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Ina Garten Modern Comfort Food Transcript

 Ina Garten and the Comfort Food We Need

Kerry Diamond: Hey, Bombesquad. Welcome to Radio Cherry Bombe, the number one female-focused food podcast in the galaxy. I'm your host Kerry Diamond coming to you from my apartment in Brooklyn, New York. I'm incredibly excited for today's episode because we have a very special guest. It's none other than the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten.

Ina just released her 12th book Modern Comfort Food and I swear, folks, it might be her best book yet. It's filled with delicious, soul-satisfying recipes that I cannot wait to make like Brussels sprouts pizza carbonara. Does that not sound amazing? Grilled cheddar and chutney sandwiches, fresh crab nachos, there's stews, there's soups, there's cocktails, there's cookies, just the table of contents alone will make you drool. I talked to Ina about everything from her experience working at the White House, very timely, to how she taught herself to cook thanks to folks like Julia Child.

A little housekeeping, and I will keep it quick because I know you want to hear from Ina. Last week, we revealed our issue 15 cover star. Do you know who it is already? It's Paola Velez, super-duper pastry chef and one of the founders of Bakers Against Racism. Paola and her co-founders use their superpowers to activate bakers across the globe and raised almost $2 million for Black Lives Matter-related causes. Want to learn more about Paola? Pre-order your copy at or reserve a copy from your favorite cookbook shop or bookseller.

Thank you to our pals at Kerrygold for sponsoring today's show. We love their butter and cheese made from grass-fed dairy from family farms. You've got to get yourself in on that grass-fed action. It's better for the cows and better for you. We'll be right back with the one and only Ina after this message from Kerrygold.

Kerrygold Announcer: Kerrygold is delicious, all natural butter and cheese made with milk from Irish grass-fed cows. Our farming families pass their craft and knowledge from generation to generation.

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Kerrygold Announcer: This traditional approach is the reason for the rich taste of Kerrygold. Enjoy delicious, new sliced or shredded Kerrygold cheddar cheese available in mild or savory flavors at a retailer near you. Find your nearest store at

Kerry Diamond: Now for my chat with the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten.

Kerry Diamond: Ina, hi. How are you doing? It's so good to see you. Congrats on the book.

Ina Garten: Thank you. It's been quite amazing. Well, I wrote it knowing that the election was going to be a month after the book came out so I had a sense that people were going to be very stressed and, of course, you know that I like comfort food so I thought, "Well, how can I do that in a new way?" I thought, well, I could lighten things and make them easier and make them more delicious so I'm going to write comfort food and do it with a modern twist and that's how it started. But who knew, oh my goodness, the layers of stress of the kids in school and the Supreme Court and the election and the pandemic and the racial justice issues. I mean, just so many things are so stressful and each one of them is important.

One of the things that I love about what I do is I love what I do anyway, I get up in the morning and I think, "What do I feel like doing today? I feel like testing a recipe" and that I get to do that every day is great. What I love even more is it gives people the tools to do things for themselves and that was an unexpected pleasure. I think in this case, everybody is home cooking. They're really desperate for delicious things to make and serve to their family and leave at a neighbor's house. I think I tapped into a terrible need.

Kerry Diamond: You really stay on deadline because if you knew this was coming out a month before the election?

Ina Garten: I've been writing since ... My first book came out in 1999 so I started in 1997. I've been doing this for 23 years. I have a book come out every two years.

Kerry Diamond: You know what you're doing at this point?

Ina Garten: Well, I'm very obsessive about deadlines and I usually work so much. The minute one book is over, I'm working on the next one while I'm doing the editing for the last book. Yeah. I really do. I'm absolutely on schedule.

Kerry Diamond: The title is so perfect and so simple. When was the a-ha moment when it came to you?

Ina Garten: Usually I start cooking and I figure out what the recipes seem to be telling me or an idea comes from somebody in an audience when I've been ... Like Family Style. Somebody asked me about doing a cookbook for families and I thought, "Family Style, that's a good idea" because I like serving family style.

This one just seemed to just write itself. It was just crazy. I knew I wanted to do comfort food. I thought how am I going to do it in a modern way? I just thought, "Oh, modern comfort food. Duh."

Kerry Diamond: There you go. Bingo.

Ina Garten: That's what happened. That made it so clear to me that I wanted tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. I wanted some kind of mac and cheese. I wanted some kind of beef stew. Each one, I wanted to figure out how I can make it more delicious, easier to make, and the best of its ... The beef stew I call Ultimate Beef Stew because it borrows things from Beef Bourguignonne, the wine and cognac. How could I make it the best version of what it is?

