Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meet Liz Fox of theThe Wooden Crate

ok, so what do you get when you combine fresh produce, gourmet ingredients, artisan spices, big dreams, high standards, boundless energy, a dash of delight, huge intellect, and lots of zaniness? You get, Liz Fox..and hopefully dinner, deleivered from The Wooden Crate!!!

So, Liz, what do you like best about living in Winchester?
Walking outside, and picking up neighbors like "the blob" and making our way to the Farmers Market.. [Living in Winchester is] like living in a Norman Rockwell painting, only less dusty and more 3D. And way cooler.

Then, what do you like least about living in Winchester?
Idling. It drives me crazy. Turn off your cars, people! It saves YOUR gas and YOUR money and OUR air. I'm particularly tempted to take joy rides in empty cars that I see idling around town.

What food instantly makes you think about California?

Can you find persimmons here???
My best guess would be Russo's in Watertown. Persimmons are finicky - when they are not ripe they are unbearably bitter and have a wretched mouth-feel. I know from experience. And it's a food I am not confident about preparing, though I love to eat the Jimtown Store's persimmon bread pudding. It's the epitome of Sonoma County. Now that I think about it, I wouldn't want to eat persimmons here. It would be like eating littlenecks in Denver. Something just ain't right about that.

Which recipe are you are most excited about delivering?
Oh, don't make me pick one thing! It's all delicious, and I am an equal-opportunity geek about food. Though I have to say I am over the moon about spring vegetables: asparagus, fiddleheads, baby greens, rhubarb, particularly the food from Wright-Locke, our own farm. Did you know we, the townsfolk of Winchester, own that farm?

Do you sneak special surprises into your deliveries sometimes?
Hells yeah! Last week it was Metro Cocoa's Chocolate Milk. More than one set of parents have confided that they've stashed it away for themselves.

Where do you get your recipe ideas?
Everywhere: eating at restaurants and cafés, watching food tv, opening my fridge, poring over cookbooks and magazines, eating with my friends and family, hearing my clients who tell me about how they've improvised with The Wooden Crate ingredients. Lately I've been challenging myself to think abstractly about a particular food - what is the texture and taste after roasting vs. boiling vs. frying and who would make a great partner for a dish? What are the essential elements of a "money bite?" How can I apply or modify techniques I've seen or read about to make awesome food without making too much work for home cooks?

What's your favorite ingredient?
I'm currently obsessed with shallots.

What music do you listen to when you are cooking?
Depends on whether my kids are around. When they aren't: Liz Phair, Fiona Apple, Outkast, Mos Def, Jay Z, Kanye West; when they are it is much more tame: They Might Be Giants' "Here Come the 1, 2, 3's" or Yo Gabba Gabba's "It's a Party in My Tummy," of course or "Annie." I can't tell you how many times we've listened to it since my daughter saw [the musical] at McCall last fall.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Winchester?
 The bar at Parson's Table. I wrote an essay about it. Actually, it's more like an Ode to Parson's Table's Counter. Here is the link, lol! http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=197942440238019

How do you convince your kids to eat what you cook?
I don't. They eat it or they don't, and I don't worry. I tell them that I think they might be hungry at bedtime, and remind them that they won't be able to eat later in the evening. They certainly have preferences, but I think providing a variety of flavors is more important than sending them to bed full of hot dogs or spaghetti and meatballs every night. If they don't eat much dinner, I'm ready the next morning with about 4,000 calories of oatmeal, berries, nuts, eggs, bacon, yogurt and sometimes beans and rice. So far they have never outright said, "I don't like X." Let's just see what the littlest one says when he can talk.

Liz, it has been a pleasure getting to know you!  Our photoshoot together was a hoot, I will never forget it!  Thank you for being my first interview on The Winchester-ette-.