Monday, January 9, 2006

Peaceful Co-existence

Only in New York City do bagels and buses exist in such close proximity.

Each day as I make my way to work I marvel at the food vendors that appear like mushrooms popping up under pine trees after the rain.

And magically, by noon, they have all returned to deep earth. Out of site...
until the next morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

How it all started...

I've been cooking for a long time. It all started at age 6 or so when I'd park myself in front of the TV, a reward for having finished my chores (though it felt more like indentured servitude to me). And there, on public television I'd find Julia or the Galloping Gourmet sautéing and sasheying (respectively).

My Mother went to work full time when I turned 7. My brother and I were left in my sister's care and lucky for me - that meant a whole lot of freedom! Each day at 4:00pm I'd ring my Mother at work for dinner preparation instructions. It usally involved taking the strip streak out of the freezer so it would be just defrosted enough for her to make a quick stirfry when she got home. But when I was lucky, it would be about dressing the chicken, prepping the baked potatoes and putting everything up to bake at 400(f) for an hour. Little did she (or anyone else) know that this task would take on dimensions never imagined. I prepped my "studio" and staged all my ingredients in small bowls. I'd pretend that over the counter there was no wall, but a television camera and a studio audience. And I went about my task, explaining every move I made while offering hints and tips, dishing dirt on my siblings, and sharing my hopes that I would make it through recess tomorrow unscathed by yucky boys.

I've graduated from slathering store bought barbeque sauce on chicken quarters. I've obsessed over a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Made gallons of granola. And honor my Mother's beef stew recipe without the slightest alteration. I've been inspired by the food revolution, and with it the dawn of The Food Network and fantastic new cooking shows on Public Television. And I've been blessed to have a man in my kitchen (now that I realize boys aren't really all that yucky) who is astoundingly speedy and whose skill is awesome!

In this space I'll continue my tradition of looking across the counter and connecting with my audience. But I promise to spare you all the details of recess and the trials and tribulations of things unrelated to wonderful food and the pursuit of the perfect cookie.