Kerry Diamond: I was going through the book and writing down different recipes just that we could talk about. Literally, the list is every single recipe that is in the book.

Ina Garten: That's so nice. Thank you, Kerry. One of the things I always ask myself for a recipe, will the title really just grab your attention? So many books have a recipe title that alludes to something but it doesn't really tell you what it is. It's Aunt-somebody's chocolate cake. Well, what about that chocolate cake is unique? I always try and find something, a recipe that you would want to make like a Pimento cheese spread, which is like really old-fashioned, but how can you modernize it and give it a new twist and a new name so then you go, "Oh, that sounds really good"?

Kerry Diamond: I love Pimento cheese so I did take note of that. You did a spicy one, yes.

Ina Garten: That actually originated in Brooklyn.

Kerry Diamond: It did? Like you. You originated in Brooklyn.

Ina Garten: I did too.

Kerry Diamond: Where in Brooklyn is that from?

Ina Garten: I did a show at Stinky's, the cheese shop.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, okay. The Southerners listening to this are going to be like, "Pimento cheese did not come from Brooklyn" but we both know that.

Ina Garten: That's a good question. Actually, I was doing an event, it was two years ago in Atlanta and I met for the first time this wonderful guy who hosts our website. Literally we've been working for years but never actually met him. He lives in Atlanta and so I invited him and for some reason he was talking about cheese spread, Pimento cheese spread and I thought, "That's a great Southern thing."

I had done one when I was at Stinky's when I was filming with them and I thought, "I'm just going to blend my ideas and their ideas" and that's what it ended up being. It's an Atlanta and Brooklyn Pimento cheese spread.

Kerry Diamond: Tell us what you put in it to make it spicy.

Ina Garten: Oh God. I can't even remember. I think it was sriracha. I don't think the Southern cheese spread had sriracha in it but I think this one does.

Kerry Diamond: Wait, I totally forgot. Do you know you came to my old restaurant and filmed an episode with my ex-boyfriend?

Ina Garten: What's your restaurant?

Kerry Diamond: I used to own Seersucker in Brooklyn.

Ina Garten: Oh, we certainly did. I didn't know you owned Seersucker.

Kerry Diamond: I did. I did. Stinky's is right up the block.

Ina Garten: It was that same episode. Yeah. We went to Stinky's. That's exactly right. Oh, that was a great restaurant.

Kerry Diamond: I know.

Ina Garten: Is it still there?

Kerry Diamond: No.

Ina Garten: No? It was a great restaurant. It's a tough business.

Kerry Diamond: It's a tough business. Tougher than ever right now. You and Jeffrey had come in and I think you snuck in. Nobody knew you were there, nobody on the staff even recognized you, and I was so mortified.

Ina Garten: Oh, no. Don't be silly.

Kerry Diamond: I think your team called a few days later and said you had had a really great time and you wanted to come back and film an episode. We were dying. I don't think I ever thanked you for this but the episode aired in July and, normally, business crashes so bad in the summer in this neighborhood and you saved us. You saved us for months.

Ina Garten: Oh, oh, Kerry.

Kerry Diamond: So many people came in after that episode and we were like, "Ina is the gift that keeps on giving." I don't think I ever thanked you. Thanking you right now.

Ina Garten: Thank you. How lovely is that. Jeffrey and I, I wanted to do a special, Barefoot in New York. We just decided instead of the producer, who is from London, going around and finding the right businesses, Jeffrey and I said, "Let's do it ourselves. It'll be great fun." My assistant Lidey, who you know, had made me a long list of places in Brooklyn and I picked out the ones that sounded the best and we just had a wonderful, wonderful couple of days going around and going to the place where they bake the French baguettes.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, Bien Cuit.

Ina Garten: Bien Cuit and Seersucker and Stinky's. It was one of the great days we've ever had in New York. It was great. I just had a feeling in Brooklyn, I felt like ... I'm from the '60s, which is long before you were around, it felt like it was going back to Vermont and New Hampshire, where people really cared about the basic things like making really good food and growing vegetables and getting things from a farm. Everybody had this kind of old hippie vibe. Men had beards. I loved being there. There was something about Brooklyn at that time that was just so familiar to me, when people got back to the important stuff, the basics.

Kerry Diamond: Well, I think one thing I love about this neighborhood, and everyone knows how much you love Paris – it does make me feel a little bit like I'm in Paris because we've got a fishmonger, we've got a cheese shop, we've got bread shops. I feel really blessed to have that. Right now these places feel like endangered species and I hope they can all come out of this, as I know you do.

