Monday, May 18, 2009

Foodie Facebook: Julie

Julie is one of those people you wish was your neighbor; you know, the kind with whom you can share a batch of cookies, swap a recipe or trade babysitting on occasion. Her scrumptious blog Dinner with Julie is a constant reminder that we live way too far apart.

Name: Julie

Place: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Occupation: Writer/Eater/one who cooks and eats on radio & TV (this is always difficult to define!)

What is your earliest childhood food memory?

I'm not sure what would classify as my earliest... my Mom likes to tell the story of a 3 year old Julie asking when I could cook by myself - she said when I could read a recipe by myself, I could cook by myself. So I went off for awhile, and when I came back I asked her what a "Tbsp" was (pronounced as spelled). "Use it in a sentence," she said. "Add 2 Tbsp of sugar to.." and so on. I don't remember that myself, but awww, isn't it cute? So I guess cooking has always been my thing. I also have a memory of trying to make homemade cereal out of the long grasses in our back yard that looked just like the fields of blowing wheat on TV commercials. I doused it in sugar and made my sister eat it, and she cried. (That wasn't as bad as the time I invented -and built- a toilet for our fort out back, to save us having to come inside to go to the washroom.)

What did you eat today?

My days always start out well - granola, oatmeal (I mix barley flakes with oat flakes or pot barley with steel-cut oats when I make porridge, which ups my fiber intake - I have officially turned into my dad) or grainy toast with peanut butter, and an Americano (which has far less caffeine than regular coffee!). Then they inevitably go downhill as I progress into the day. I'm trying to get off the bread and boost my vegetable intake, so for lunch I made an asparagus-chick pea and brown rice dish with lemony tahini dressing from 101 Cookbooks that was pretty fab. Dinner was at my Mom's tonight (to celebrate being honoured for her contributions to arts and culture in Calgary) - we ordered in Thai food, which was tasty but a little too spicy - made my nose run.

Is there anything your kids aren’t allowed to eat?

Pop (regular and diet) for sure, but my son is still only 3, so that's sort of a given. All the overly manufactured candies and sugary cereals out there, and anything that still contains man-made trans fat. Although there are some things I won't give him (generally overprocessed food, McDonald's and the like), I have a hard time saying "you're not allowed to have that", because anytime anyone has said that to me I want it even more! I used to spend my allowance on stuff I wasn't allowed to have, or sneak over to my friends' houses for bowls of Strawberry Shortcake cereal and such. I was obsessed! I can only hope that by teaching him why things are unhealthy choices he may understand why he can't have some things, or shouldn't!

What do you always have on hand in your fridge?

Milk, butter, eggs from my sister's coop or from the goat guys at the farmer's market, half & half for coffee, a dozen or so pots of jam, pure maple syrup, tahini, a tub of spring greens, tons of apples and pears for W, and if I'm lucky, a bottle of prossecco.

What is your beverage of choice?

Depends on time of day and my mood. Probably a really good espresso/Americano/latte, or wine - red or prossecco or muscato. Or gin and tonic with lots of lime. Or a milkshake.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the history of man, who would it be?

It would be hard to not choose my Grandparents. Otherwise, John Cusack. Which may sound lame considering I have everyone in the history of man to choose from, but let's just be honest here - he is the very best man in the history of. And tall. And from what I've seen, a great conversationalist. While I'm dreaming, I'd have a 28 inch waist and he would fall madly in love with me over dinner.

OK, it’s your last meal ever, what do you have?

It's hard to say - I would answer this differently every day of the week! In fact, to demonstrate, I'm going to come back to this over the next few days and add to the list what I would choose for my last meal at that exact moment. Today I think I'd go for some very well-prepared butter chicken, garlicky, buttery naan, samosas with chutney, peas and paneer... my Grandma's brownies for dessert, warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Today - nothing is better than spinach sauteed in olive oil with garlic, with two good eggs cracked into the pan once the spinach is pushed off to the side, and served with the very best bread, with butter from Vital Green Farms (while we're talking last meal here) and coarse, flaky salt. And a hot fudge sundae from Peter's Drive-In.

Wait - I've just remembered two meals I had at SoBo in Tofino (on the very west coast of Vancouver island - about as far west as you can get in Canada - I highly recommend a visit) - SoBo stands for Sophisticated Bohemian. Everything they have there is stellar, but a few weeks ago I ate Honestly, this dinner was perfection on a plate; crispy-edged just-caught halibut over perfectly mashed potatoes, with roasted asparagus, red, purple and orange carrots and beets and wilted greens. But the sauce - a deep, intense, burnt orange sauce that was at once familiar and elusive; when I asked what it was again, I was told it was fresh carrot juice and just a hint of orange, cooked down and then enriched with butter and cream. It was neither creamy nor buttery, but rich, complex and brilliantly intense. Had I known what it was in advance, an orange-carrot sauce would never ever sell me, but this was pure genius. With a butter tart for dessert, this could be my ideal meal. Would a nap count as part of dinner?

Thank for taking the time to be interviews, Julie! It's was a great read. I could never decide between those choices for my last meal--hopefully I'll never have to!


Writer Dad said...

Nice to meet you, Julie! You're last meal sounds simply divine.

Jennifer Jo said...

That was a fun interview. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Very nice blog, very nice post!!
(And you very sweet)

Liliana said...

Great interview! It's so nice to meet you Julie. Love your choices for your last meal!

Peter M said...

I thought I recognized her. I sometimes catch her show with Ned courtesy of satellite TV.

I'll go right now and say HI!

Marta said...

Thanks for this great interview! You're very inquisitive :)
it's always nice to get to "know" a bit more about the bloggers we follow. And she's in Calgary too, I didn't know anyone else in Calgary!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Naps are definitely required - between desserts!
Thanks for spreading the Julie love, Aimee. I'm spoiled by being able to visit here regularly!

Amber said...

Cool! I listen to CBC radio almost everyday and sometimes catch Julie talking about great food recipes. Neat to see she has a blog as well.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Thanks for introducing us to Julie:D

Tiffany Rieder said...

very interesting interview...I wonder at how you have time to pump these out. I am adding to my blog once a week now and my goal was atleast 2-3 times a week but with kids and work...its discouraging. I don't want to just post any old thing. Another thing: As a foodie at home with kids do you find dinner to be a challenge? I thought it would be easy as pie but I am often stuck because the idea of making certain meals and then forcing my kids to eat it is not inspiring. I am trying to become enthusiastic about cooking for my young family like I was when cooking in restaurants. Spag and meat sauce again!

Maria said...

Fun post!!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love her blog, great interview.

Kelsey B. said...

Love this! We should collaborate on something...


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