“I’m not a good cook; I’m just really good at following recipes”
I’m not sure if this is an original statement of my mother’s, but it’s something I borrow when anyone compliments my cooking. Food has a significant presence in my life; there are cookbooks and cooking magazines all over my apartment. I use Pinterest every morning and evening to find recipes online…when I’m not preoccupied pinning stuff about Benedict Cumberbatch (but that’s another blog)! And if you were to look through my TiVo list, there would be many a show from Cooking Channel and the Food Network. I arrived late to both the world of food and the world of blogging, so allow me to explain how I got here.
I’m originally from a lovely small town in Georgia, and like many kids of my generation, cooking wasn’t part of my everyday childhood. Both of my parents spent 50+ hours a week at work, so when they were at home, spending several more hours in the kitchen wasn’t a top priority. There were home cooked meals on weekends but (again) like many kids of my generation, I was also one of those obnoxious picky eaters and refused a lot of those meals. When I was old enough to “cook” for myself, there was a lot of blue-box mac & cheese involved.
When I left for college in Manhattan my mother gave me my first cookbook. It was an Ultimate Southern Living cookbook. As she handed it to me she said something to the effect of “I’m sorry I really didn’t teach you how to cook, but this should cover the basics when needed”. I first thought the gift was humorous and doubted its usefulness….I was totally wrong! It took nineteen years, but college finally set me on a course to appreciating the culinary arts.
I didn’t cook a whole lot my first year in college. One of the best parts of living in Manhattan is having so many different types of cuisine at your disposal and I was able to defeat my inner picky eater. My first real memory of cooking comes from the end of 2002. I made some sort of chili or stew for an NFL game so my friends and I could have something other than take-out. Even now, I don’t remember exactly what I made, but I do remember my 2 friends magically transformed into 10! Once I moved out of the dorm and into my own apartment with my first (and sadly, only) gas stove, I started cooking a great deal more.
I moved back to Georgia to pursue more schooling and my cookbook addiction really took form. My apartment was known for its Sunday dinners and sweet treats. I can happily recall a many smiling faces around my dining room table. On an unrelated note, I also found that it was really easy for me to get favors done and my dishes always seemed to be washed….I’ve never quite figured that one out 😉
Fast forward eight or so years, two adopted cats, a few jobs and relationships and here I am in the triangle region of North Carolina. I have collected about 30 cookbooks; ranging from those written by modern T.V. Chefs to the classics everyone is “supposed” to have. From books dedicated a specific subject to my second (or third) copy of that same Southern Living Cookbook. I make home cooked meals around 3 times a week and usually it’s from a recipe I’ve found somewhere.
Though cooking is my hobby, I don’t feel very comfortable creating my own recipes. I would much rather rely on someone else’s expertise, though I’ve have found that not every recipe is a smashing success, even when the directions are followed to the letter. This blog’s main purpose is to review recipes from cookbooks, websites, and magazines. I will also explore how some recipes can be varied slightly and still taste fantastic (or even better). I won’t just put the successful recipes up mind you, I find it annoying that you never see others’ failures. An important part of my journey through food has definitely been the missteps; you know…the frozen pizza back up nights. I will occasionally throw a recipe on that I’ve developed as well as go on sentimental tangents about food memories or experiences I’ve had (or Benedict Cumberbatch). I sincerely hope you will be along for the ride!