Ina Garten: Yeah. Also, you have parks, which are so wonderful, in Paris. Brooklyn does feel that way.

Kerry Diamond: Where in Brooklyn were you born, Ina?

Ina Garten: I was born in Flatbush. It's funny. We did a show Barefoot ... I think it must have been that show, Barefoot in New York show. I said let's go back to where I was born. I left when I was five, which I don't want to tell you how long ago that was, and I had never been back.

We were in the car and it's Avenue G, which was called Glenwood Road. I remember being ... The house was on a corner and down the middle of the street there were trees and there was a divider that had trees in it. About a block away, the train went by. I didn't know what kind of a train it was. Now I know it was the subway but it was above ground at that point. I thought, "I wonder if my memory of the area was right." We were driving down this street and I was like, "Oh my goodness. That's exactly the way I remember the trees in the middle of the street." Then I was like, "Oh my goodness. That's the house." A block later, there was the train.

From five, I remembered it so vividly. It was exactly the way I had remembered it. When we got out at the train, we got out of the car and we were having a little picnic there. A man came out of his house and he said, "What are you doing here?" I said, "I used to live in that house." He said, "I remember a doctor used to work there." I was like, "That was my father." I mean, he remembered from that time that we had lived there. That was just so amazing.

Kerry Diamond: That's amazing. Oh, that's incredible. I'd love to talk about some of your life before all of the cookbooks. I know you've talked about your time at the White House but I think now with everything crazy going on with the White House, for people who don't know that you have a connection to that ... It's astounding to me. I mean, I know you and I have talked about it but I still can't believe. You worked in the office of management and budget and you worked on nuclear policy and nuclear budgets.

Ina Garten: I did. I was in a group that worked in science and on science issues. I oversaw the budget of the nuclear regulatory commission and the part of the Department of Energy that built nuclear power plants and enriched uranium for nuclear power plants.

Kerry Diamond: Which administrations?

Ina Garten: It was Ford and Carter. I came in the day Ford ... I mean, just coincidentally, the day Ford started. I stayed for two years of Ford and two years of Carter.

Kerry Diamond: Amazing. You pursued your MBA while you were working at the White House?

Ina Garten: I did. I don't know how I did everything I did when I ... I mean, it was more than a full-time job because there were days when we would work all night on some legislation that had to go the next morning. I renovated old houses at the same time. I loved renovating houses so I would buy houses, renovate them, and sell them.

Kerry Diamond: While getting your MBA, while working on nuclear budgeting for the White House. Yeah.

Ina Garten: Exactly. Then I would give dinner parties every weekend because I wanted to teach myself how to cook. I'd think, how many days a week were there when I was in Washington? I loved everything I was doing. I was in my twenties so I guess I had a lot of energy.

Kerry Diamond: I've been to the White House I think once or twice. It's so exciting. I mean, what was it like going there every day?

Ina Garten: I didn't work in the White House itself. It wasn't like an episode of West Wing. Right next to the White House there's a big gray building that looks like a wedding cake that's the Eld executive Office Building. Then there's a New Executive Office Building across the street. That's where I worked. The head of OMB worked in the Old Executive Office Building.

It's really exciting because what you're working on is going to the president. What we were doing is making recommendations for the budget. We would say, "Here's a program. We don't think that we need to enrich uranium anymore and spend the money on it because private industry wants to do it." It's the same company that would be doing it if we hired them. There's really no change except that $20 billion comes out of the federal budget. An issue like that, I would write up, the president would agree to take it out of the budget.

It would go to Congress. Congress, but it turned out, the powerful person there was in South Carolina where the plant was and he would put it back in and then send the budget back with another $20 billion in it. Then the next year we would do it all over again. We would take the $20 billion out and this went on for years. I actually think it's still in the budget. 45 years later.

Kerry Diamond: Wow. That's crazy.

Ina Garten: Because that powerful person didn't want whoever is in charge of that district doesn't want the federal government not to have control over it. That's what frustrated me the most is doing the same thing over and over and over again. That was a long time ago when the Republicans and the Democrats spoke to each other.

Kerry Diamond: Hopefully, they will once again. Did you have security clearance?

Ina Garten: I had a Q clearance, which is a nuclear energy clearance. It's a very high clearance.

Kerry Diamond: Wow. I didn't even know there was such a thing as Q clearance.

Ina Garten: The Q clearance. It sounds very Maxwell Smart, doesn't it? I had a Q clearance. I don't think I ever got any secret information, though.

