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Old 10-26-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
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Getting to Know: Alix

Our newest interview-ee is Alix. Alic joined DC in 2002 and has been an amazing contributor to the community. She has served as a moderator and administrator and helped out 1000's of folks with cooking dilemmas.

So Alix...


What do you do for fun?

Who taught you to cook or made the biggest impact on your cooking style?

List 3 things we would be surprised to find in your fridge or pantry. Do they have a special use?

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Old 10-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #2
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What do you do for fun?

That's a big question. Honestly, my life is mostly ABOUT fun. My job is fun. I get paid to play with kids. When I get home I get to hang out with some pretty cool family members. I enjoy reading (which many of you already know) and I read a LOT. I average about 5 books a week depending on the length of the books. I like to watch movies, but don't often have the time to go OUT to a movie, so we will sometimes rent them. I like to play cards, and other board games when people will play with me. I enjoy messing around on message boards. I like to learn. My current interest is about Bridge. I learned the basics years ago, but recently read The Cardturner by Louis Sachar and realized how complex a game it is. I'm thinking I need to find someone to tutor me.

Who taught you to cook or made the biggest impact on your cooking style?

I learned to cook from my Mom. One of my earliest memories is standing on a stool at the stove stirring pudding. She gave me my start and taught me all the basics. From not working pastry dough and muffin batter too much to balancing sweet/salty/hot/sour in dishes, she gave me the best foundation I could ask for. She didn't use the same descriptions that you see on the TV shows, or even in the posts online. She would just DO and then show me by tasting. She taught me not to be afraid to play in the kitchen. Cooking is about love and joy and all things fun.

List 3 things we would be surprised to find in your fridge or pantry. Do they have a special use?

Hmmm. Another tough one. Lets see...

1. Canned Zebra meat. I'm surprised every time I run across it, yet I'm reluctant to throw it away. It actually IS zebra. My SIL has lived in Africa for years and she always finds something weird to bring back.

2. Giant bottle of lemon juice. I have apparently attained some fame as the "Lemon Lady" and usually use fresh lemons for everything that requires lemon juice. However, the giant bottle of Realemon is what I use for lemon marinade on chicken and for a quickie caesar salad dressing.

3. Red wine in the fridge. I like my red wine cold OK? I still contend that drinking red wine at "room temperature" fails to take into account the ambient temperature of those drafty old stone castles. It was freaking cold in there! ;)

Whoo! Those were tougher than I thought Janet!
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
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1. Who is your favorite author?

2. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

3. What would you name a restaurant if you ran one?
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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1. Who is your favorite author?

Holy crap, break out the easy questions! I'm not sure who I would name as my favorite author. There are lots of writers that I follow and make sure I don't miss their books, but they are scattered through genres and I've got WAY more than one. How about a short list?
Diana Gabaldon (even though I'm still irritated with how she ended her last one!)
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Kelley Armstrong
Carl Hiaasen
Louis Sachar
John Lescroart
Faye Kellerman
Robert B Parker
Linda Howard's suspense books - not her harleys
Iris Johansen
Janet Evanovich

2. Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Prince George, BC. We lived there til I was 2 and then we moved here to Edmonton. I grew up here and love it. I complain about the weather, but really, I'll put up with it for the good things about living here.

3. What would you name a restaurant if you ran one?

I've never thought about running a restaurant. I guess if I were cooking it would feature lots of local stuff and down home cooking. Fresh soups, breads, and of course baking. I think I'd call it "Always Room", as there is always room for a few more at our table. Either that or "The Hearth" where all of us go to get warm.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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What is your favourite type of book to read?
Where are your favourite places to vacation?
Do you have a garden?
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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What is your favourite type of book to read?

I like a good mystery or suspense book. I don't need a murder but I do like a puzzle to work through. I like sagas once in a while, but not a steady diet. I'm a bit tired of the "supernatural" genre, but I'm still reading a few. My favorites in that genre are by Kelley Armstrong. The characters are still "real" even though they are witches or werewolves etc. I've been quite impressed with her excellent characterization.

