The voice of Lisa Simpson graces us with cooking stories, life lessons, and her endearing sense of humor.

May 13, 2021
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Yeardley Smith smiling
Credit: Courtesy of Yeardley Smith

For three decades and counting on "The Simpsons," Yeardley Smith has voiced the smart and compassionate middle child Lisa, who became a vegetarian early in the show's history thanks to a little help from Paul and Linda McCartney. Aside from life as an animated kid, Yeardley has been busy in her kitchen with the Instagram and YouTube series Oil & Water, as she takes two clashing ingredients and attempts to make them work together.

On today's show, Homemade host Martie Duncan welcomes Yeardley to discuss the origin of Oil & Water, her dream dinner party guests, who she's been starstruck by after all these years in television, and how she's learned to love the margins of her cookbooks. Listen to this episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPlayerFM, and everywhere podcasts are available beginning May 19.

Yeardley Smith in the kitchen
Credit: Courtesy of Yeardley Smith

About Yeardley Smith

Born in Paris to American parents, actress Yeardley Smith began her acting career in Washington, D.C. before landing a role in a Broadway play in 1982. She made her film debut in in 1985, and a handful other film roles followed. Since 1987, Smith has voiced the part of Lisa Simpson on "The Simpsons," for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1992. Her television career has since included co-starring on the sitcom "Herman's Head" and appearances on several other shows. In 2004, she performed in the autobiographical play "More," an off-Broadway production that she wrote. Smith has also written a children's book, I, Lorelei. Her most recent venture takes the form of a YouTube and Instagram cooking series, Oil & Water.

Episode Transcript

MARTIE DUNCAN Welcome to Homemade. I'm Martie Duncan. On this show, we like to get the stories behind our favorite recipes, and often, the story involves some of life's most unforgettable characters. Well today, I'm not only talking about recipes but I'm talking to the voice behind one of television's most unforgettable characters. For over three decades now, Yeardley Smith has played the intelligent and compassionate middle child Lisa on "The Simpsons."

With over 700 episodes, "The Simpsons" is now the longest-running American sitcom of all time! But beyond life as an animated second-grader, Yeardley has a true-crime podcast she's tell us all about today, and she's been busy in her kitchen with a fun series on YouTube and Instagram called Oil & Water, where she randomly selects a couple of ingredients and, for better or for worse, has to make them work together as best they can, which I think we can all relate to that just a little bit. Please join me in welcoming Lisa Simpson herself, the talented Yeardley Smith, to Homemade! Yeardley, our listeners and our Allrecipes community love you!

YEARDLEY SMITH That's so very kind. Thank you, Martie. I am so thrilled to be here. First of all, I didn't know Allrecipes had a podcast until we agreed to get together to do this. Now I've listened to probably half a dozen episodes. Absolutely love it. Love your rapport with your guests. Of course, I'm familiar with Allrecipes, the website, because whenever I'm looking for a recipe, the first thing I do is Google it. So, and Allrecipes is the first one that comes up.

MARTIE Always.

YEARDLEY Yeah. So I'm thrilled to be here. And just because your fans are so lovely and gracious, I will do the voice of Lisa Simpson for you because it could not not do this interview and not give you some Lisa Simpson! So here's Lisa Simpson!

MARTIE I'm so glad you did that because I didn't want to ask. So, I'm so thrilled you did! OK. Thirty-two years on "The Simpsons." How do you keep that voice going and that enthusiasm? You know, here's one thing Lisa Simpson and I have in common. She has stayed eight for thirty years. I've stayed 29 for 100 years. So we have that in common. How do you do that? How do you stay eight?

YEARDLEY Well, actually, I do think that has a lot to do with the long-running success of the show is that we remain frozen in time, and the rest of the world just keeps going at the pace that it goes. So we remain the constant. And that gives us this really familiar, solid platform from which to leap off and comment on everything that's going on, in the world.

As far as the character, I honestly feel like Lisa Simpson is one of the best, most humane, compassionate, resilient, funny, creative, clever, flawed characters ever created on the big screen or the small, and so it's really been an enormous privilege to play her for the last hundred years or so.

