(drumroll please) The Introductory Post
August 24, 2009 § 15 Comments
I’m having some trouble writing this first post (which doesn’t bode so well, does it?) because this little voice keeps nagging me saying, “the last thing this world needs is another blog about food or cooking.” I disagree, the last things the world needs is a massive resurgence of small pox or nuclear Armageddon. So, another blog about food and cooking may just be the third to last thing the world needs.
BUT, I’m soldiering forward anyway. The thing with most of the food and cooking blogs out there is that they are for and by people who are already foodies. I think there just might be a tiny little bit of space out there for a blog that gets a little bit more down to basics – why this spice goes with that one, what you can do if you’re missing an ingredient for a recipe and why that substitution works.
I have in mind a particular instance that happened earlier this year: I was visiting my family and we were at a cabin in the woods. My mom, who is really a fabulous cook, had prepared a lovely supper, and then discovered to her dismay that we had no olive oil for making salad dressing. In fact, we had no oil of any kind and no vinegar either – horrors! She called me inside and confided this to me in distress, and asked what we should do. I poked around in the kitchen cabinets and found an uninspiring hodge-podge of ingredients, but a hodge-podge I could work with. I wound up mixing mayonnaise with a splash of white wine, a hefty does of lemon pepper, a nip of soy sauce, and a squirt of mustard. It tasted fabulous, and my mom asked me wide-eyed, “how did you do that? How did you know those things would go together?” Now, if my mom, who loves to cook, feels lost when having to go off recipe, I imagine those with less cooking background find it even more intimidating. So, I want this blog to be about how to make cooking real food into something that you can do, even if you haven’t had time to search out a recipe and buy the necessary ingredients.
Michael Pollan’s interesting article in the New York Times Magazine, “Nobody Cooks Anymore” points out a phenomenon I’ve been wondering about for a while: that even though more and more people are watching TV shows (and probably reading blogs) about cooking this does not seem to be inspiring them to be heading into the kitchen and actually cooking afterwards. Admittedly, I’m not optimistic, but I want this to be a blog that makes people want to cook and also gives them tools to do so. I’m busy, and I’m broke, and I’m a bit of a lazy cook, but on most days I still manage to sweet talk myself into cooking a home made dinner (though trust me, I have pizza-ordering days as well!), and I’m happier once I’m chopping and stirring, and smelling what I’m preparing. And I feel healthier and happier after eating food that has been prepared by hands I know from ingredients that I know the origins of. In fact, I’d bet (and this is something Mr. Pollan argues as well – he seems to be stealing all my arguments, and then he goes and gets them published in the NYT and books, oh well…) that without worrying about amounts and types of fats and carbs, and proteins, simply cooking our own food would make most of us healthier.
So, here goes, another blog about food and cooking…