Interview with Home Cook Virginia Kahler-Anderson!
Virginia Kahler-Anderson is a Home Cook and my guest this week on Deaf in the Kitchen.
With her Husband by her side, Virginia has been creating recipes and cooking for 30 years! While she has many passions, Virginia also finds time to write for the San Jose Examiner to share with others her love of fitness and food.
You can also find Virginia on BlogHer
1. In a couple of sentences, tell us who you are and why you cook.
I am a happy and contented wife, proud mother of three, bragging grandmother of two energetic little boys—and a granddaughter due around July 4th—and I love to cook for my family. I get indescribable pleasure feeding them and knowing that they wholly enjoy my labors of love.
2. Describe your cooking style in three words.
If I may, here is where I can laugh at myself, because, you see, in truth, my cooking style is, at best, unpredictable, often experimental, and boldly daring.
3. How did you learn to cook?
I learned to cook by watching my mother, though she never gave me ratios. It was cook with a little of this, a handful of that, taste and smell. But as a small child (during a short period that we lived in San Salvador, El Salvador, my mother’s birth country), I hung around my grandmother’s immense kitchen and kept inquisitive eyes on her cooks, as had my mother when she was a young girl.
My grandmother was a wealthy socialite, married to, then, the Treasurer of El Salvador. They hosted many parties—sometimes lasting two and three days—in which they entertained in grand style, the wealthy and politicians alike. I believe that is where my mother and I began our love of cooking. When you smell and see and taste the fabulous, the exotic, you want to emulate and recreate because you’ll never forget those memories.
But I didn’t get into daring gourmet meals until I married my husband. We have been married 31-years, and happily cooking together from the first. I will also now reveal a secret: my husband has been my faithful follower on BlogHer.com, he goes by the pen name Souschef. I have never revealed this openly, not until now, on this interview. He is my partner-in-crime in all things endeavored in the kitchen. Literally he is my souschef.
A Pinch of This and a Dash of That... Pasta with Fresh Tomato and Tuna
4. Favorite cookbook (or online recipe source) of all time, or just of the moment?
Believe it or not, it is a set of old recipe cards I hold dear, McCall’s Recipe Card Collection (1974 printing), and then, of course, my collection of Julia Child’s cookbooks.
5. What is one dish on your menu this week that you’re excited about?
My Cuban black beans with rice, it is a simple recipe but a family favorite.
6. What is one thing that must be in your pantry at all times?
I’m sorry, but I must always be able to find two things: salted roasted peanuts and peanut butter.
Not N’awlins Andouille & Seafood Gumbo
7. What one kitchen gadget could you not live without?
A corkscrew; I must have my wine.
8. It’s 6 p.m., the people in your household are hungry and you just walked in from work and need to get something satisfying on the table as soon as possible. What’s your favorite thing to whip up in this situation?
Pasta, because it goes with almost anything; I can always find something in the pantry or ingredients from the fridge to add, and still make a wholly delicious and satisfying meal.
9. It’s a snowy Sunday, you've just done the grocery shopping and have the rest of the day to spend in the kitchen cooking a meal that will bring comfort. What’s for dinner?
Hubby and I would bake homemade milk bread and make my Creamy Peasant’s Soup.
10. What is your favorite dish to make for pot-luck dinners?
My Salvadorian fried rice with chicken, pork and seafood or my Pan-Fried German Potato Salad.
11. Do you have a favorite food source (this could be a farm, a grocery store, an experience like pick-your-own berries or a maker of specialty food products) in your region?
For a good 25 years we shopped for our seafood and meats at Race Street Fish & Poultry Market, but they finally closed shop before the end of 2012. Race Street had been opened since 1969. We will miss them.