Kerry Diamond: You mentioned that you taught yourself how to cook and I had read that you didn't grow up in a household where you learned how to cook and you stood by your grandmother's side and learned everything. You taught yourself how to cook through Julia Child's books. Is that correct?

Ina Garten: When I first got married I had always wanted to cook, my mother never let me, and so what I did was I bought Craig Claiborne's New York Times cookbook, which I think was quite new at the time. I worked my way through that book when Jeffrey was in the military and moving around a lot.

After Jeffrey got out of the military, before we went to Washington, we took a camping trip for four months and we went to France, we went through Belgium, Holland, came down through England and Scotland and then through Normandy and Brittany. Most of the time we spent in France but we went to Switzerland and Italy. It was an amazing, amazing trip. We literally had $5 a day, there was a book then that was called Europe On $5 A Day, including our camp site fee. We had like $3.50 to spend for all of our expenses that day including gas. I mean, we had to eat for like a dollar a day. The only way you could do that was by going to the markets.

We would go to the French market and buy a piece of cheese and a baguette and fresh peaches, which were so delicious. You just couldn't believe that you could buy them for 50 cents for a peach that tasted like it was just picked off a tree.

That really got me interested in cooking because this was now the early '70s and you couldn't buy a baguette in the United States, you couldn't buy a croissant, you couldn't get a peach that was ripe from the farm. When I came back to Washington that's when I got Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and really started working my way through those two volumes.

Kerry Diamond: You were like an early version of Julir Julie & Julia. You were working through the cookbooks.

Ina Garten: I was Julie & Julia. Exactly. It's funny. Some people have told me that I'm their Julia Childs for Julie & Julia, which is really flattering.

Kerry Diamond: Well, let me tell you. I know it's going to be a long winter and when I first looked through Modern Comfort Food I was like, "I am going to cook through this entire cookbook this winter." That's my goal. Let's see how far I get through it. I'm putting that out there publicly so you all can hold me to it.

You have spent a good chunk of your career trying to simplify things for people in the kitchen. I was wondering how you feel now seeing people tackle really tough things over the past several months. I mean, people haven't been looking for the easy way out. They've got starters in their kitchen. They're tackling the longer recipes. They're making things from scratch. How do you feel about what's going on?

Ina Garten: I think it's great. It's funny because in the beginning when the lockdown first happened and people were going shopping there were two things the grocery stores were completely out of, toilet paper, which everybody knew about but yeast? That was the thing they were going for. I think everybody thought, "Well, I've got a month now." Little did they know they were going to have more than a month but, "I think I want to teach myself how to bake bread."

I got so many requests for information about starters, "I've got sourdough starters and free yeast and ..." It was just crazy. I'd say after two weeks that died down really fast.

Kerry Diamond: A starter is like a pet.

Ina Garten: It's like a pet. You have to feed it, you have to take care of it. It's just crazy. I think I tried it once when I was in my twenties and never again. I think in the beginning people were really enthusiastic about trying difficult things but now that you know you can safely with a mask go to a grocery store then I think that died down a little bit. People are home and they really feel like taking care of themselves and the people that they're home with and the next door neighbor and leave cookies for the next door neighbor.

I think there's a sense of taking care of themselves and the community and that's worth spending the time doing. I think people are doing things like Ultimate Beef Stew where it takes a bit of time, it goes into the oven, and it's there for an hour and a half. You feel good because you know it's there, you're going to have a really good dinner, and the house smells great. I think there's a sense of home that cooking really engenders. I think that's the way people feel right now.

Kerry Diamond: What's in your beef stew, Ina?

Ina Garten: Well, it's traditional beef stew but usually the beef is a little dry and it's just the sauce isn't that interesting. What I did was I borrowed from two other recipes that I love. One is from short rib stew so instead of using chuck I use short ribs, boneless short ribs. The meat has a lot of flavor and it flavors the sauce. The other thing I did was I borrowed from beef Bourguignonne, which is red wine and cognac. Those things really ... I use traditional things like potatoes. They're Yukon gold potatoes. They're really good potatoes and carrots and frozen peas, which is what I use in beef stew. But the sauce is so delicious.

Kerry Diamond: My mother would make beef Bourguignonne when I was a kid. I don't think there was cognac in it. I was such a miserable little kid. I would sit there and pick out every tiny speck of onion that was in there. My poor mother.

