Who cooks more often in your family?

I do. Today at lunch T announced that he feels like cooking and wants to cook dinner one of these days. He said, “maybe in April, when my project is over and I have the muse”.

13. And who cooks better?

I do. Although, T once, and only once, made a porcini risotto for company which was just loved by everyone present and keeps being recalled year after year. Maybe that is the material of which legends are made.

14. Are there any quarrels because of food?

No. I only get bugged by T every once in a while because of the amount of food I buy, cook and we eat. Also, taking a slice of prosciutto, folding it and eating it up in two bites! without bread! is unbelievable for him and will always, always result in a raised eyebrow.

15. Do you cook totally different than your parents?

Yes. A lot more international. Although I did get my love of food and cooking at home, my parents cook almost only Turkish and traditional German dishes.

16. If yes, do you still like to eat over at your parents’?

Oh yes! My mom is a great cook who went through the hard kitchen-school of her Turkish mother-in-law, aunt-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law and husband. We even at times fly her in to cook Turkish for us and our friends. Yes, we are very lucky.

17. Are you vegetarian or can you imagine living vegetarian?

I am not a vegetarian and I can’t imagine living as one, as I do love meat in almost any form. But I do eat a lot of vegetables.

18. What would you like to try out that you haven’t dared yet?

Butchering a whole sheep or pig and make use of every morsel, like make sausages, headcheese etc. Having grown up in a Muslim country, I have often witnessed the ritual killing of sheep & cattle and have no problems with the notion of killing a healthy animal to eat, with the blood and with eating interesting parts as well. I would like to do all this myself, sometime.

19. Do you rather cook or bake?

Definitely cook. As I said above, I do like to improvise and that doesn’t go that well with baking, at least if you are not an expert yet. I can bake basic cakes, pies etc., sticking reverently to the recipe but do not attempt to make anything too elaborate.

20. What was the most terrible mess you made in the Kitchen?

A couple of years ago I decided to make my own birthday cake according to a recipe from Fran Bigelow’s “pure chocolate” cookbook. It was supposed to be a 3-layered ice cream cake (my birthday is in the height of summer); with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate as the layers and caramel-glazed hazelnuts as decoration (my combination, idea stolen from Keiko). It took me two days to make the cake. Every single step of it went wrong. The recipe refused cooperation. The ingredients turned on me. Every second of it I swore I would never ever do something like this again. I finished the cake because I can be stolid, even mulish, when I start something. In the end it tasted good and everyone liked it but I have never made anything out of that book again. Pity, because the pictures are just lovely.

21. What do your kids like to eat best?

I don’t have any kids (the question is not unresolved, Sebastian, it is resolved thus), but if I had any I am sure they would love plastic, sliced, so-called orange cheese, just to shame me publicly.

22. What would your kids never eat?

See above. I guess they would eat no vegetables, no proper cheese; only soft-cooked spaghetti with ketchup!

23. What do you dislike most?

Unshelled horse beans. It is the only thing on earth which is commonly excepted as food that I won’t be in the same house with while they are being cooked and 24 hours thereafter. Unfortunately, they are very common in Turkey. Now you know why I don’t live there anymore.

Now I would like to know what Cenk over at Cafe Fernando and Véronique from Wie Gott in Deutschland love to cook, bake and eat!

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9 Responses

  1. Hi Hande – Thanks for the tag. I just finished writing the post. Thought I’d let you know. Cheers!

  2. Horse beans were one of the favorite dishes of my father. I know what you mean. The smell can be quite… overpowering.

  3. Chris,
    oh, your father would have been a very happy man in Turkey. There you can have it as a side dish, like a stew with meat, or as a cold olive oil dish. Never seen it in Germany though, except in turkish markets.

  4. Hallo from Sweden!
    “23 Answers About Cooking and eating”. What a lovely idea! A very suitable way to present oneself , having a food-blog

  5. Karin,
    feel free to consider yourself tagged! I will come by and have a look.

  6. Thank you! I´ll try to come up with something next week.

  7. ah! the (in your case not so humble) brotzeit! that’s the dinner i grew up on – every single day. we like this, too, especially nice arrays of bread (ah! austrian bakeries!!!), antipasti, various hams, cheeses, an avocado with vinaigrette, a good salad… and various wines to cross-taste in the company of friends. we’re on the same page here!!!
    on the subject of hams: i also love to eat it as is, especially while i was pregnant now my first stop at the supermarket would be the chiller cabinet, 7 slices of thin blackforest ham or san daniele devoured while pushing around the slowly filling shopping trolley ;-)

  8. Johanna,
    finally someone who understands me! T. cuts a slice of ham into 7 bites, unbelieavable. But he was so happy when we first met each other and he found out he had finally met a girl who loves brotzeit. We have to have a brotzeit together sometime.

  9. [...] Yesterday, Hande at Food Vagabond tagged me for a 23 Q&A meme. [...]

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