A Quick Bite With Aviva Goldfarb

A Quick Bite With Aviva Goldfarb

Aviva Goldfarb doesn’t run for cover when the suppertime strikes—instead, she takes it by the horns.  Author and founder of the The Six O’Clock Scramble (http://thescramble.com), Goldfarb has come to the rescue of many a frazzled mother with the online weekly menu planner and cookbook. She’s also penned a new cookbook, called SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families. Always gunning for healthy food solutions, she also lends her hands to non-profit organizations and food companies to increase the awareness of proper nutrition. She talks bananas and peanut butter, how she de-stresses in the kitchen and and why raisins have no business being in bread.

Q: What’s your earliest food memory?

A: I think food was a big part of my childhood because my mom liked to cook and we always ate meals together. We also gathered with relatives nearly every week for a big meal, so food is associated with a lot of joy for me. One thing I remember is the fun of cracking a soft boiled egg in a little ceramic egg cup while sitting at our kitchen table. Funny, I never eat soft boiled eggs anymore! I also loved cooking (mostly baking) from a “Peanuts” cookbook that I had, especially the peanut butter cookies.

Q: What was your favourite food as a child?

A: Like a lot of kids, I liked very basic foods as a child like Campbell’s tomato soup, toast and spaghetti with butter. I also liked lots of fruit, but I remember eating dried apricots once as a child until I became sick, then it was years before I could go near them again. One thing I remember particularly loving, maybe because it was a rare treat, was bananas mashed with peanut butter that one of my babysitters would occasionally make for me. I also loved licking the spoon when my mom made brownies.

Q: Is there a food you loathed as a child and have since learned to enjoy? Or maybe you still can’t stand it? Tell us—what is it?

A: It is really amazing to me how much our taste buds continue to mature as we get older, even as an adult! There were so many foods that I didn’t care for when I was a kid that I love now, like just about every vegetable and grain imaginable. One thing I still can’t stand, though, is raisin bread. I like raisins and bread, just not in the same mouthful.

Q: What’s your default, throw-together-and-wow-everyone meal?

A: It’s funny but because I experiment so much with food I don’t have too many standby recipes—I’ve usually moved on to the next thing and can’t remember what I made before. But I think everyone loves my fried rice and it’s really easy to make. I like it with crispy tofu on the side.

Q: What’s the one meal you would love to cook but fear it’s too complicated?

A: I’m totally intimidated by phyllo and puff pastry! I’d love to make a really wonderful chicken pot pie with puff pastry on top, but I haven’t mustered the courage yet. I remember my mom making spanikopita when I was a child and watching her brush butter between each tissue-thin layer was enough to scare me off doing that for life!

Q: What’s your favourite thing to cook or bake with someone else?

A: I love making anything with my kids. Everything is so new and challenging to them, and they are so proud of the food they have made. I get great joy out of seeing them master new skills in the kitchen.  Recently,  my 13 year old son made a pumpkin-orzo soup with me as his sous chef and it was so much fun and he loved the results. He even took the leftovers to school for lunch the next day!

Q: What do you love most about cooking?

A: I’m kind of a high stress person, but when I cook I find that the stress kind of melts away because I can only do one thing at a time and have to be really present with it, especially because I cook so quickly and am usually trying a new dish. I do love to chat with my kids or listen to music or public radio news while I cook. I also get such a sense of compulsive accomplishment each week because I usually fill up the ‘fridge with a ton of food after my Sunday grocery shopping, and by the end of the week the refrigerator is nearly empty again. I love the challenge of trying to make an extra meal with what is leftover at the end of the week, too. Most of all I love sitting down to dinner with my family at the end of the day, and knowing that the food I made is nourishing them, body and spirit.

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  1. Aviva Goldfarb
    January 06, 22:05 Reply

    Thanks so much for the lovely introduction and for featuring our interview on your wonderful website!

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