MARTIE Who doesn't love "The Simpsons"? Everybody's got their favorite episode. As a food person, and somebody who loves to cook, I wanted to ask you about the Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney episode when — because Lisa Simpson is a vegetarian.

YEARDLEY That's right.

MARTIE So, was that a big deal? And have people commented to you and told you that that made an impact on them when Lisa Simpson became a vegetarian?

YEARDLEY Absolutely. I think one of the great gifts of this job, of this, playing this role for so long is that people, complete strangers, welcome me wherever I go when they find out that I do the voice of Lisa Simpson. It really elicits a response of such incredible warmth and hospitality and gratitude and, "Oh, my God, let me tell you my favorite episode. Here's what Lisa Simpson means to me." You cannot put a price on that and it never, ever, ever gets old.

The wonderful story about Lisa becoming a vegetarian is that Paul and Linda McCartney said they would not come on the show unless Lisa remained a vegetarian for the life of the series. And we've kept our promise. There's an episode where Lisa eats bugs, like bugs as a delicacy. And she doesn't know if that means that she's broken her vegetarian vow to herself. Do bugs count? Are they meat? Is it?

MARTIE Yes. They are, Lisa. They are meat. Absolutely. Oh, my gosh. Don't eat any more of them. They're meat.

YEARDLEY I won't.

MARTIE Don't eat that. You don't want to let Paul McCartney down. Sir Paul McCartney. 

YEARDLEY You sure don't. The saving grace was that even after she ate the bugs, she then reversed course and went, "This isn't for me. I'm going back to my vegetarian ways." So, I feel like ultimately we kept our promise, even if she stuck her toe in unknown waters.

MARTIE So, I have caught on to your cooking show on Instagram and YouTube, Oil & Water. And that's one of the reasons that I felt like I have to have this girl on my show. Because I want to talk about that. So, you get a bowl and you put in some savory stuff on pieces of paper in one and then sweet items in the other bowl, and then you have a thing. So your thing could be brownies. 

YEARDLEY That's right.

MARTIE And you pick a savory ingredient. And then you pick a sweet ingredient. And then you gotta make that. Now how in the world you come up with that?

YEARDLEY Well, I do think it's sort of a result of what we're all suffering from, some pandemic fatigue.

MARTIE True that.

YEARDLEY I'm massively blessed that "The Simpsons" have been able to stay in production all this time because we're voiceover and animated. We used to record all together like an old radio play. But certainly, over the last year we've not been able to do that. So Oil & Water really was born — I used to do a little two-minute series on my socials called Simpsons Sunday. I would do some "Simpsons" trivia or some behind-the-scenes stories. And one day I decided I was going to make a recipe that Homer made for Bart in the very early days on "The Tracey Ullman Show" when we were doing little one-minute bumpers. Just before the commercial break on "The Tracey Ullman Show" on Fox, we would tell the whole story in a minute.

So in this little episode, Marge and Lisa are off having a girls day. And Homer has to make dinner for Bart. And Bart isn't interested in any of it. And Homer ends up making him porkified fish nugglets.

So he has combined ground pork and fish and made them into little nuggets. And I thought, "Well, I'm going to do that for Simpson Sunday." So I did. And I got this idea that—sort of like "Chopped," I mean, it's not a new idea, obviously — where you take two ingredients that don't really belong together, certainly not in the same dish, and make something out of them. So, I thought, I'm going to create a game. I will do the drawing the day before. It's still a blind drawing, so it's still legit, like I stick by my own rules. But if I have to pre-make something that takes a long time then I have to make it the day before. Right?

MARTIE Right.

YEARDLEY But I won't actually taste it. I would say probably half of them have been really awful. Really awful.

YEARDLEY There's now actually been two — one episode, which is coming up — where it's so bad we call it a dumpster fire and I actually set it on fire. I put it in a pan and put gin on it to flambé it and then roasted a marshmallow over it. So that happened with the Halloween episode, which was a candy apple that had — you're going to die, Martie. It had caviar and Skittles.