Where are your favourite places to vacation?

I'm a beach girl. I love the sun and a beautiful coastline. There are so many places in the world that I want to visit and not enough time or money to get to them all! I loved Panama and Costa Rica and the beaches in Cuba and Mexico are beyond beautiful. I would love to get back to Europe. For me, the ideal vacation balances time to just STOP and time to see and learn all about the new locale. It usually takes me a day or so to slow down enough to recognize I'm on vacation!

Do you have a garden?

Yes I do. I love the fresh veggies in the summer. We have limited space available to us though. In our backyard we grow tomatoes, peppers, raspberries and rhubarb. At my MIL's place we have a couple of rows of potatoes, carrots, beans and onions. As for beauty, we have one bed of perennials and several pots of annuals. I'm a pansy fan and usually do a couple pots of them on the front step. The back deck gets splashes of color from petunias and geraniums. Its hot as the hinges of hell back there, so I need some hardy plants that will weather well in the sun.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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If you could spend a day hanging out with any well known chef in history, who would that be and why?

Are there things you cook for your family because you're "supposed to" but don't really like?

Dream Vacation: 3 weeks, $10,000, all by yourself. What would you do?
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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Name a "guilty pleasure" - a food that you love but only allow yourself to have once in awhile.

What is a food you eat at home because the family likes it but you would never order in a restaurant?

Describe your perfect pizza.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #9
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If you could spend a day hanging out with any well known chef in history, who would that be and why?

Probably either Julia Child or Madame Benoit. Those are a couple of ladies who were real down to earth women who did the job and did it with style. They were also willing to share their knowledge and did that with wit and grace.

Are there things you cook for your family because you're "supposed to" but don't really like?
Potatoes. I could live the rest of my life without ever eating another potato, but my family like them. I can tolerate them in some forms, but mashed is one of those things I will do much to avoid.

Dream Vacation: 3 weeks, $10,000, all by yourself. What would you do?

A holiday just isn't special without my sweetie by my side. He'd have to be included. (I'm going to assume that the money doubles because he is with me) We'd do a tour of Western Europe. I'd like to do about a week in the UK. Ken's family is from Ireland (some of mine too) and then up to Scotland and down through Wales and into England. Just able to hit the high spots in that amount of time though. I need to see Stonehenge and Hadrian's wall. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions. Then a quick hop over to France and a nice little tour around the beaches in Normandy, see the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, Mont St Michel, and scores of other pieces of history. A little train tour through the wine country, a stop or two in Spain to see the sights, then continue on south through Italy. I'd like to do a quick run through Venice, just to say I've seen it. Then off to the good stuff in Rome and Naples. Lots of walking tours and time to wander the streets. Got to see the Coliseum, the Forum, Vatican city, the catacombs etc. Naples is mostly about the museum where all the stuff from Pompeii and Herculaneum are kept. Its not really my favorite city. I'd love to take Ken through Pompeii itself as well. That was pretty cool. If the money has held out then we'd hop over to Greece and end the holiday there. A quick run through Athens to get our history lesson then off to Santorini to relax on beaches and to process the lovely piles of history we got to experience.

If there were more money and time the next run would be Israel and Egypt. Still on my bucket list though!
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #10
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I see that my #2 question and PF's are very similar. Sorry about that. Unless you have a different answer you can skip that one.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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Name a "guilty pleasure" - a food that you love but only allow yourself to have once in awhile.

This is a toughie. I don't limit myself very much. The only thing I really limit is due to cost. I love crab. I could eat it til I explode. I can't afford it very often though. One of my favorite treats is Surf 'n Turf at The Keg restaurant. The steak is always perfect and the crab legs are divine. I get it about once a year on my birthday. Delish.

