In my kitchen……

11/8/05

Anyone
that knows me, knows that I love to cook and bake. I also
love to create recipes. I could very easily spend all
day in the kitchen just puttering around. I also really
enjoy reading cookbooks of all types, studying nutrition, and learning
the history behind particular foods. I am learning to cook
and even create new recipes within different ethniticities.
I REALLY am enjoying exploring different asian cuisines right now, but
sometimes have difficulties finding some of the ingredients. D
and I, as well as R, do enjoy spicy foods, but for the sake of the 3
younger children, I try to keep things pretty tame, and then the three
of us will spice things up at the table as we are
able. In our family we do eat mostly “whole foods”
and I do cook most everything from scratch…..I do this for
nutritional reasons, as well as because I really enjoy doing
it! I LOVE to provide the very best fuel for my
family. We do eat some organic, if our finances would
allow, I’d incorporate more organic, but can only do as much as our
budget will allow.

Some of my kitchen/cooking background……
In my early childhood years, my mom cooked just about everything from
scratch. She was a great cook, and also dabbled in studying
nutrition (there wasn’t nearly as much information available in the
early 70s as there is now). We ate very healthfully and she
cooked with mostly whole grains, and she baked a lot of our whole grain
breads. We were even vegetarian for a few years due to some
health problems that Mom had. Mom always maintained a very
large garden, and several fruit trees on our 1/3 acre lot growing up,
and she dehydrated, canned and froze the bounty of her harvests.
We also had family members that were commercial fishermen and they
fished salmon from the Columbia River…..she also canned and froze
that each year. I have very fond memories of the shelves of
homecanned foods, and the smells of the jam and jelly
making.

When I was 6-7 years old my parents were divorced, and within a few
years Mom moved my brother and I to California. After
moving to California (I was 9 at the time) due to Mom’s work schedules,
most of the household responsibilities (including cooking) fell on my
shoulders. I learned to cook from recipes in my mom’s
limited supply of cookbooks. I became very proficient at
following recipes, and that is how I learned to cook as a child.
When I was in my late teen years, I wanted to make my mom’s spaghetti
sauce, but she never followed a recipe, she cooked by
taste. I had watched her make the sauce loads of times and
knew exactly what went into it. The end result was very good, it
didn’t taste exactly the same as Mom’s, but it was very good.
This was such an incredible boost to my cooking confidence!
It also got my creative juices flowing (I have never been really all
that creative in any aspect of my life except for in the kitchen) and I
started creating recipes, and coming up with fun and different, yet
extremely tasty concoctions! What fun I was
having! For many years, after that time I have cooked
creatively, with and without recipes. I still look at
recipes, but rarely follow a recipe exactly as written 🙂 I’m
also “improving” or adapting recipes to suit our family’s
tastes.
I still cook and create largely without recipes, but in recent years
have learned that it is absolutely necessary for the sake of my 4
children and their learning to cook and to re-create some of their
childhood favorites, that I need to start writing down recipes for
them. So now, when I create, I keep pencil and paper at
hand, and I have even been able to change/improve some of my original
creations because I have them written down!

The internet has been an incredible addition to my culinary
explorations. Not only do I have a worldful of recipes at my
fingertips, I also have become acquainted with a well-known chef,
several cookbook authors, and have even had the opportunity to be a
test kitchen for two different cookbooks. Some of my
original recipes have circulated on the internet, and I don’t mind that
…. I would like it if my name were to stay attached with the recipe
though, and that other people wouldn’t publish my original recipes
without my permission (if you ask, I most likely will give my
permission :)). I do put a little of myself into everything that
I create, and my recipes are very special to me…..they are all little
extensions of me 🙂 And they are all unique creative
endeavors.

I do plan to use this weblog to store my personal recipes, and hope
that others might enjoy them as well. If you have any comments on
any recipes, please comment away, or ask any questions that you may
have.

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