Martie, when I tell you — and I'm a good sport and I have a pretty good palate, but oh, wow, that was bad.

MARTIE I'm going to bring that up to my friend Justin Warner— who was on "Food Network Star" with me and he's one of my best friends — but I'm bringing that up to him and we should get him to comment on it because the Lord knows he can take the weirdest things and turn them into something great. I, on the other hand, would freeze up and panic like, "Uhh, no. No." He's great at that. He's one of the best.

What do you like to cook when you're just cooking? What's your go-to weeknight thing, for example? I think I heard you say somewhere that you like to cook kind of big so that you'll have food for the week when you're taping and you're busy, then you have things you can just take out and reheat. But what's your number-one go-to?

YEARDLEY One of my staples is a beautiful dish that comes from Joy the Baker, and it's olive oil-braised chickpeas. Oh, they're so beautiful. So, you essentially — now, I think her recipe actually is rather more simple than mine. I've now been doing this for three or four years, and so I throw olives in and capers. And she says you can add canned tomatoes or not. I always do. I also do a mirepoix at the beginning. So, you know, the onions, celery, carrots. And if I have mushrooms, I'll throw those in there. If I have eggplant, I'll chop that up and throw that in there. And then the chickpeas, of course. And so you toss it all together, and then you actually bake it in the oven with a hefty amount of olive oil, which makes everything soft, beautiful, velvety, warm. And the chickpeas, you don't cook them so long that they turn to mush. They retain a little bit of al dente texture. And it is just one of my favorite comfort foods.

MARTIE I would have never thought of that. Now, are you a vegetarian? You and Lisa, both?

YEARDLEY No. But I have in the last three or so years tried to go — I love meat so much.

MARTIE Me, too.

YEARDLEY But I try to eat more plant-based. I think my body actually prefers it. But it means that when I go out I get to have, you know, the rib eye.

MARTIE Growing up we always had at least one or two veggie nights a week And here in the South will have what's called a meat and three where you go to a place and you get a meat and three vegetables. Well, a lot of times people just skip the meat and get the four vegetables. And last night I made a big curry and I stuffed every vegetable I could find in there. You know, all the leftover stuff that was in the fridge went in it. And I feel a little bit full, but I feel like, OK, I ate my veggies. I did OK.

YEARDLEY And curries are so beautiful and brilliant because you can — there's so much wiggle room within that very basic recipe. I realized this as I was thinking about our interview today. I realized like, OK, Yeardley, what sort of things do you really love to cook? I've been experimenting. My fiancee really loves refried beans. And I've never made refried beans. I'm into now taking the dried beans, not just the canned beans...

MARTIE Right.

YEARDLEY And I actually won't pre-soak them because what I realized is — and again, I bake them in the oven, right? With plenty of liquid. So that way you can keep it from the pot drying or any other disasters that can happen when you cook something forever on the stove. And you get this beautiful bean broth that you can either strain off and use for a soup later on or incorporate into whatever it is that you're going forward with in your beans.

During the pandemic, I also learned to make pizza crust because I'm not — I'm a good baker, but I've never made bread. My mother used to make bread, but I never had done it. And my fiance is like, I love pizza. So I'm like, all right, I'm learning to make — you couldn't get pizza crust, you know how at the market…

MARTIE Oh, yeah. People went crazy.

YEARDLEY Crazy!

MARTIE I just started making those flour tortilla pizzas in my cast iron skillet. I get a flour tortilla, put it in my cast iron skillet, a little olive oil, get that heated, flip it, and then start layering all my stuff. And then I got a pizza in five minutes and I was perfectly happy with that.

YEARDLEY One hundred percent.

MARTIE Yeah. OK, speaking of your mother, I read somewhere where your mother — no, I heard you say this on the Allrecipes interview that they did with you when you did that Lisa Simpson Cookie. And you said that your mom had actually taught you how to read a recipe. And I think that's so important because so many people — like sometimes I'll get people complaining about a recipe and then I find out later after I question them a little bit, they never really read it. Tell me your story about your mom teaching you how to read a recipe and what she said.