What is a food you eat at home because the family likes it but you would never order in a restaurant?
Spaghetti. Its one of those dishes we all really like and so that means its kind of a "fall back" for when my brain is not firing on all cylinders. I can make it FAST and good without half trying. We've eaten a LOT of spaghetti in our lives. So right now, I'll never order spaghetti when we eat out.

Describe your perfect pizza.

Crispy yeast raised crust with a light sprinkling of cornmeal and a hint of parmesan. Homemade tomato sauce made with roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic with a handful of fresh oregano chopped into it. Thinly shaved ham, diced bacon and pepperoni piled high on top of the tomato sauce. Topped with piles of ooey gooey melty mozzarella and maybe a bit of gruyere. Baked to perfection and served piping hot with a big glass of white wine.

That's the pizza I'd fancy today anyway. Tomorrow I might give a different answer!
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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Do you remember the first serious "grownup" thing you learned to cook? Tell us about it..

What ethnic cuisines intrigue you?

What kitchen gadgets or appliances are on your wish list?
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:23 PM   #13
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1. If you found yourself the main character of an animated movie, what would be the movie's basic plot?

2. Do you have a skill or talent that you wish you had the time and/or resources to develop more?

3. A famous composer wants to write a theme song for you. What kind of song would it be (up-beat, pretty, pop, classical, etc.)?

4. What character trait do you most value in yourself?
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:31 AM   #14
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Do you remember the first serious "grownup" thing you learned to cook? Tell us about it..

I remember cooking lots of things with Mom, and helping as she made dinners. My contribution was often the dessert portion of things. My first full meal was an epic event IMO, because it meant I was going to get a Girl Guide badge. I made hamburger rice ring, a big salad and a dessert. I can't remember a thing about the dessert, but I remember every step of the hamburger rice ring and its the first recipe I ever memorized. I haven't made it in about 20 years though, my husband HATES it. *sigh* Its still one of my favorite dishes. I was so proud of that meal. My Dad didn't much care for that dish, but he praised it to high heaven and ate every speck. I'm sure he sneaked into the kitchen later for a boiled egg or two, but he was a gentleman to the core with me.

What ethnic cuisines intrigue you?

Asian cuisines fascinate me. Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai are my current favorites. I'm a HUGE pho fan but can't get it right! And we know about my sushi love. We have sushi making parties every so often. We aren't fancy, but we sure have fun with it! I haven't tried my hand at Thai food at all because my family are heat wimps. Seriously. 1 tbsp of Frank's in an entire pot of taco meat and they're freaking out about how hot it is. I can't imagine what Thai food would do to them. Doesn't stop me reading about it though!

What kitchen gadgets or appliances are on your wish list?

A hot smoker, a turkey deep fryer, a new hand blender (RIP Braun, you served me well!), a new Visions dutch oven, more stoneware cookie sheets, a new attachment package for my KA...I could go on, but that's the stuff at the top of the list. If I were to order them the hand blender would be first, followed closely by the dutch oven and the new attachment package for the KA. Much as I want the smoker and the deep fryer, those are not going to be used as much as the other "toys".
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:39 AM   #15
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What's your biggest fear?

How did becoming a mother change you?

Do you have any strange food combo's you like?
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #16
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1. If you found yourself the main character of an animated movie, what would be the movie's basic plot?

It would definitely be Spongebob like. Cute little character who blithely wanders into dangerous situations and blunders about "fixing" things because they just want everyone to be happy and nice. That's pretty much the story of my life.

2. Do you have a skill or talent that you wish you had the time and/or resources to develop more?
I used to sing more than I do now. Now its strictly in the shower or car, but back in the day I got to meet some pretty big names because of my singing. Its not my life now, but I do miss it from time to time. I miss singing in a choir too. I don't mean a church choir, I mean a performance based choir. There was a real challenge to learning some of that music and you really had to be on your game. It can be pretty nerve wracking to have a conductor point to your general area and mention that someone is "consistently flat" and to shape up and then give you the hairy eyeball. EEK! How the hell can they identify ONE VOICE in 100 people??? But even with that, the exhilaration of producing that kind of music is inexplicable. O Holy Night still brings tears to my eyes at one particular chord...every time.