Ina Garten: It's so funny because I just got an email ... I was talking to Jennifer Garner a few days on a talk for William Sonoma and I was telling her about this recipe that I'm working on for the next book, which is it's salmon teriyaki with broccolini and basmati rice. She said, "Oh, that sounds so great," and I sent her the recipe. She sent me back a photograph and she said, "This is what I call mom plating" which is the salmon doesn't touch the rice which doesn't touch the broccolini. That's what moms have to do, right? You have to plate it so the kids will eat it like, "Ew, it's touching."

Kerry Diamond: That needs to be ... I'm sure that's a hashtag already, Mom Plating.

Ina Garten: Mom Plating.

Kerry Diamond: I can just see the hashtag right now. Was there any big food project you tackled or you have tackled over the past few months?

Ina Garten: The big project is the next book. I've been really working on that, which is fun. It's one of those things that's going to reveal itself the more I do it. I think one of the things I know is that how I've been cooking dinner every night is really going to inform that because it's not easy. We've always had options of takeout pizza and ordering from a restaurant, picking up something or doing a specialty food store pickup, but all of a sudden we didn't have those options. I was thinking, oh my goodness. I'm filming a TV show by myself. I'm working on a new book. I'm doing Instagram every day because people wanted to know what to do with those white beans in their pantry.

Then I thought, oh my God, I have to make lunch and dinner every day too. I didn't tackle any big projects but the big one really was the Instagram one where I was doing something every day for people, which just grounded me in a way. It was really great.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, good. I'm happy to hear that. We've all loved the little glimpses, whether it's your dishwasher. I feel like if you're lucky enough to have a dishwasher, has a very complicated love/hate relationship with their dishwasher.

Ina Garten: Exactly. What I didn't know is companies would be calling to send me a new dishwasher. I got a year's supply of dish washing soap. People were yelling, "Oh my God. Oh my God. She put her knife in the dishwasher. How can you do that?" I mean, it's so interesting because I've been putting knives in the dishwasher for 45 years and I still have the same knives.

Kerry Diamond: Do you sharpen them?

Ina Garten: I do but not that often. It's not like I sharpen them everyday.

Kerry Diamond: I put my little knives in the dishwasher. I don't put my big knife in the dishwasher. GLOBAL sent me a beautiful knife and I have not put that in the dishwasher. Definitely not.

Ina Garten: That's great. I love GLOBAL Knives. They're great.

Kerry Diamond: All right. I want to ask you some non-food things. You have had such a fascinating life. I was curious. What is still on your bucket list?

Ina Garten: I'd like to go to Antarctica but I don't think I want to go over that strait where they say you're sick as a dog for 24 hours, going there and coming back, so I'm a little shy about that but that would be something I'd love to do. I'd also love to go to New Zealand. I admire the life there. I admire, obviously, the prime minister. Everybody says it's kind of like going back to the '50s but everybody is kind to each other, it's a beautiful country, and I have a very good friend who is from New Zealand. I love the way she talks about it. I think when this is over that's one of the things I want to do but I'm going to Paris first.

Kerry Diamond: I know. I miss Paris.

Ina Garten: All I want to do is just go there and sit at a café and have a crème and tartine, which is a baguette slathered with butter and jam and just sit in the sun and enjoy it.

Kerry Diamond: I also read that you have never watched the movie The Barefoot Contessa. Is that still true?

Ina Garten: Yeah. It is still true.

Kerry Diamond: You still haven't watched it?

Ina Garten: I know. I have to watch it. I understand it's very dark. It's not a happy film. Have you watched it?

Kerry Diamond: No but right before this I watched all the YouTube clips. One of the ones I watched seemed kind of dark. I had no idea what the plot was.

Ina Garten: I think the movie is very dark. I mean, great acting. Ava Gardner, oh my goodness. She was just unbelievable.

Kerry Diamond: It's so funny. I just drove down south with my mom. We had to go visit a relative who is, unfortunately, not doing that well. It was nice to spend all this time with my mom and days driving on the road. We were driving back and we had to stop in Smithfield, Virginia to get gas and all that. As we're pulling off the exit it says like Home of the Ava Gardner Museum. We drove there and get totally lost, yes, and so many really beautiful streets and homes. I think you've probably got a ton of fans in Smithfield. We finally find the museum on their old main street and it had just closed.

Ina Garten: Oh no.

Kerry Diamond: It's a huge museum. All dedicated to her. She was so beautiful and such a great actress.

Ina Garten: In an ironic way, and particularly for the times, I think that kind of worked against her because she was such a great actress and people just wanted her to be beautiful. There's a wonderful movie I think with – I can't remember who the man in it is – East Side West Side, that she was in that was so good. As I said, she's a great actress but because she was so beautiful she was typecast as a beautiful woman and that was it. Nobody expected more from her. I think kind of like Marilyn Monroe, that was just a terrible problem for them.