YEARDLEY So, my mother was a huge fan of Julia Child. And I remember your — another great episode you have with Dorie Greenspan, where she talks about working with Julia Child, of course. And my father was a journalist when I was growing up. When I grew up in Washington, D.C. And they were stationed abroad when my brother and I were born. I have a brother who's a year older than me, and he was born in London and I was born in Paris. But when my mother came back to the states, she said her mother was not a good cook. So Julia Child for her was a chef who made no bones about, "Let me explain to you what it is you're about to do." There was no shame in the student not knowing. And "I'm here to teach you." That's what a cookbook is all about. And so my mother got, I think, probably through a lot of trial and error. She made every meal. We almost never ate out.

We used to bake a lot together. She didn't teach me as much about cooking per se like savory dishes, but we baked a lot. She taught me about creaming butter and sugar and why you do things in certain stages.

And, then through my own trial and errors, I learned to cook for myself as I had moved out of the house and stuff. It was funny. It got to a point where you could recognize, "Oh, this recipe, because now I know a little bit about what this process is, is missing a step and assumes that I already know."

MARTIE Right.

YEARDLEY But if I didn't already know, this could go sideways so fast.

MARTIE Yeardley, it's very interesting. I have a collection of hundreds of church lady cookbooks. Many of them are old. And it fascinates me to go back and read through these books. And read the comments and the notes from the cooks who've made these things saying, "This was left out. Be sure and do that. You must add this." And so they've got all these great notes in the margins.

YEARDLEY Exactly. And that was the other thing my mother taught me was, she always wrote in the margins saying, you know, "This is too sweet, too salty. Add extra vanilla. Do whatever it is you're going to do." And so now, I don't think there's a recipe that I've tried where I haven't written a note. Even if the note is, this is fantastic. Dan approved. Right? Dan, being the fiancee.

MARTIE Yeah.

YEARDLEY So, so I know, like because his palate is not quite as diverse as mine. So it's important that I know even if it has something unusual in it, say, cinnamon in a savory dish, that Dan isn't going to say, "I'm going to order Five Guys." So...

MARTIE Right. And a lot of times what I find when I make other people's recipes, you know, this is something from the Ina Garten episode also. She said home cooks don't often have their ovens checked or calibrated and don't think to keep a thermometer in their oven. And that's really important when you're cooking, anything you're baking, really. And she said if you want to be a better baker, you need to do that. And I know that's true.

When I do somebody else's recipe, I always look at the cook time, and I look at my oven temperature because sometimes those things just don't match up. So I really make notes about that. "Like at 15 minutes, this was underdone." 

YEARDLEY Right. No. It's funny how quickly you forget what where in that process things either worked or didn't work. Was it my fault or is it something else? 

MARTIE You're listening to Homemade. Stay tuned and I'll talk more with Yeardley about her true crime podcast, her dream dinner party guests and who she's been starstruck to meet while working on the Simpsons over the years. We'll be right back after the break.

I'm Martie Duncan, and my guest today is the voice of Lisa Simpson, the multitalented Yeardley Smith. I am so fascinated with her true crime series, so I got her to tell me all about it.

YEARDLEY So the podcast is called Small Town Dicks. Dicks being the noir slang for a detective. And I co-host with identical twin detectives, Dan and Dave. Dan is now retired. Dave is now patrol sergeant at his police agency in a small town. And when I started dating Dan, and I met him at a "Simpsons" event and he was actually my security detail. And the focus of our podcast is all of the cases are told by the detective who investigated the case. And so you get this very granular firsthand account of what went down, how did they go from A to Z in order for justice to be served in this case.

MARTIE I've worked with a lot of victims. And, you know, there are still those things that I have in my head that I'll never be able to let go of that I saw or heard about maybe, you know, during my years as a police officer, and some things that are worth hearing about for a lot of reasons. So, I'm glad you're doing it. I'm going to tune in and catch on to this one.

So what do you making tonight? That's what everybody wants to know. Whatcha cooking?

YEARDLEY Oh! Well, I am actually going to cook my olive oil-braised chickpeas.

MARTIE OK.

