Monday, March 12, 2007

Confessions of an Unrepentant Foodie

I like food. A lot. You may like food too, or perhaps you simply like me, and in either case, your taste is impeccable. Welcome to my blog.

As a narcissist and technophile, the blogification of my culinary life was inevitable. Instant access to my ever-growing recipe collection? Compelling. Seductive. Irresistable. Moreover, I love *projects,* and a chronicle of culinary adventures, reckless kitchen experiments, food lit, and all things chowpolitik sounds like the best thing since artisanal bread.

I'm a recent convert into the fold of food snobbery. Margarine, processed cheese product, and condensed soups stocked the pantries of my childhood (in fairness, real tuna cassarole begins with Campbells). By the end of high school, I had never sampled sushi, Thai basil, or brie. But all was about to change.

A youth of both creative and scientific inclinations, I cycled through hobbies, and one bored summer evening before the start of college, I came upon an online recipe for pretzels. It would be interesting to know where pretzels come from, I thought. But it didn't stop at pretzels. This had been an awakening.

My freshman dining hall terrified me, and convinced I could do better, I holed up in the dorm kitchenette to tinker with my most recent allrecipes.com find. My dormmates were happy to enable this habit -- except when I set off the fire alarm making popcorn. The following year, I had the good fortune to be housed in a co-op, a mythic land of industrial appliances and perpetually-stocked ingredients. I began cooking constantly. Cooking for fun. Cooking to unwind. Cooking to socialize. Cooking to be alone. My grades tanked. My popularity soared. This has widely been regarded as a good move.

So what's my plan here? This garrish monument of self-glorification will serve purposes both practical and aesthetic.

1.) Recipes. Accessible anywhere. God yes.

2.) Experiments. I am prone to them. Previous food projects:
Coffee Home Roasting, which promptly ended when a friend availed me of my roaster. I may try this again soon. Meat of the Week, wherein I prepared different animals from the specialty grocer (e.g. deer, ostrich, squab, frog). Vegan Month, as a penence to my year as the Dairy (and militantly non-vegan) Kitchen Manager. Developed a delicious vegan cheesecake, experimented with seitan, and savored avocado-based-everything at Cafe Gratitude. Broken two days early (damn you, Tartine). Taming the Wild Yeast, currently domesticating in a bowl on my dresser.

3.) Adventures. Factory tours. Urban foraging. Mushroom hunts. Food writing classes. Geology of terroir. Knowledge is power. And power is delicious!

4.) Food literature. Because if I'm too full to eat (sad, but often true), I need to consume *something.*

5.) Poltical rants. Sustainability. Humanely-raised/free-range/grass-fed. Organic/Local/Fair Trade. Heritage. Fast food. Slow food. Obesity. Eating disorders. Nutrition labels. Food Pyramid. All that hippy-dippy yuppie-duppy stuff.

6.) Food porn. I love photographing food. I have no talent for it, but it makes my heart flutter.

So much to do, so much to do! Indeed, I am excited. But first, I need a cappuccino.

Monica

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