Firsts and Lasts with Rachel from Rachel’s Table

Food — damn, how I love food. Cooking — damn, how I suck at cooking. But I don’t have to worry, I simply have to visit the red hot food blog, Rachel’s Table and steal all of her recipes.

Like this divine bacon and garlic scapes one. If only I could convince her to become my personal chef.
Like this divine bacon and garlic scapes one. If only I could convince her to become my personal chef.

Rachel, or Rachey-Pooh, or RP — as I affectionately call her — is the master of not only cooking, but good writing (she was Freshly Pressed). Her recipes showcase locally grown, healthy whole foods.

And she managed to scarf down the world’s hottest peppers without blinking an eye. Well, she did tear up a bit. Okay, she might have exploded into flames at one point. But she is the self-proclaimed winner of the Peppermeister Roulette challenge. You owe it to yourself to watch this vlog because she dropped it like it’s hot.

Now it’s time to interrogate one of my fave bloggers with some heavy questions about her personal life. I like to dig deep, exposing any and all flaws so I’ll feel better about myself.

For example, after a little investigating, I unearthed this gem…

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So please give a spicy, red hot July welcome to my Blogger of the Month,

Rachel of Rachel’s Table!

FIRST…
Blog Post: I started my blog, Rachel’s Table, in order to learn more about local food options in my area – I try to eat foods grown or raised within 100 miles of my front door (or at least from the Mid-Atlantic region). I’m not always successful, because I haven’t figured out how to grow an avocado in this climate and the deed restrictions in my townhouse community prohibit backyard distilleries.

Kiss: The year was 1986, the boy was Neil. He had blond, buzzed hair and dreamy brown eyes. I modeled this kiss after all the soap opera kisses and movie kisses I’d ever seen – which means I just moved my head around a lot and closed my eyes. He said, “Why are you moving your head like that?” It was magical.

As magical as THIS kiss, Rachel?
As magical as THIS kiss, Rachel?

Love: When I was fourteen, I fell hard for one of my older brother’s friends – Mark. He was a senior and I was a freshman, so you can imagine my surprise when he asked me to Prom. I wore a peach dress covered in lace, had a bowl haircut, and was the happiest girl alive. About a month later, he broke up with me to date Tammy, a senior with the biggest, most magnificent hair around. I cried so hard my eye lids swelled shut and covered my face with a notebook every time I saw him at school. Somehow I still think about him with fondness – I loved him with everything that was in my fourteen-year-old heart.

Childhood Memory: On the first day of kindergarten, I hid from my parents by climbing into the oven of my kitchen play set. I was SURE I would never have to go to school if no one could find me. My parents were not outwitted, so off to school I went where I played Dukes of Hazzard underneath the tables with Timmy Morgan.

Moment I met my significant other: I met Mr. Rache when I was 12 and he was 6. He was my little brother’s best friend and would come to our house to play video games while wearing basketball shorts and no shirt. I had no tolerance for him in my tween years.

Who wouldn't love a kid in aviators?
Mr. Rache in kindergarten – who wouldn’t love a kid in aviators?

Fast forward twenty years and I’m back in my childhood hometown, where he still lived. We connected on Facebook first and exchanged witty banter via private message. When we finally met (again) for the first time, we saw a movie, stayed up all night talking, went to breakfast, and walked in the park. We got married exactly one year later.

Possession I would take if my house were on fire: My cats Willow and Zuzu, of course.

Job I had: My first “real” job was at my college library. I answered questions, helped students with the card catalog (I’m old) and counted stacks, which means I went down rows making sure all the Dewey decimals were in the right order. There’s no greater thrill than finding a book out of order and putting it in its rightful place.

