Chow Bella

Cindy Dach on Pupu Platters and Mom's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

What is the best dish your mother ever made?

Sweet and sour meatballs from scratch. No frozen store-bought meatballs. We didn't have that when I was a kid.

What is the worst dish your mother ever made?

I really can't think of one.

Tell us your earliest memory of going out to eat with your family.

Chinese food. We were always going out for Chinese food. My brother and I were all about the pupu platter, especially if there was a flame.

How has your mother influenced you as a cook?

She loves to cook and bake. Unless, we were irritating her as kids, it was her relaxing "me" time. I get it now. I can go into the kitchen and make something and unwind.

What is one thing you do differently than your mom, when it comes to food?

When my mom cooks, you only go in the kitchen if you are asked to clean it. She's a pretty messy cook. I clean as I go. I'm a little obsessed that way. I'm also willing to use spices. She was pretty committed to limiting her choices to garlic, salt and pepper.

What is your mom*s favorite dish?

Apple blueberry pie.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at