YEARDLEY And um, Dan, Detective Dan he's on a Mexican food kick. And so he really wants some Spanish rice. So, I've never made Spanish rice. But I actually am partial to farro. I love the sort of al dente texture of it, and I love that it really holds its shape, sort of no matter what you do to it. And so for, I'm going to make my own little batch of that.

The other thing that I've been making a lot of is, speaking of the beans and starting with them as dried, there's a food blog called Food52, which I'm sure you know...

MARTIE I know it. Yes, of course.

YEARDLEY I saw a video. There's a British chef named Rachel Roddy, and she learned to make these beans in Tuscany because she's fancy. And, um, she just puts the beans — does she put an onion in there? No. Three cloves of garlic. She doesn't even peel the garlic. Because ultimately it'll fall apart. It'll just be soft and sweet and blah. And cooks the beans in the oven for about three hours or however long until they're the texture that you want. So I then, again, have been making that for so long that I actually will do again like the mirepoix and I will throw in a little bit more garlic and, uh, you add some olive oil and just bake the beans until they're the most beautiful tender texture. And then I'll just eat them with my farro and be so very happy.

MARTIE It sounds great. You're giving me some ideas I'd never thought about. I mean, we do a lot with black eyed peas down here, but there are some of these things that I'd really not really thought about exploring. Maybe I'll have to now.

YEARDLEY Well, and I would say the thing I left out, actually, the piece de resistance, is that you have to throw a Parmesan rind in with your beans as you cook it.

MARTIE Oh, yeah. 

YEARDLEY Because that just — with that savory extra layer of depth and goodness that's, you know.

MARTIE I'm sure everybody wants to know these kinds of questions. But you've done lots of movies. You've done lots of TV shows. Did you ever get star struck?

YEARDLEY Oh, yes. Oh, my gosh. So, we had Lady Gaga on "The Simpsons."

MARTIE Oh, wow!

YEARDLEY Yeah. And, Martie, she came in and recorded with us. Because the truth is now that with technology being as it is, they don't actually have to come into the studio and record with us. This is in the before times, of course. But, you know, as long as there's a plug and a closet, they can record you. And if you're in London or Timbuktu, all good. So, Lady Gaga elected to come in and record with us, spend the day with us, which was amazing. She stood next to me. She was so gracious. She was so lovely. Could not have been more humble, more game for anything that we threw at her. That was an incredible day.

MARTIE So did said you say, I can't hide my poker face? I, mean, I can't — I mean, I'm just like a fangirl, like, I'm sorry. Can I touch your shirt?

YEARDLEY I think that's when people are being really authentic. I'm actually much more receptive and charmed by somebody who can't hide their poker face than somebody who needs to sort of zip it up just for me because they're embarrassed that I would know that they like something that I've done! What is, why are we even having the conversation?

MARTIE That's right. That is absolutely right. I mean, you've one a lot, a lot, a lot of shows. And I mean, you've met everybody. So, if you're having a dinner party, OK, you pick three guests you're going to cook for. I don't care who they are, famous or not. Can be your cat if that's your thing. And what would you make?

YEARDLEY OK, are they, do they have to all be alive? Or is this...

MARTIE No, I don't guess they can. If we're making a pretend dinner party it can be anybody you want.

YEARDLEY Right? OK, I'd really love to have Princess Diana over.

MARTIE OK.

YEARDLEY I'm huge fan of Princess Diana. Oh, gosh. Who else?

MARTIE Well, Harry, Harry's living close by now, so you might could just get him over...

YEARDLEY He is.

MARTIE He might come.

YEARDLEY I'm not sure they'd let me through the gates, but I'll try. Um, I would — gosh, I'm so bad at this. All I can tell you is, right now, in this moment, this is who I would choose. So I think...

MARTIE OK.

YEARDLEY I would have Princess Diana. I would have Ryan Kalil, who's the former center of the Carolina Panthers, who is a friend of mine, who is one of the most lovely, gracious, fun, funny, creative, quite brilliant people I've ever known. And then... oh! And the Rock.