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Time I got pulled over by a cop: So one of the first times I had dealings with a cop was because I hit a drunk guy. Not with my fists – with my car. Let me set the scene: Eight lanes of traffic, divided in half by a median. I’m making a U-turn, drunk guy walks out of Hooter’s and stands on the median. He looks like he’s staying put (and at the time, I didn’t know he was drunk) so I continue my U-turn. Just as I’m speeding up, he starts walking. I slam on my breaks too late. The car slides, drunk guy bounces off the front bumper, and I grip the steering wheel in horrified disbelief. I get out of the car, someone calls 911, two salesmen from a nearby car dealership comfort me by saying, “Don’t be upset. He’s just an old drunk guy. This happens all the time on this road. I think he’s homeless.” That did NOT make me feel better as drunk guy attempted to stand up, then fell down – several times. Later that night, the cop taking care of the incident called me to report that drunk guy was unscathed, because he was “drunk out of his mind” when I hit him. “He went down like he didn’t have any bones.”

LAST…
Blog Post: In Food Snobs Anonymous, I wrote about boring a friend to death while talking about cubing meat, and how in that conversation I realized I’m a food snob. While the masses may call me a food snob, I say I have food values. I’m starting a club. Food Snobs. Named and Known. Click here if you want to join!

Thing I cooked: Shrimp and Fava Beans – both local, of course.

Delish
Delish

Song I listened to: That would be all the songs Counting Crows and The Wallflowers performed at a concert in Atlantic City last night. (90’s music rocks!)

Book I read: I would like to say it was something classy and academic like War and Peace, but it was Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw. I love me some Tony. [editor’s note: She does. See above photo.]

Reality TV show I watched: Chopped. It’s the only food competition I really appreciate. I tried to watch The Taste, because Tony was a host. I can’t believe he put his name on that drivel. It was horrifying.

Person I kissed: That would be Mr. Rache.

Proof
Proof

Time I laughed hysterically: Yesterday when Mr. Rache got dressed, he asked if he should wear plaid shorts with a certain shirt and then put a hat on, too. I said, “Sure. If you want to look stupid.” For some reason, we both laughed hysterically. [editor’s note: I would have laughed, too.]

Time I swore like a sailor: Yesterday afternoon while doing Insanity. Damn you, Shaun T!

Embarrassing moment: Yesterday while doing Insanity. Do I need to explain? [editor’s note: Maybe I can help.]

Slide1

Good deed I did: I picked my friend up and gave her a ride to work today, if that counts. She bought me coffee, so it wasn’t completely selfless.

Indulgence: I probably indulge too much, but right now I’m doing this Insanity thing and eating only lean proteins and veggies. I just ate sautéed rainbow chard and two eggs for breakfast. So I’m due for an indulgence, but I’m saving it for this weekend when I will eat all the seafood and all the pizza while on a mini-vacation to my home state of Massachusetts.

******************

Thanks, Rache! Be sure to visit her blog and all the other fantastic bloggers I’ve interviewed for my Bloggers of the Month.

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73 thoughts on “Firsts and Lasts with Rachel from Rachel’s Table

  1. Thanks for the introduction, Darla. I love to eat but don’t cook nearly as well as my “spouse” Sara. I do bake, however. And I’m relearning how to do it since moving to the Andean highlands of southern Ecuador. Elevation makes a difference.

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    1. Oh, baking is another story. I do LOVE to bake, Kathy. I used to even bake my own banana bread but have since let things slide now that I’m so busy. Sounds like you’re still busy in Ecuador. Hope you guys are getting the hang of travel there (and the elevation issues)

  2. Man, I love food porn, although my cooking skill level is zero. Does the scale go below zero or is that the lowest grade?

    Can something wrapped in bacon come from a healthy whole foods kitchen? Anything is possible (and better) with bacon.

    Last week I posted a pic of a thick slab of bacon I procured off the appetizer menu while sitting at the bar in Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. The memory of it haunts me. In the good way.

    1. If your cooking skill is zero, mine is about a thousand levels below you. I do okay if I follow the recipe exactly. Still, it’s embarrassing to have to measure out the butter when I make a box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese for my kids.

      1. Here’s my benchmark for how bad it got before I finally gave up completely: I ruined jell-o. That’s right, I couldn’t even follow the instructions on a box of jell-o. I wanted it faster so instead of putting it in the refrigerator, I put it in the freezer. What?!? It made perfect sense at the time! It came out like sludge. I still ate it.

