Welcome to the place where your two bloggers ask each other one question each week. We hope you enjoy them as your learn a bit more about us – sometimes we even learn more about each other!

Ray’s question to Karen:

Q: Did your father like to cook? If so, did he have a dish that he was known for?

A: My father was very much a father of his generation. I was fortunate to have a stay at home mom, so she did the majority of the cooking. He did have his areas of expertise, though. Pancakes were one of them. He was a great assistant pie maker during the holidays, which my mom was just reminiscing about the other day. I would say, though, that typical of many men, the BBQ grill was his main turf. This reminds of the day he had set some rib-eye steaks on the counter while he went outside to prepare the grill. Our Irish setter thought they were delicious!

Karen’s Question to Ray:

Q: Your dad owned a pizza parlor at one time. Do you think this has influenced your cooking at all?

A: I spent a lot of my first 6 years there until my father sold it. I was usually a pretty good kid, but for some reason being at the pizza parlor seemed to bring out the menace in me!

My mother used to put me in my playpen in the dining room and I have been told that I would throw my toys out of it and all over the floor. As I grew, I remember making my father a bit nuts by locking the bathroom doors and then closing them from the outside so no one could get in and also climbing on a chair and then onto a counter to reach a button high up on the wall that stopped songs that were playing on the jukebox. The purpose of the button was to stop the music at the end of the night after the customers were gone, but I used it when I didn’t like a particular song! I can still hear my exasperated father telling me “people pay money to hear that music – you can’t just stop the songs you don’t like from playing!”

Mischief aside and back to your question, I do remember being fascinated by the giant Hobart mixer as the dough hook kneaded large amounts of dough. I found it cool several years later when I was a teenager that I got to use one myself when I worked at a donut shop. I also remember how good the mozzarella cheese was – the good stuff they use on pizza is sharper and much more flavorful than the shredded stuff you buy in the grocery store. I used to fill paper cups with it and walk around eating it!

So yes, based on these very vivid memories I suppose it is possible that it played more of a role in my interest in cooking than I realized!

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