Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thanks for finding me!

I started really learning how to cook during the last time I was unemployed, so at least I'd have dinner ready for my wife when she came home from a long day at work as a high school teacher. I figured it was the least I could do after spending about 30 minutes scanning the job boards in the morning and then spending the rest of the day surfing, biking or lounging in the hammock with a good book.

It was intimidating at first, especially since we tend to like Indian, Thai and similarly complex cuisines. I'll be honest -- some of the early experiments just sucked. But with patience (that's your best friend in many corners of life, but especially cooking), a nice variety of cook books and fresh, quality ingredients, I started to turn a corner.

After discovering Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, though, the kitchen really started to get worked over. If you have one cookbook in your home kitchen, it should be that or Bittman's exhaustive How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I plan on referring to both of those books often, and will simply abbreviate in reference: HTCE, HTCEV or just Bittman.

You'll see both successes and failures, gourmet and super-simple, while adhering to a vegetarian ingredient list (some vegan, but not strictly so -- I love butter and cheese, and we'll be getting eggs from our four hens once they're old enough, in October). What you won't find are processed foods, microwave directions or anything that takes the dignity or heartiness out of food. I think my ideas of food and good eating are very similar in scope to those expressed by Michael Pollan's important In Defense of Food.

And being a recession and all (we're tightening the belt ourselves), I'll try to highlight ways to save money without sacrificing the pleasure of a good meal. But it's important to point out that saving money sometimes costs more time -- so that's an important consideration (if you're unemployed, you have time, but it's also about kitchen management and efficient prep).

This evening we had a traditional Chinese-style fried rice, with Napa cabbage, green beans, green peppers and eggs. Now it's time to read some bedtime stories. Please come back and see me again soon.


  1. hooooorah! I am so excited to keep an eye on your new blog. blogging is rad!

  2. Alright! Great topic for you. I have been planning to make you email me recipes of good veggie dinners. Your blog will be even better than that! I look forward to reading your superb writing and cooking with my favorite family.