Kerry Diamond: I do need to watch the movie. Maybe we can do a Cherry Bombe member night and do one of those Amazon viewing parties and we'll make something from your new cookbook and we'll watch the movie.

Ina Garten: I don't know what that is. What's an Amazon viewing party?

Kerry Diamond: Oh, I think Netflix has it too. You can watch a movie with a group of people.

Ina Garten: I have a friend who does Zoom cocktails and we make the same thing. She's in Wyoming, we're here. You just feel like you're at the same party somehow if you're both eating hummus and drinking the same cocktail.

Kerry Diamond: Exactly. I want to see what that movie is all about. It's terrible but from the clips my main takeaway was they had very pointy bras back in her time.

Ina Garten: Very. You should see my wedding photographs. That's exactly right.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, I want to see your wedding photographs.

Ina Garten: I'll private email you one of the photographs.

Kerry Diamond: You two have such a beautiful love story.

Ina Garten: He's just the best. He's amazing. He's the kindest, smartest, funniest, most adorable guy. I got really lucky.

Kerry Diamond: Well, we love Jeffrey from afar. I still remember when Jeffrey accompanied you to Jubilee a few years ago and was sitting in the audience and people were Instagramming pictures of the back of his head. They were so excited to see him.

Ina Garten: That's great.

Kerry Diamond: You know you've made it when just the back of your head excites people.

Ina Garten: My favorite Jeffrey story is that we were going through the London airport and the guy who checks your passport as you're arriving, he opens his passport and he goes, "Oh, it's you." I thought, "Oh my God. What? Are we going to be arrested or something?" He goes, "My wife always says to me, 'Why can't you be more like Jeffrey?'" That was in London.

Kerry Diamond: That's so funny. All right. A few more things about the cookbook. I was so tickled to see that you had a shout out to Sarah Kieffer and the pan-banging cookies.

Ina Garten: Yeah. Isn't that clever?

Kerry Diamond: So clever. Can you walk us through how you discovered that and the fun you had making those cookies?

Ina Garten: It actually came from Lidey Heuck who used to work with me and now she's out on her own and does a lot of recipes for the New York Times cooking app. She was going out on a run and her boyfriend was at home, now fiance, and she said to him as she left, "I bet you can't make this recipe," and it was Sarah Kieffer's and by the time she got back from the run, he had made the cookies. She came to me the next day and said, "These are the best chocolate chip cookies ever." I said, "Make them for me," and then we asked Sarah if we could include them in the book, and she said yes.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, that's great.

Ina Garten: They're so clever because you're always so careful when you're baking that you never jostle anything. She takes them out, she bangs the tray on the top of the stove, and puts them back in the oven and she does that a few times. They end up thin and crisp and just delicious. I think I may have added salt to it but I'm not sure. It's basically her recipe.

Kerry Diamond: You're right. It's so funny. We're all so dainty around our baked goods and the thought of just whacking something in the kitchen.

Ina Garten: Exactly. Walk carefully when there's something in the oven. It might fall. She just goes, "Whack!"

Kerry Diamond: She made me those cookies. We went to Minneapolis to do a live episode of the radio show and she brought me a dozen of the cookies. They were so good. I think they might have been the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever had in my whole life.

Ina Garten: That's why I include it. In each category, I wanted it to be the best version of whatever that thing is. I thought, well, if we're going to do chocolate chip cookies this is it. It's like my hashbrowns. I mean, hashbrowns are great. You know exactly what they are. But when you put them in a waffle iron to cook there's so much surface and it gets so crisp on the outside. It's the best version of whatever it is I wanted to make.

Kerry Diamond: Did I see ... Is that in the book or did I see that on your Instagram?

Ina Garten: It's in the book.

Kerry Diamond: That made me want a waffle iron. I've never wanted a waffle iron until I saw that. Seeing those, I do love a tater tot ... All you had to do was say surface and I knew exactly what you were talking about with the tater tots.

Kerry Diamond: All right. You've got Sarah's recipe in there, which is so much fun. Have you seen her cookbook?

Ina Garten: I haven't actually. I should get it.

Kerry Diamond: Oh my gosh. It's brand new. It's called 100 Cookies. It is so good and just one page of beautiful cookies after another.

Ina Garten: How fabulous. It's exactly what everybody needs right now is cookies.

Kerry Diamond: Yes. 100 cookies, 100%.