        I wish I *did* have kitchen skills. They’d have come in handy when I was dating. Girls love when you cook a scrumptious meal for them. It’s the ultimate aphrodisiac. I probably would’ve had fewer lonely nights if I could have gotten a few recipes under my belt. Too late. And as Charles Bukowski said, “There’s nothing worse than too late.”

      2. Oh my. Your Jell-o story brought me right back. To a painful experience when I tried to make my son some tomato soup. From a can. And almost burned the house down. I put it on high thinking, well, twice as hot means twice as fast. I took one look at the thick black/red sludge on the bottom of the pot and tossed the entire thing in the trash, pot and all.

        Thank god my husband loves to cook.

    2. Bacon CAN be good for you, in moderation. Especially when wrapped around local veggies. I’m thinking of preparing green beans this way. Haha.

      I can relate – bacon haunts my dreams.

      1. That might be the first time the words “bacon” and “moderation” appeared in the same sentence. Well done. You should have seen this beautiful hunk of pork belly laid out in front of me at the bar. Perfectly charred. Succulent. $5. I asked my wife and according to her, they don’t make bacon perfume. A shame, don’t you think?

        In the Culinary Looser Olympics, burnt tomato soup gets the GOLD. Jello-O sludge only rates a bronze. I didn’t nearly total my house.

  3. I loved this so much. I think you should challenge your complex re: the distillery, Rache. And seriously, stories like these only make me realize I should be drunk all the time. Insanity would probably be a lot easier, ya feel?

    Along with this interview, the kid picture of Mr. Rache made my day, as did DP’s truly inspiring PowerPoint-ing. I am so, so proud.

    1. I’m working on a countertop distillery. Pretty soon I’ll be hosting tours in my kitchen. Sometimes I wonder if Shaun T has moonshine in his water bottle as he’s asking me to get excited about power squats.

      Can you believe the skillz D employed here? It’s like the “this is my life” of PowerPoint presentations.

  4. Very entertaining, ladies! That she’s a food blogger and is so skinny makes me hate her a little, but I guess if it takes suffering through Insanity to be skinny then I’ll not hate too much. I asked for scapes at my grocery store just to be a douche. The produce boy sent me to the seafood counter. I just ate the bacon by itself. Not too bad.

    1. Ha! I also want to just have the bacon. Always, more bacon is good.
      I’m beginning to wonder how much of this “Insanity” stuff Rache does because it really isn’t fair how much food she eats and how she looks. While I eat nothing but lettuce and am gaining weight at a steady clip now.

    2. Haha! Scapes and grocery stores aren’t friends. But bacon and I are best friends! I’m on day 5 of Insanity today so this is relatively new. Like you, Don, I prefer to just think about working out. But Shaun T is motivating. Dare I challenge you to an Insanity-off?

    1. Of course! Please do. Your wife has a food blog, lucky you. I bet my husband wished to God I’d have a food blog. Or cooked anything ever. Okay, I do cook, but I certainly don’t like doing it.

  5. Miss Rache! If I had to be knocked to the ground, then stomped on by another blogger eager to take their spot at Darla’s Blogger of The Month, I can’t think of anyone whose footprints I’d rather have on my scalp. But I want my NKOTB hat back.

    Love that picture of Mr. Rache, the graduate. An intellectual type, hmmm?

    1. Ha! Yes, Mr. Rache is quite the studious one (he’s been studying Playstation 3 for years).

      The view from up here on your shoulders is great, Peg! And D gave me this hat, but you can borrow it.

  6. Pingback: Firsts and Lasts in Maine | Rachel's Table

  7. Oh, D!!! This is beyond amazing. The Insanity photo??? Gold! (My legs really do look like that.) And how dare you reveal my Cool Ranch Doritos secret!! I’ve just lost all my local food credibility.

    I’m so honored to be your featured blogger, D! July is definitely going to be muy caliente around Maine!

      1. Wai-i-i-i-t just a doggone minute here, Missy-Miss. Miss J helped you? You used a PowerPoint ringer and here you are, basking in all the compliments on your artistic/techno wizardry? Hmmmphh.

