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Left to my own devices, I could happily live on appetizers, dim sum, sandwiches and side salads .I gravitate toward a low-fat, clean eating, graze-as-you-go way of life. I am no longer entirely left to myself, as it happens. My partner and my picky teenager each have their different tastes. Quite a challenge.
I have degenerating retinas and as a result, am somewhat sight-impaired.Otherwise, I type 70 wpm relatively accurately, as though that means anything anymore. I love to read. I love to write. I love to cook and I love to eat.
I like to read cookbooks for entertainment and especially enjoy the history and personal anecdotes behind them. I have been collecting recipes since I first started hand-copying from a friend's mother’s splattered, battered 1974 edition of “The Joy of Cooking," at age fifteen. I have thousands of clippings going back some 25 years. That's not counting the four loose-leaf, largely handwritten binders.
This website is a wonderful means of keeping it all in order, and shedding some of that weighty load of paper by sharing the best of best of my accumulated recipes.
I take an intuitive and improvisational approach. If it “needs something,” I can usually figure out what. I try to take the best parts of recipes and experiment until I can consolidate it into one be-all and end-all recipe which then becomes my gold standard for that particular dish.
I have one sink, no dishwasher, an overfast oven, a slanting kitchen floor and limited counter space! Furthermore - given the limited selection of withered and well-travelled produce locally, I've had to learn to grow my own, have it mail-ordered, or make it from scratch. I am a condiment maven and make most of my own seasoning blends.
I am not much for desserts, baking, presentation...and I’ll admit that I really don’t like to entertain. I’m occasionally expected to contribute to potlucks and holiday dinners, and have an ever-expanding repertoire of suitable larger-quantity dishes developing for that purpose.
Saving that stuff for that stage of life when I have grandchildren, and a bigger kitchen containing efficient, modern appliances that I actually own.
Sink full of dishes, likewise the countertop, sticky hands, the sound that salmon bones make while crushing, barking dogs, flying insects, constant interruptions, people in my kitchen, gristle.
I resent excessive packaging and individually wrapped grocery items, with the packaging costs passed on to the consumer
Not in my Vocabulary:
Down Home Comfort Food. Rich and Creamy. Crowd-Pleasing. Meat and Potatoes. Just like Ma's. Sinfully Sweet. Ooey gooey. Stunning Presentation. Stick to Your Ribs.
“Let’s all go to that new Italian place, you’ll love it!
"Company is dropping by in ten minutes!"
"They have the most decadent desserts!"
"Bring the kids, the more the merrier!”
My ability to recreate authentic historical and International dishes in the middle of Blandsville, Nowhere. For this reason I have learned to be resourceful and inventive. I grow my own herbs and some veggies, in limited space on a balcony. What can't be found locally can sometimes be mail-ordered, or made it from scratch. I make most of my own condiments, seasoning blends and so forth.
Clean, bright, fresh flavours. Complex, intriguing, intense contrasts of texture and flavour. Crusted, crunchy, blackened, caramelized, hot, sour, spicy…
International cuisine of all sorts, with the exception of most Italian because of the cooked tomato and pasta aversion. Seafood of all sorts, especially shellfish. All regions of Asian cuisine. Traditional British food. I tend to; as does my daughter go off on food obsessions - Boursin. Pistachios. Calamari. Kalamata olives. Chutney. Creme Brulee. Tapenade. Anchovies. Roasted Brussels sprouts with chestnuts. Char Siu Bao, clam rolls, savoury crepes and turnovers. Falafels. Churrasco, Sambal Oelek on everything. Yorkshire pudding. Tonkatsu...
I also enjoy making cosmetic and medicinal herbal concoctions.
Cooked tomatoes. It smells like B.O. to me. Most pasta. Pork rinds. Polenta. Caesar salad. Polish sausage. Raisins. Anything bland and all-one-texture. Ordinary yellow mustard/green relish/red ketchup. Gloppy white cheesy sauces, especially over pasta. Most casserole-type things. Most dessert-type things. Whipped cream. Things with overly sweet creamy or caramel type fillings. I lack a sweet tooth and can’t get inspired about desserts and baking unless it is bread, or intended for company...although I can be convinced to do the bake-sale thing and usually fall back on some variant of brownies, or weird and wonderful cookies when the need arises.
Where I live has a dearth of decent restaurants other than the fast food chains, so we mainly eat in. There is a lovely little Creperie that makes me forget where I am, and when I visit Toronto I really enjoy the Mandarin Buffet.