Having persistently vacillated between over- and under-achievement, I now find myself at the threshold of the next frontier of human accomplishment—that is, successfully, energetically, and persistently working at next to nothing. In other words, I have a blog. This is that blog.
I’ve considered many topics for a blog, but those were pretty boring to me. The one thing I love enough to spew forth in copious self-publication is food and all of the venues, products, means, methods, news, and events related to it.
Can’t be helped, I suppose. I was a born food freak. I mean, how many six-year-olds do you know who beg for sardines in mustard or Brussels sprouts? To this day, I cherish fond memories of the first time I ever tasted spinach, cheddar cheese, apple cider vinegar, and even celeriac gratin (not all at once, of course). Foods like these were revelations of flavor; each one changing my understanding of what food could and should be.
Fortunately, I grew up in the right place—a town just North of New Orleans. There, ordinary people made local chefs famous well before there was a Food Network give them national attention. Men stood over steaming pots and outdoor fryers for hours at a time one-upping each other about the “right” way to cook things—things people in other parts of the country didn’t even know were edible.
Notwithstanding the culture, my mother was an indifferent cook who unfortunately was responsible for most food preparation in our house. So from necessity, I learned to prepare my own food at around nine-years-old.
Before long, I was soloing in deviled eggs, meringues, brownies, blackberry pie, shortbread, and so on. I learned to read recipes from the old cookbooks I found at home that were, sadly, in mint condition, and from the foodie parents of my friends.
Fortunately, my grandmother was a life-long farmer. My dad also farmed as a hobby and, along with Grandma, grew acres of fresh fruit and vegetables, raised chickens for fresh eggs and meat, and maintained a herd of grass-fed cattle; one of which filled our deep freezer each year.
She also had a stocked pond behind the house to water the cattle, from which we fished perch and catfish. My parents were avid sailers and recreational trawlers so we routinely culled fresh shrimp, crabs, and all kinds of fish from Lake Pontchartrain by the net-full.
I lived in a food paradise, but back then I also wanted to eat the packaged and processed snacks, sodas, and fast food like my schoolmates. Fortunately, I wasn’t given much of a chance to indulge in that particular conformity until much later, in college.
I now believe that eating the food we raised and caught ourselves was the main reason I was a skinny kid. In addition to providing a foundation for good health, my early food experiences taught me how to tell a real garden tomato from the one ripened on a truck and a days-old shrimp from one pulled from the waters only hours before.
Years later, when my grandmother passed away, I was asked to chose what I wanted from her home before it was closed but all I took was her well-seasoned cast iron chicken fryer, a solid hardwood rolling pin made by my grandfather, and her cookbooks. I still use them all today.
Over the years, I have gained like-minded food friends. These are people I learn from; who I hope you will meet as guest bloggers and contributors.
Thank you for visiting us! I hope you enjoy this site as much as I’ve already enjoyed writing it. And please take a moment and tell us your own food story by commenting below.