  8. I love Rachel! I have to say, the one year that I volunteered at the high school library, that was my job too- making sure the Deweys were in order. It was so calm and satisfying. It was the exact opposite of my house.

    1. Oh, don’t I know it, JM. I volunteered at our library a few years ago and actually looked forward to the few hours I could be in complete silence, shelving books. I love to put things in order, I love reading and I love the quiet. It was heaven!

    2. I love you too, JM!

      I enjoyed shelving books, too! Ah, silence in the stacks. I used to hide from my mean boss – she unfortunately embodied every librarian stereotype.

  9. Are those local Doritos? Those are the best … but you need to serve them with bacon.

    Fun post. My eyes were watering just watching the video!

    1. Hm….y’know, there HAS to be some bacon-flavored Doritos floating around out there somewhere…? locally grown, natch.

      Watching that video blew me away because I HATE peppers. Even the mild ones. Blech, phooey phooey. Rache is a very brave woman.

  10. Darla, I love love your design skillz! They are absolutely awesome, by which I mean hysterical (as are you BTW!). Straw-beer-rita? I’d give that a try. 😛

    Rachel – It’s very nice to meet you. I really admire your commitment to buying locally sourced foods. Did you read Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal Vegetable Miracle? She records a whole year of eating foods grown within 100 miles of her home. Great read.

    1. Thank you, Jackie. I have to admit to having a lot of fun with my PowerPoint program. I never knew Strawbeeritas even existed. I feel so out of the loop with this locally grown food craze.

    2. Nice to meet you, Jackie! Yes! I’ve read the book–it inspired my local experiment! I admire her resolve and her ability to keep chickens on her property. Chickens are on my local wish list!

      Is straw-beer-ita local?

      1. It was a terrific book! Made me rethink how I eat and make more conscious food decisions. I live in NYC so I don’t have a garden, but there are wonderful farmer’s markets here.
        It would be a real challenge to go completely local though. I have a mild (ok major) caffeine addiction! 🙂

        1. Oh yeah, coffee too! Ah! I cheat on a few things, coffee is one of them. I’ve discovered that with certain products, organic/sustainable/humanely raised are just as good as local. For example, when I can’t get local bacon, I buy Applegate (so, so good!).

  11. Rache, I thought I loved you before but this is a whole new level. This post was amazing! Thank you Darla for discovering such gems as Rache’s first kiss and giving us a photo of a young and dapper Mr Rache. Amaze

    1. Thanks for stopping by here, Daile! D did a crazy-ridiculous-awesome job with all the funny photos of me! She’s so creative.

      Doesn’t Mr. Rache look so dapper, though? And that’s exactly how I remember him!

  12. This is awesome! Thanks for hooking me into this chock full of amazingness blog of Rache’s. Anyone who is down with Joey Mac(intyre) AND bacony garlic scopes, is down with me.

    1. Joey Mac and Jonathan Knight were my two favorites. I could relate to Jon’s shyness (which, as we later found out, was really anxiety).

      Oh, and thanks for the follow, PinotNinja! Off to check out your blog!

  13. Excellent! I suspect I am a bit of a food snob, but am becoming less so the older I get. On my way over to a check out new blog, why not perhaps I can learn to be even snobbier.

  14. That how Rache met Mr. Rache story might be the cutest “how we met” story I’ve ever read in my life. I can’t believe it didn’t also involve kittens in a bicycle basket or koala bears hugging or something. Too adorable.

    I missed Rachel’s FP!!! I’m such a loser.

    1. Oh, Angie, the details of this story are even more adorable. Your head might explode from the cuteness. At one point, on that sunrise walk, he shook dew on me from a weeping willow. That is the absolute truth.

  15. Pingback: My Bra Is Stuffed (But I’m Still Hungry) | Go Jules Go

  16. Hey Darla, I’ve been thinking about this video you posted of Rachel’s pepper challenge for a while now — and decided to do this with my kids. 🙂 Kindergarten-Style. We recently bought a little pepper grinder, so I unscrewed the top and we took the pepper kernels out, taking turns eating them (red, white and black). Then I showed them Rachel’s video, and now we feel like part of the club!

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