Ina Garten: Oh, good. I'll be getting it as soon as we hang up.

Kerry Diamond: There's always one recipe that kind of takes off for every cookbook. What recipe do you think that will be for Modern Comfort Food?

Ina Garten: A lot of people are making beef stew. I think that's probably the one I would say. And the chocolate Oreo ice cream. Jennifer made ... She has this wonderful thing, I'm sure you know, the Pretend Cooking Show. She made it with me. I joined her while she was making it. The Greek lemon chicken and Orzo. Those are three recipes I find a lot of people are making, which is great.

Kerry Diamond: Putting those on my list. I'm going to make all three of those. How is your memoir going?

Ina Garten: We're working on it. It's so interesting because I'm so used to looking ahead and I have to look back and connect the dots of what I was doing and I'm working with a wonderful woman who is doing so much research and has found, I mean, friends of mine from high school who have changed their names twice. I have no idea how she finds them. Just to remind me of, "Oh, yeah. I remember that. I forgot that that had happened." Who remembered that I was on the tennis team? I didn't remember. It's just great getting those connections and reconnecting with people that I knew.

Kerry Diamond: Then I have to ask a Thanksgiving question. Do you make a turkey on Thanksgiving?

Ina Garten: I do. I always do. There are different ones. In this book, there's a Tuscan turkey roulade, which is just turkey breasts rolled up and all you have to do is slice it, which is great. You don't have to struggle with all those bones.

Kerry Diamond: A friend of mine told me the other day that she did a turkey breast last year and she will never do a full turkey again. She said it was a game changer, but you do the full turkey?

Ina Garten: I usually do a full turkey. What I do is I do ... I think in Make Ahead I did a turkey that you can make ahead. What you do is you roast the turkey earlier in the day, you make gravy ahead, and then just before people arrive I do a big oven-proof platter and I put the gravy on the bottom of the platter and then slice the turkey when nobody is around and I'm not in my party clothes, slice the turkey onto the gravy, and then cover it. You know, 15 minutes before I want to serve I put the whole thing in the oven to reheat it and because the gravy keeps everything warm and moist, it's the most delicious turkey I've ever made. Also, on the buffet it stays warm because of the gravy. It's just so much easier than having somebody bring the turkey to the table and have to carve it while everybody is watching you, which I've done it a lot. Even I don't want to do it.

Kerry Diamond: Turkey performance anxiety.

Ina Garten: What do you do?

Kerry Diamond: What do I do? I usually don't cook. My family sometimes goes out to eat for Thanksgiving. I've had a deep fried turkey in the past. We don't even know what we're doing this year just because we're not sure who's house we're going to celebrate at or if we're doing Zoom Thanksgiving. I guess we'll find out.

Ina Garten: I just think it's important to recognize the traditions of it and keep that in some way. It's just going to be Jeffrey and me instead of whole families and grandchildren. I like that we know that it's been Thanksgiving. I like having turkey sandwiches the next day. I like the order of that. I'll be doing something. I just don't know what it is or where it is.

Kerry Diamond: Do you brine? Do you not brine?

Ina Garten: I don't believe in brining but what I do is I do a dry rub. Actually the Make Ahead turkey has a lemon zest, thyme, salt kind of rub, and you put it on a few days before so it really gets into the meat, it really flavors it. Then you don't have to deal with a huge pot of water in your refrigerator, which you have to refrigerate just when you need the refrigerator the most, right?

Kerry Diamond: Exactly.

Ina Garten: I don't like the water part of it but I do like the flavoring.

Kerry Diamond: What are you most thankful for this year?

Ina Garten: God, so much. That I live in the country, that Jeffrey is home all the time now, that I have a garden I can play around in, that I can see people socially distant, that I can do takeout instead of just cooking all the time. I think our lives got so crazy busy and the pandemic just made us stop. It's like the music stopped and you just took a breath and just looked around and thought, "There's so much here that I really love and I'm just so grateful for." I don't know if I'd ever go back to the other way again. It's just wonderful.

Kerry Diamond: Last thing before speed round, I just wanted to thank you for supporting Pass the Spatula and the Food Education Fund and Food and Finance High School.

Ina Garten: I love that school. I'm so happy to do it. In fact, I'm doing something with Missy for the school as well. Somebody offered to give a huge, I mean, we're talking a huge, donation to the school to have Missy cook and have me interview her. We're doing that next week.

Kerry Diamond: That's our friend, chef Missy Robbins from Lilia and Misi. We love so much. Well, thank you so much. I can't wait. One of the things I really look forward to when all of this is over and folks can come and see the school. The kids put out this wonderful magazine but nobody can really come visit the school and see it in action.

