The other day I was surfing around online while I should have been working, when I stumbled across a blog post – by a guy whose writing I admire – titled 33 Things You Don’t Know About Me. My curiosity got the better of me. So I took the bait and read all 33, which ranged from the mundane to the pretty interesting.
That’s when I decided to steal the idea. This decision had little to do with the fact that I think you’re dying to know 33 things about me you don’t already, and much to do with the reality that the pie I planned to feature this week had just bombed and I needed material. Which leads me to the first thing you don’t know about me:
1. My pies sometimes bomb. This one bombed because I got distracted and forgot the baking soda. Baking soda is an unusual ingredient in pie, which is the other reason I forgot it.
2. I’m not friendly, engaging, or the life of the party when I’m cooking, like the people you see in ads on TV. I’ll probably ask you to leave the kitchen.
3. I collect vintage mixing bowls I find on eBay. No, I don’t know why. And yes, I think it’s a little weird, too.
5. I have made thousands of pies in my life, and still can’t make one as good as my Dad’s apple pie. And he just made them sporadically.
6. I rarely watch cooking shows on television. I’d rather be cooking.
7. I know how to cook stuff that has nothing to do with pie. My new cookbook – the one I’m working on now – is all about comfort foods like meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and dreamy macaroni and cheese. You know, diet food.
8. My first wedding was a big pancake breakfast. My love of pancakes endures. The marriage didn’t. (Read all about it.)
9. I’m a morning person. I’m useless before my first cup of Chock full o’ Nuts. I love my Mr. Coffee. Every time I spend money on a new/expensive coffee maker, I’m disappointed.
10. I believe there’s little or no correlation between granite countertops, pricey cookware and the other trappings of a “gourmet kitchen” and the quality of your meals or how much pleasure you get from cooking.
11. That doesn’t stop me from having a crush on some pricey cookware I’d love to own, like Staub.
12. I take a size 15 shoe. Understandably, I have a very limited footwear collection.
13. Most of my favorite places to eat are barbecue joints.
14. I could eat collards or kale every day of the week if you do ‘em right. I plan to show you how. (See #7.)
15. I was once a Realtor. It was way out of whack with #31 so I got out.
16. My refrigerator is probably just as bad as yours, maybe worse. I occasionally find Tupperware containers of things dating back to the Clinton administration.
17. One of my sons – Ben Price – is a world class backcountry snowboarder. Somebody made a video about him (below.) I’m proud of him and all my kids.
18. Wine puts me to sleep. My idea of hell-on-earth is a 7-course meal with 5 different wines, something I once frequently endured on press junkets.
19. The only hard liquor in my cabinet is tequila and triple sec. Three guesses what my favorite drink is.
20. The most useful gizmo in my kitchen is my old Chef’s Choice knife sharpener. Dull knives are a real pet peeve and very dangerous.
21. Much of my most treasured kitchen gear is more than 25 years old.
22. Jeopardy! is my favorite game show. I’m pretty good at it.
23. I like to eat dinner in front of the TV.
24. I love it when you email to tell me about your pie challenges, comment on a recipe or video, or just to say hello. Don’t stop.
25. Food shopping is often the highlight of my day. Sam’s Club is a blast. Their frozen, blackened Atlantic salmon fillets are a staple at dinner.
26. The best fruit pies I ever baked were made with blackberries my kids and I used to pick along a logging road when we lived in rural New Hampshire.
27. My favorite honey in the world is made in Hawaii by Richard Spiegel at his Volcano Island Honey. Here’s a story I wrote about him for National Geographic Traveler.
28. I’m sorta shy, but I love public speaking. Go figure.
29. I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. (My wife will confirm that I have a ways to go yet.) I think “itinerant filmmaker” has a nice ring to it.
30. I believe there are few places on earth as lovely as the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where I live now.
31. I think the most important question you can ask yourself is: If money were no object, what sort of work would I want to be doing? Then figure out a way to go and do that.
32. I believe the best seasoning in the world is fresh air, so I love to eat outdoors.
33. I’m self conscious about the dark circles under my eyes. I call them raccoon eyes and I try to cover them up with makeup when I do my videos. This usually just makes them look like green circles since I’m not great with makeup.