Testing 1-2-3

January 15, 2009

Anyone who has been on my website in the last few days has noticed some inconsistent changes. I think that this blog has taken a new direction in the last year, and it was overdue for a new look.

I think the biggest change in my food-nerdom mentality is that I now can acknowledge exactly how little I know about the subject I love. Its an exciting place to be – and I want that excitement to be carried into my blog.

And so, after twiddling around with various themes I settled on this one. The bookshelf is the soul of my kitchen, so it only makes sense that it was featured in the header. All the wisdom of the great cullinarians is at my fingertips when I need learn how to crystallize ginger, or roast a beet. A book of my compiled family recipes reminds me to “always double” my Grambetty’s cornbread dressing. Likewise, if you flip through my Grammy’s copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, you’ll find her notes jotted down on the grease stained pages.

My past, present and future is outlined in this collection. I still have I still have my first cookbook. Its a security blanket of sorts. I bought it at my sixth grade book fair, and from it I learned how to make pesto and shrimp scampi. I would stay up at night reading this book. Its still hanging in there, last year I used it to make tuna-burgers when Nic and I were dangerously low on foodstuffs.

I have the obligitory “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating,” which I got sophomore year of college after being seriously sick of college dorm food. Sometimes I would read this book when I got sick of studying, reminding myself that life after college would be much… tastier.

Which it has been, and is where I am now. Standing at the forefront of something I think will be huge. A gustatory awakening.

Shortly followed by a gustatory realization, that while I pride myself in being “a good cook”, there are a lot of basic skills I am lacking because I either a) never learned them, or b) was to lazy to use them.

case in point:

Tonight I boiled beans from scratch for the first time. Ever.

Growing up we had beans and cornbread on nights that were too chilly to make anything else.  But I must have been absent during the “how to make dried beans” lesson. Even after the last couple years of making beans and rice on a weekly basis, I never ventured outside the can, because I assumed (wrongly) that cooking dried beans must be a total pain in the ass.


This adventure is just one in many ways that my love of food has forced me to step slightly out of my comfort zone. I’ve always been an advocate of tasting everything (via my mother), but trying to cook everything? That’s an entirely different banana. Cooking is as much about processes as it is about ingredients. And if those processes are foreign to you it will take at lot of fearless cooking, and trial and error, before it becomes second nature. Take it from the girl who took twenty two years to boil a pot of beans.

Consider it my new year’s resolution.

Until next time, Sweatergirl


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