Ina Garten: I love the magazine. It's just fabulous.

Kerry Diamond: They did a great job. They did a great job. Thank you for that. Okay. Let's do a little speed round, coffee or tea?

Ina Garten: Coffee. Lots of it.

Kerry Diamond: How do you take it?

Ina Garten: With milk.

Kerry Diamond: Sweet or savory?

Ina Garten: Savory.

Kerry Diamond: I thought you'd say both. Savory. Okay.

Ina Garten: Oh, is both an option? Both.

Kerry Diamond: Sure. You're Ina Garten. You can answer however you want.

Ina Garten: How about savory with a cookie thrown in every once in a while?

Kerry Diamond: I'll take that. Most used kitchen implement?

Ina Garten: That's a tough one. Sheet pan. I love a stack of sheet pans because you can cook almost anything on it. You can roast a chicken, you can roast vegetables. I use sheet pans a lot.

Kerry Diamond: This is a nerdy question but what do you usually put on your sheet pans? Nothing? Silpat?

Ina Garten: I don't use silpats. Maybe I've never used them so I don't understand why I'd want to wash it, so I just parchment paper or nothing depending on if I need the surface.

Kerry Diamond: What is a song that makes you smile?

Ina Garten: Anything from Hamilton. Just love it. Anything from Taylor Swift.

Kerry Diamond: Good answer. What is the oldest thing in your fridge?

Ina Garten: Oldest thing in my fridge? In my freezer, I have truffle butter, which I always keep in the fridge. I think it's been there quite a while. It might be time to rotate it.

Kerry Diamond: Most treasured cookbook?

Ina Garten: I have a lot of cookbooks from Sarah Chase, which I love because they're from from a specialty food store background. She and I have the same sensibility. Open House Cookbook and Cold Weather Cooking. I love her cooking a lot. I use her cookbooks a lot.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, fantastic. Our last question was always who you wanted to be trapped on a desert island with, what food celebrity? A lot of people said you over the years.

Ina Garten: Aww. Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: We stopped asking that question because now it practically is like being trapped on a desert island some days. I know your answer would be Jeffrey is who you would want to be trapped on a desert island with so I was trying to think of another question so we're going to debut a new question. If you could switch places with any person for a day, who would it be?

Ina Garten: Any person for a day? It's really tough because everybody says, "Oh, I envy that person" but if you envy them you have to take the entire picture and they may have a fabulous professional life but a terrible personal life. It's pretty hard to imagine who I would change places with for a day.

Kerry Diamond: It's only for 24 hours.

Ina Garten: It's only 24? Just have a taste of what it's like to be Meryl Streep? Could I have her talent as well?

Kerry Diamond: Sure. Sure.

Ina Garten: Okay. She's got an adorable husband. She has a really great career. I think she's wonderful. How about Meryl Streep?

Kerry Diamond: Meryl Streep. Okay. Probably won't ever happen but Meryl Streep it is.

Ina Garten: She's a good cook so maybe she'll switch with me.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, she is a good cook?

Ina Garten: Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: Oh, okay. I did not know that.

Ina Garten: Yeah. Yeah.

Kerry Diamond: All right. Well, Ina. Thank you. As always, you're so generous with your time with Cherry Bombe and it means so much to me and we all love you in the Bombesquad.

Ina Garten: Kerry, I love what you do. I absolutely adore it and it's always fun to talk to you. Thank you.

Kerry Diamond: That's it for today's show. So sad it's over. Thank you so much to Ina for joining us and talking all things Modern Comfort Food. I cannot wait to get cooking from her book. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, head to your favorite local bookstore. I am sure they have it in stock.

Kerry Diamond: Thank you to Kerrygold for supporting today's show and providing us with their delicious butter and cheese. Radio Cherry Bombe is edited by Kat Garelli. Our theme song is All Fired Up by the band Tralala. Radio Cherry Bombe is produced by Cherry Bombe Media. Hang in there, everybody, and thank you for listening. You are the bomb.

When Harry Met Sally Clip: I'll have what she's having.

Emery Lortsher: Hi. My name is Emery Lortsher and I'm the owner of the Blended Table, a catering company in Salt Lake City, Utah. Do you want to know who I think is the bomb? Jamie Erickson of Poppy's in Brooklyn. Last year, Jamie graciously took the time to show me around her catering operation all while being several months pregnant and busy with a very full schedule. Thanks, Jamie. You're the bombe.