"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I like food

I like food. I really do. I love it, really, but sometimes, I feel like the word "like" feels even stronger and more charming, more dear, than love. I've always liked and loved food, and so I've been inspired to write this blog devoted to it. I'm by no means a foodie or food snob, just someone who loves a good meal. Quite frankly, I can't stand the pretentiousness of food snobs, who are more into fine dining than just a really fucking good meal. I'm more at home eating at a roadside cafe or neighborhood joint than some fancy place with square plates and Michelin stars (and did I mention itty-bitty portions?).

I grew up with a Cuban mother and Spanish father, so meals mostly consisted of something with rice, beans, and/or pork. My mother has a rather limited repertoire, but those recipes that she does cook are damn good. My father doesn't even burn toast because he's not sure where we keep the toast or how to work the toaster. When I was around 12, I went through a spurt where I made a lot of cookies for about a year (my mother was never into baking, so I have no idea how I got so into this), but then I got older and lost interest in the cookies and then went away to college and graduated completely cooking inept. We're talking over-oiled omlettes, burned onions in a saute pan, dried-out chicken tenders. And don't even get me started on how horrible my rice was. About all I could make was pasta, sandwiches, and salad. So I started thinking I was turning out a lot more like my father than my mother.

But now I think the tables are turning (pun intended?). I moved to Boston in the fall of 2006 to pursue a master's degree and then career in publishing. For the two years I was in school, I never had time to indulge in cooking. Quick and cheap it was again. More pasta, more salads. Occasionally, if I had a little time on the weekends, I ventured into the realms of making soup or a one-pan meal. But only occasionally. I also grew very fond of baking pumpkin bread from Trader Joe's mix, and brownies (also from a mix; so sue me, but I swear that brownies from a mix taste better than homemade usually).

Now I'm out of school and working full-time, which means that I've got no homework and thus have my evenings free. So I've started delving more deeply into the world of cooking. And I have to say that I'm liking it. My recent forays into food, both simple and complex, have been quite successful: red velvet cupcakes, lentil soup, picadillo (a Cuban ground meat dish), even just scrambled eggs are all coming out really fucking good. And I have found that where cooking used to be a dreadful chore that I didn't enjoy, now it's like a fun experiment, a chance to play, to try something new. It's like having a crafting hobby, except that the best part of this hobby is that I get to eat what I make when I'm done.

Because of this new interest in cooking and baking, I decided to start penning (typing?) my thoughts on all things food related, just for the fun of it: recipes I've tried or want to try, restaurants, shows, books, kitchen experiments, gadgets, and more. And of course just postings about damn good food. Hurrah!

No comments: