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I am a single mom of a 16 yr old and work as a CT technologist at hospital and at a cancer facility. I don't see cooking as a chore, I really do enjoy it. I am pretty much teaching myself as I go and have a lot to learn. I need to learn how to choose the right cut of meat. I always hear about how you should make good friends with your butcher. However, I'm afraid of annoying anyone with access to very sharp knives so I always take whatever is wrapped up and ready for sale.
Lately, I have been trying to educate myself to be more eco-friendly in the kitchen. The more I learn, the more sense it makes not just for the planet but for my wallet! The hardest part so far has been trying to buy local and what is in season. I was looking at the fish at the seafood counter and everything except for cod had been imported from other countries. Thialand, Vietnam, ect. And all those lovely exotic ingredients in the produce section are very tempting! Another thing that's been frustrating is trying to reduce the amount of packaging my stuff comes in. Why do companies over-package everything?? The composting and recycling are working out great though, and I really encourage people to give it a try. I think a lot of people are reluctant to make greener choices because it seems like a tremendous amount of work and the effort seems overwhelming. But you can just start small. Pick one thing and go for it. Even if you don't make any other changes, you are still doing something! But chances are you will think of one more thing you could be doing. And then one more...it really get addictive because you see how easy it is and you feel good about yourself! For me, it started with just buying one or two reusable shopping bag each week at the grocery store. Within a month or so, I had enough to never need the plastic kind again. I was completely surprised to find that this little change was not only better for the planet, but easier for me! Those bags are so much easier to carry and they hold more stuff so you don't have to make as many trips from the car to the kitchen. Plus, I always have them in my car and use them for all kinds of stuff...carrying my gym clothes, library books, games for roadtrips, ect. Have I sold you on them yet???
My absolute fantasy is to have a farm. I know it will never happen: I have absolutely no connection to farm life and no experience or knowlege to make one succeed. Not to mention, I have no natural talents for any of the skills required to run one. But the idea of living off the land, living simply and being self-sufficient is utterly appealing. I'd love to be able to grow my own food, learn to can and make locally-remarked-upon preserves. Bake bread and pies. Learn to quilt and knit and sew. Feed chickens and gather eggs. Milk cows. Rise and retire with the sun. Sit on my porch at the end of the day and...okay, you get the point. And I realize the reality isn't as romantic as I imagine, but I think it would still be a wonderful way to live. My dream man is a cross between John Walton and Charles Ingalls (too much seventies TV at a young age?) with a bit of Sam Elliot thrown in. Maybe more than a bit! If I ever win the lottery, I think I would quit my job and find work as a farm hand. Of course, that would require me to actually play the lottery.
I live with my somewhat idiosyncratic daughter and my reclusive boyfriend. Daughter is very picky, boyfriend will eat anything, but isn't exactly overly effusive either. I, of course, am the normal one. We have some interesting uh..."discussions".
My rating system: To be honest, I never give 2 stars or less because of the chance it was a mistake I made with the recipe. Besides which, I am a coward. In those cases, I just leave a comment with no rating.
I also try to save 5 stars for recipes that are truly extraordinary.
I love one dish meals and anything on the grill. I love roasted vegetables. I haven't found a veggie yet that didn't taste better with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasted in a super hot oven.