3. A famous composer wants to write a theme song for you. What kind of song would it be (up-beat, pretty, pop, classical, etc.)?

Hmmm...upbeat classical a la Bugs Bunny music. My life is more ups than downs and is sometimes in fast forward!

4. What character trait do you most value in yourself?

This is always a tough question for me to answer. (I just did it in my last job interview!) I'm not overly modest, but this question makes me feel like I'm boasting. I believe I "see" people well. I can often read what motivates them, see where they've come from and know how to deal with them. It makes it tough for kids to put one over on me, and sometimes gives me a bit of an edge in deescalating a client. Is that a character trait? Maybe I should just say that I genuinely love people and what makes them who they are. That's more what you're looking for I think.

You guys ask some toughies! I really have to think hard about these ones! I was thinking I was going to be getting stuff like "how many pets do you have?"
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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What's your biggest fear?

Thank God! An easy question! My biggest fear always has been (and always will be) losing people I love or seeing them get hurt. This of course is directly proportional to how close they are to me. Seeing my kids get hurt or struggling with some pain is AWFUL for me. It scares the pants off me that they might walk into traffic and get smushed or someone might hurt them. OK, gotta stop that line of thought! Next question.

How did becoming a mother change you?
I stopped being as selfish and a daredevil. I realized that I was important and completely unimportant all at the same time. Weird revelation, but I think every mother out there gets exactly what I mean.

Do you have any strange food combo's you like?

Well I don't think that it's strange, but I've been told that eating a half a pickle with mashed potato piled on top of it is weird. That's about my only weirdness food wise though. I have food combo's that I DON'T like, but far fewer that I DO. I'm one of those "I don't like my foods to touch on my plate" people. I think they need to have segmented plates for adults too, really nice china ones with just gentle ridges in them to keep gravy from seeping into your veggies!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
What's your biggest fear?

Thank God! An easy question! My biggest fear always has been (and always will be) losing people I love or seeing them get hurt. This of course is directly proportional to how close they are to me. Seeing my kids get hurt or struggling with some pain is AWFUL for me. It scares the pants off me that they might walk into traffic and get smushed or someone might hurt them. OK, gotta stop that line of thought! Next question.

How did becoming a mother change you? I stopped being as selfish and a daredevil. I realized that I was important and completely unimportant all at the same time. Weird revelation, but I think every mother out there gets exactly what I mean.

Do you have any strange food combo's you like?

Well I don't think that it's strange, but I've been told that eating a half a pickle with mashed potato piled on top of it is weird. That's about my only weirdness food wise though. I have food combo's that I DON'T like, but far fewer that I DO. I'm one of those "I don't like my foods to touch on my plate" people. I think they need to have segmented plates for adults too, really nice china ones with just gentle ridges in them to keep gravy from seeping into your veggies!
You answered questions one and 2 exactly as I would have!!!
P.S I hate it so much when my food touches that I don't want to eat if someone dishes up for me
When I order nacho's I ask them to bring my guacamole, salsa and sourcream in bowls seperately. I'm a bit OCD I guess!
Think I may have rubbed off on my Daughter, she'll only eat food that I dished up and wants her gravy in a jug next to her food like I do

I've got grown up plates with sections :p Made them in a pottery class!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:05 AM   #19
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #20
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Hahahahahaha!!! Nice to know I'm not the only weirdo around here! Thanks Snip. PF, that takes me to the home page, does it have pretty segmented plates for me somewhere?

Edit: Nevermind, the second time I tried the link I got it! Cool beans. I actually want my divisions a little more subtle than that. I want really pretty plates where the design in them is actual raised ever so slightly so that it keeps stuff separate. I like to be subtle about my weirdiosity!
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