Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ilva and the Interview Meme

I may be the last person in the blogosphere to participate in this meme that is making the rounds, but I was intrigued by Ilva's of Lucullian Delights offer to write a set of tailored questions if you would like to be interviewed. I have read many questions and responses and it was interesting to see fellow bloggers, what they honed in on in developing their questions and the responses. I received Ilva's questions today, and so I am closing the loop. Here are her questions and my answers.

1. How has your view of children's food or the way you feed your children changed since you had your first one?

First of all, I am a big proponent of breast-feeding, though I hear it is losing favor among young mothers. I breast-fed all of my children for at least 3 months, and I think the fact that none of them suffer from allergies can in large measure be attributed to that. Once real food came into the picture, I made a lot of my own baby food (have you tasted jarred baby food- wallpaper paste tastes better!) Most of my children are adventurous eaters, mainly because when they were young, I insisted on making only one meal for everyone, no special requests and you had to take a "brownie bite" (an old Girl Scout expression) of anything on your plate. Now that I only have one child under 18 at home, I am more flexible with this rule. If I make something Molly doesn't like she can have any leftovers we have on hand or something she can make herself (salad, grilled cheese, sandwich, egg or chicken salad).
I also love to make food an occasion- for example, we have "Chinese New Year's Eve" when we have homemade Chinese food (one of my early posts) and eat sitting on the floor around our cocktail table with chopsticks. During the Olympics, we have food from a different country every night (this is a lot of fun with questions about participating countries, history of the Olympic games etc. and prizes from the Dollar Tree for those with the most right answers). I want my children to appreciate other cultures and one of the best ways is through food.

2. Which is the dominating colour in your house now when it's been painted?

Well, since I have been blogging lately about our rental home and I believe that is where Ilva came up with this question, I have to say that we have painted the interior primarily shades of Ivory and White, since a home you rent should use neutral colors so any potential client can see their furnishings at home there. However, I am a real color person and when we lived in that house my master bedroom was painted a midnight blue with white glossy trim, and our dining room trim was painted a marine blue, which I loved.
Since this house was our family's home for 17 years, we had lots of memories there which flooded back as I was prepping and painting rooms. I remembered before Katie was born climbing on a ladder at 8 months pregnant during my "nesting" phase handpainting a stencil of yellow tulips above the picture molding. Perhaps the weirdest color combination was when Colleen and Katie were young teens and were sharing the same room and couldn't agree on colors- the compromise was dark lavender, almost purple walls (Colleen's choice)and green trim (Katie's choice). It sounded a lot better in principle than it looked in practice! To this day, we call that room the "Barney" room after the famous dinosaur!

In my own home, we have only painted three rooms (many of the new rooms in the addition were painted builder's beige and white, and we have not gotten around to them yet) and my pride and joy is my dining room which is painted Martha Stewart's Barn Red with her Glass of Milk trim. I had to put my foot down since my husband was totally opposed (when it was being painted he called it "the artery"). It is a gorgeous room and provides a great backdrop for our antiques. With all my new well-honed painting skills and I am anticipating putting more colors on my walls (after a respite from marathon painting, of course!) You can see it in the picture on the right, decorated for the Katie/Molly birthday celebration!

3. Do you have a secret vice that you are prepared to share with us?

If I told you it wouldn't be a secret, now would it? I think it is not a secret that I am a wicked stress eater and when nobody's looking (and sometimes when they are!) I can eat a movie-sized box of Nerds or a canister of Pringles(mea culpa).

4. Do you collect something? If yes what and why?

My husband and I love antiques, and we have furnished our home with pieces from his parents, and from auctions and antique shops. While some people think of antiques as used furniture, I think of them as furnishings that come with a history. While our pieces wouldn't make us rich on antiques roadshow, they make our house into a warm and comfortable home (and frankly, for a great deal less money than new furniture would cost!) At left, see Bridget dressed for a formal, posing in front of our favorite bargains, a Chinese wedding cabinet (Bridget's one of our favorite's too!)

5. The best thing you have ever eaten, why and where!

Wow, this is a tough one! I have not been to culinary Meccas like New York or San Francisco or Paris, or Santorini, but I have eaten some great food. The best meal I ever had was at James Haller's Blue Strawberry Restaurant in New Hampshire almost 25 years ago. It was a fixed menu dinner, and my husband and I were young marrieds with a new baby and we scrounged all the money (including change) we had to afford this dinner with the rest of his family. To be honest, except for meals I have made myself, it is the only multi (more than 3)-course meal I have ever had in a restaurant (horrors!). I was so impressed with James Haller's no-recipe approach to food, that I bought the cookbook, and I incorporated his philosophy into my own way of cooking. The best single dish- A venison backstrap with a drunken cherry sauce made by Evil David on what we affectionately called "The Mother of all Tapas Nights". Simple food pleasure (unparalleled) - a s'more made around the campfire on a cool fall evening!
If any one is out there that hasn't yet participated in this meme and would like to be interviewed by me, send me an email and I will send you several questions specifically tailored to you and you too can bare your soul to the blogosphere!


ArkAngels for Russian Orphans said...

Hey there. Congrats on finishing the painting!! I can tell everyone here that it looks great! I've just started a food blog (to go along with my family blog). And I'd love to be interviewed!
If anyone is interested, my new food blog can be found at:
And my family blog is at:

Deborah Dowd said...

Lisa- We still have the kitchen and the garage to do, but the end is in sight. While it is "cheating" a bit to interview you, since I actually know you, I'll be sending your questions later today! Congrats on the food blog.

ArkAngels for Russian Orphans said...

Congrats on the light at the end of the tunnel!!
My answers are posted --