MARTIE Oh, I love the Rock! Now, why would you choose him?

YEARDLEY First of all, I think his optimism is so authentic. His, his desire to leave the world a better place than the way he found it. By his own admission, I believe he was sort of headed down a bad path and then he sort of pulled up his bootstraps and went, "OK, I'm going to make this right." And then he wanted to play football. He wasn't good enough. Or he got injured or he wasn't fast enough or he didn't get drafted, I forget why. And then he went into wrestling and then he's parlayed that into one of the most successful entertainers of all time. And he's so earned, you know? He's such an incredibly hard worker.

MARTIE And he's beautiful.

YEARDLEY Yeah! And high tide lifts all boats. That really, I feel like, so defines his philosophy. And I admire that so much. Because to whom much is given, much is expected.

MARTIE That's exactly right. OK. So for this fake dinner party, what do you making?

YEARDLEY Oh, I love tri-tip. I think we're going to have tri-tip, and I love fresh corn. Right now I'm 56 and so I like it off the cob, so. But I'm happy. I'm happy to like strip it off the cob and then sautéed in butter. Yes, please.

MARTIE Fried corn? We love it down here. Hey, have you tried the trick where you take your Bundt pan and you put the corn — the stem of the corn into the bottom of the Bundt pan, and you take your knife and you just go down the cob and all of it falls inside the Bundt pan and then it doesn't get all over the counter.

YEARDLEY That's fantastic.

MARTIE Wasn't — I didn't come up with it, but I sure do use it.

YEARDLEY Oh, my gosh! OK, I'm totally that.

MARTIE We put up corn. Down at lower Alabama, they grow a lot of corn, and we put up corn all summer long. So we have — at least want to get through Christmas with it. So we have fried corn for Thanksgiving, fried corn for Christmas.

YEARDLEY Yeah, yeah.

MARTIE I will be your sous chef, for this dinner party.

YEARDLEY You have to come, too, Martie. You have to come, too.

MARTIE Well, I will serve...

YEARDLEY No, you sit down with us. I'm sorry. You do.

MARTIE I'll bring out the cocktails. I'll do the dessert. You do the main course, and then I'll serve it. Ooh, that'd be fun.

YEARDLEY It would be amazing. And then some sort of — I love potatoes. What should we do with the potatoes? I love salad, actually. I really love — I love butter lettuce with a nice — I always make my own salad dressing.

MARTIE Yes.

YEARDLEY Just simple oil and vinegar. So I think it might be something simple like that with some fresh herbs on it. And then I do love French fries. Could we have French fries, too?

MARTIE Why can't we have French fries? I've got a great French fry recipe that I learned from a friend of mine, who — it's kind of a little bit of a pain. But, boy, are they good. I was just going to say, though, when I had Alex Guarnashelli on the podcast, she told me about this souffle style of potato that her mom did. Her mom was a big influence on her in the kitchen. And she would do this. This was one of her holiday traditions. And just sounded so good. And so I forewent my — how do you say that? Forgo-ed? I forgo-ed. I forewent? I don't know.

YEARDLEY Oh, I think you could say forewent?

MARTIE I don't know. I did not do my regular potatoes this Christmas and I did those souffle potatoes, and ooh, they were so good.

YEARDLEY Really? Are they like sort of scalloped potatoes? are they in a sort of saucy dish like that? No.

MARTIE No, they start as mashed potatoes.

YEARDLEY Ohh. I love mashed potatoes. I really love mashed potatoes.

MARTIE Well, I will send you the recipe for that, as well.

YEARDLEY OK.

MARTIE Yeah. So our dinner party sounds good. I bet a lot of people would like to come.

YEARDLEY I think they would.

MARTIE You know, maybe we should do that. We should have serious dinner parties all over the place and raise money for whatever. There are a lot of important causes. It can be whatever. And wouldn't that be fun?

YEARDLEY That's a fantastic idea, actually.

MARTIE And it could be four people. It could be 104 people, it doesn't matter.

YEARDLEY Yeah.

MARTIE Just get more help, that's all.

YEARDLEY Yes, more help.

MARTIE You have a few friends.

YEARDLEY I do. I have a few friends. But I'm what they call an ambivert. So, if you think of like ambidextrous, where they can write with the right and the left hand, ambivert is somebody who has the ability to be extroverted but recharges like an introvert. So, a true extrovert, for instance, will recharge with a ton of people. Go to a concert, go to a football game, go somewhere. Yeah. Me? Ambivert. So, I need to recharge with, like, my nearest and dearest or my alone time or that's how I get my battery topped up. And then I can go back out into the world and be, you know, Lisa Simpson. I can do great podcasts like this.

MARTIE Maybe I am that, now that you say that, as I've gotten older. I used to be the other one, but maybe I'm an ambivert or whatever that is now.

YEARDLEY Ambivert.

MARTIE Yeah, maybe I'm that. Golly, just teaching us all kinds of stuff. Well, as we wrap up our time together, I want to ask you one last question before we go. You're born in Paris, you've lived in L.A. You've gone a little bit of all over. What's the one thing when you stop and look at your career and you, you say, "Wow, I did that." I've got one or two of those in my life and I haven't done nearly what you've done. So, what's that one thing you sometimes pinch yourself and "Go, wow, I'm just shocked I got to do that."

YEARDLEY Well, definitely, Lisa Simpson. It was a job that didn't interest me when I first went to audition for it. I didn't want to do voiceover. I didn't care about voiceover. Voiceover was not part of my grand plan for world domination.

I think because I had been teased so relentlessly as a child for having such a funny voice that I never, ever, ever occurred to me that my voice could be, a truly an asset, a gift in every way, shape, or form. So, Lisa Simpson really has been an incredible learning experience. I certainly started out in my life as a perfectionist, which I would say for any young ones listening, this is a zero-sum game. Do not go down that road. There is a difference between setting the bar high and touching the bar and feeling as though you've set the bar so high you'll never touch it.

MARTIE Never get it. Yeah.

YEARDLEY You'll never get any joy out of these incredible things that you're doing. Failure is a matter of perception. So, let's say you do something, it doesn't work out the way you planned. You're the only one who gets to decide whether or not you get something out of that experience, anyway.

MARTIE Right. 

YEARDLEY I mean, obviously not every episode is a home run. Not every performance I've given is a home run. But I do know that I have striven to make every one of those a home run. I've never, ever decided, eh, I'm just gonna, you know...

MARTIE Yeah, you can tell you put your whole heart and soul into it. You care about it.

MARTIE Yeardley Smith, aka Lisa Simpson, you are a joy and a doll. Thank you for being our guest today on Homemade, giving us a little glimpse into your kitchen, telling us about Oil & Water, all that you're up to. Your crime series. Everything you've got going on. Listen, thank you. And please come back again. And thank you for letting us have a little glimpse of Lisa early in the podcast. That was sweet.

YEARDLEY My pleasure. My pleasure, Martie. It's my pleasure.

MARTIE Be sure to follow Yeardley on Instagram and YouTube for more fun in her kitchen with her series, Oil & Water, and check out her true crime podcast Small Town Dicks wherever you get your podcasts. You can catch her as Lisa Simpson every Sunday night on FOX, and all three decades of "The Simpsons" are streaming over on Disney Plus.

From "Bizarre Foods" to his new show, "Family Dinner," Andrew Zimmern is my guest on the next episode of Homemade.

You don't want to miss it, so be sure to subscribe to Homemade. And please, we'd love your feedback. If you're able to rate this podcast and leave us a review or even just share this podcast with someone you know, I'd really appreciate it.

And don't forget, you can find thousands of recipes, meal ideas, and cooking how-tos from the world's largest community of cooks at Allrecipes.com.

This podcast was recorded in Birmingham, edited in Atlanta, and can be found wherever you get your podcasts.

Homemade is produced by Allrecipes with Digital Content Director, Jason Burnett. Thanks to our Pod People production team: Rachael King, Matt Sav, Danielle Roth, Jim Hanke, Maya Kroth, and Erica Huang.

I'm Martie Duncan, and this is Homemade.