Monday, March 8, 2010

what's for dinner, mollie katzen?

Today's Q&A subject is someone very important to me. Mollie Katzen is the person who basically taught me how to cook. In high school, during a vegetarian phase, my mother gave me a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook and it became my kitchen bible, with its beautiful illustrations and satisfyingly healthy, internationally-influenced recipes. And I'm just one fan out of millions. She is one of the best-selling cookbook authors of all time, Health magazine named her one of the "five women who changed the way we eat," and she's been inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame. Mollie was a painter before she became an author and her artistic sensability is felt in all of her books. Each page feels so hand-crafted and special, like a friend in the kitchen guiding you through every step. Thank you for sparking my interest in cooking, Mollie, and thank you for participating in this Q&A.

1. Name, occupation, and city
Mollie Katzen, cookbook author, Berkeley, CA


2. When was the last time you threw a dinner party, and who was invited?
Three weeks ago for three girlfriends

3. What is the best menu you've ever made for company?
Caribbean lentils with roasted tomatoes and olives
Coconut Basmati pilaf with chiles and limes
Caribbean composed salad (greens, mango, radishes, and more)
Artisan bread
Cheese platter
Chocolates

4. What's your preference: wine, beer, cocktails?
Wine

5. What's your favorite dinner party soundtrack?
I don't do background music...

6. Some friends are coming over for a last-minute dinner. What do you make?
Pasta with dried mushrooms, white wine, and a dash of cream.

7. Do you usually cook everything yourself, or do you have help?
I cook it all. Love the meditative quality of it, if I start early enough and can work methodically. (Caveat about the "no background music," above: I don't like background music when guests have arrives and we are having a conversation. I do like it when cooking ahead of time or if we decide to dance...)


8. Do you ever buy store-bought food, or is everything on your table made from scratch?
Scratch

9. What do you like to serve for dessert?
Cheese
Fruit
Homemade cookies or brownies (The latter would be a la mode. I would buy, not make, the ice cream. Fudge brownies with ginger ice cream are common at my house.)
Homemade pie or nut tart
(not all the above at once...)

10. If you could invite anyone over for dinner (living or dead), who would it be?

My girlfriends

[Photo: Lisa Keating]

8 comments:

Kim said...

I love Mollie Katzen, her cookbooks are stained, weathered treasures in my kitchen. Thanks for interviewing her.

Lisa said...

Mine too! Stains are the sign of a good cookbook. Thanks for reading, Kim.

Daniel said...

This is not the first in Q&A in which the concept of dancing after dinner has come up. This has yet to happen at one of our dinner parties. Not enough room? Wrong soundtrack? Or are we just logey from stuffing ourselves?

Lisa said...

Daniel: I don't know, maybe we are just really lame and don't know it?

Johanna said...

Oooh, I must look at the Mollie's cookbooks; I like the idea of the meditative aspect of cooking. I need to get into that! Great interview, Lisa!

Dale Porcher said...

A far cry from your CR Chicks days! I just saw your mother in law in the office today and she gave me the blog addy. Dale Porcher DVM sunny and warm, WPB,Fl.

Lisa said...

Dale: Oh, no! Now everyone knows my secret CR Chicks past.

Just kidding! It's nice to hear from you. Thank you for checking out my blog (and for taking good care of the family dogs). I hope all's well!

Famous Restaurant Recipes said...

thanks I love all the recipes - your cookbooks are amazing. thanks
http://www.famous-restaurantrecipes.com

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