ABOUT THE BLOG…
It was, as they say, a no-brainer… authoring a blog about one of my favorite things in the world, cooking. Closely related to cooking, of course, is creating recipes, trying new techniques, finding kitchen gadgets I can actually use, and teaching others. Well, that last one isn’t so much about cooking as it is about feeding my desire to feel intellectually superior to others – as in, “I know something you don’t know, but if you’re nice to me, I’ll tell you what it is.”
The concept of writing a blog has been in the planning stage for quite a while – but truthfully, several years ago, my original idea was to publish a cookbook of all my original recipes, along with a detailed “how-to” section. That idea was eventually scaled back to be simply a self-published small-press-run book that I could just give as gifts to family and friends at Christmas time. I even went so far as to start getting pricing from various printers. When I saw how much money it was going to cost for a few dozen cookbooks, I realized that my dearly beloved family and friends would each be getting a Target® gift card for Christmas.
So now, here we are, you and I, left with this blog. As I said, though – it’s really a no-brainer. I can reach a much larger audience, it’s accessible world-wide 24/7, you don’t have to pay shipping and handling, and I promise there will be no early-morning infomercials to sit through while waiting for a real TV show to come on.
Here’s the way I see this blog working: I’ll put up some recipes, along with some snappy anecdotes about each (how I came up with it, special instructions, or just a few totally unrelated opinions about world events). Simply put, I can tell you right now that things are going to be fairly unorganized to begin with, but I’m hoping that will change as I develop some user-friendly conventions. I also plan to review some kitchen tools, appliances and gadgets that I’ve used and let you know what I like and what I don’t.
Maybe sometime in the future, I could post YouTube videos of me preparing some of my dishes, to give viewers an extra dimension of instruction. If I had a smart phone, I could make videos and post directly to the blog. Problem is, I have a dumb phone, and it don’t shoot no video.
As stated above, cooking is one of my favorite activities – this likely stems from a long-term addiction to eating I have. I eat nearly every day, and I cannot seem to stop myself. Apparently it dates back to my very beginnings, as my mother has told me I started eating from the first day I showed up.
Fast-forward to my post-adolescence, when I started cooking… after I got married to my first wife, I found out she didn’t know how to cook, and had no intention or desire to learn (note to the guys reading this: find out about this stuff before you take the plunge, will you?). She was under the impression that we would eat in restaurants every day. Oh, how I wish I was making this up – but I’m not.
It therefore fell to me – if I was going to survive, I was going to have to learn to cook. My mother was a fine cook, but I paid little or no attention to how she did anything during the time I was growing up – I was interested only in the results. Thank God for her patience as I was on the phone with her several times per week, asking, “How do you do this?” “How do you make that?” Eventually, I had an extremely small repertoire of dishes I could make, strictly for sustenance and not much more.
Fast-forward again through the intervening years and into a lasting marriage with my soul mate and love of my life…
In my professional life, I’ve had a very diverse career path (my wife likes to call it a “checkered past”) but I have a strong science background, so I developed an interest in some of the scientific principles behind cooking. Why is an egg white clear until it’s heated? Why does adding cornstarch to water not change its viscosity until you heat it? I’m a real sucker for that kind of stuff – and that’s how I started approaching cooking and recipe creation. Believe it or not, having even a passing knowledge of what happens to a food when you heat it, or combine it with another ingredient, makes creating a recipe much easier. If you can predict what’s likely to happen when you add A to B, you’re more likely to get an outcome you can eat. Don’t freak out, though – you don’t need to know any of that stuff to make the recipes on this blog – I’ve already done all that.
So, anyway, as my skills allowed me to expand into more complex dishes, my wife encouraged me to start writing down what I do, since I’m famous for not doing things the same way twice. At about the same time, I started bringing my creations into the office where I worked, and into my wife’s office as well. I was both amazed and gratified by the positive feedback I was receiving! If I had a dollar for every instance where someone would encourage me to start my own catering service, well, I might have enough money to start my own catering service.
Of course, I do have other interests and activities outside of cooking, but those can wait for another time…
Please enjoy looking around the blog, ask any questions you’d like, and above all else, take a minute to drop a line or two of feedback in the comments section of each post, okay?
Wishing you all love, good cooking and good eating,
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