Monday, October 19, 2015

About this blog

I'm a 51-year-old American woman and at the age when my parents were firmly set in their ways when it came to food. To this day, they have zero flexibility when it comes to how food is cooked and spiced. My mother enjoys plain canned tomatoes on white bread. My father feels that anything that includes garlic is disgusting. Both of them believe any piece of meat with a hint of juice is dangerously under-cooked. My childhood meals was largely made up of cheap cuts of meat cooked to the consistency of shoe leather.

I've found that many people tend to have tastes set in stone. This is why no small number of American restaurants are very conservative in their menu choices. I recall a "Cathy" comic some time ago which illustrated this well. The eponymous character and her parents had gone to a restaurant and are perusing the menu and discussing their choices. In the end, they all settle on chicken, salad with ranch dressing, and potatoes. Their waitress summarizes these choices for the kitchen in a few words as it is so frequently the menu that other conservative white families order. We think we're going to be adventurous, but often just settle for what is familiar and "safe."

For much of my early adult life, I was similarly conservative in my eating habits. However, I was willing to experience processed food that included a few odd items. I remember trying "Tofutti" when it was a new product and few in the West who didn't grow up in an Asian or hippy family tended to have any experience with tofu. So, I did experience the occasional adventurous spike in my eating, particularly if I ran across something novel that didn't sound disgusting.

However, as I advanced into my 40's, I became more interested in expanding my palate and experience base with food. I also wanted to become a better cook and have spent the last 15 years trying to refine my skills. I am by no means an expert in anything, but my hit to miss ratios have improved as I've practiced more and done more reading. Access to the internet has done a great deal to facilitate that as I can get exactly the information that I need rather than relying on what a particular cookbook has decided to tell me.

Recently, I decided to "follow" the New York Times Food page on Facebook. This has inspired me to try several new recipes over the past few weeks and I decided that I'd like to track my "progress" as well as document how well the processes go for me. This blog will be my way of recording the recipes I try and the results that I get.

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