Hey! You’re reading this! Maybe that means you want to know something about who I am and why I’m cooking…or maybe you clicked here on accident. Oh well…now you’re going to find out about me. I love cooking. I’ve always been in love with baking. Growing up it was something easy that kept me entertained, was a relatively inexpensive hobby and getting to do the baking yourself was better than just getting to lick the spoon. And hey, I only almost caught the house on fire once or twice…or maybe it was three times? But hey that third time involved charcoal briquettes and was outside so that doesn’t really count…
I’m crazy, silly and a little bit flighty (though I prefer to say I have an easily distracted personality). I used to think I might be a bad cook because I didn’t like following recipes and then I realized how much more fun (and tasty!) things can be when you step out of the recipe box and start experimenting in the kitchen.
Until recently, most of my kitchen time has been spent doing holiday or special occasion baking. I just never thought too much about getting creative with meals and regular cooking. Then last year, I went and got a crazy idea, packed my suitcases and moved to the Middle East to teach. Living a world away from my friends and family in a country where I knew very few people gave me a lot of free time. A LOT. I read a lot books. I played a lot of video games. I ran a lot. And then I started cooking.
My 8-year-old pug Olivia is perhaps my biggest fan in the kitchen. Until J moved here you could usually find her lying on my kitchen mat, generally impeding my ability to move freely about the kitchen as she waits for the inevitable crumbs to fall. But J has banished her from the kitchen (he says she’s not an appropriate substitute for a broom) so now she sits just outside my kitchen door, doing her best to look pathetic and forlorn in hopes I might sneak her a taste. In case you didn’t know, looking pathetic and forlorn is a specialty of pugs. I probably spend more time talking to her about my recipes than anyone else because, well, she never has anything bad to say! Unless it involves lettuce…who knew pugs don’t like lettuce?!
J is my fiancée, sometimes babysitter, voice of reason, dishwasher and crumb sweeper among other things. I knew he was absolutely the man for me when he told me that he loves watching me eat because it makes me so happy! And trust me folks, neither a pretty nor a dainty eater. After a year of living with only Olivia to keep me company, he too packed his things to join me in this big sandbox. We spend a lot of our time in the kitchen, mostly because we don’t like eating out often and because cooking is fun!
My Minimalist Kitchen
When I packed my small one bedroom apartment up for storage as I was preparing to move for my new job I noticed that I had a disproportionate amount of boxes allocated for “kitchen”. What can I say? It’s probably my favorite room in the house! But I mean I had a lot of kitchen goodies, cookie cutters of every shape and size, mixing bowls in glass, plastic, with lids, sans lid (even one with a nifty thumb hook to hold it better when mixing!), glass pans, metal pans, big pans, little pans…I could go on here but I think you get the picture- I had a lot if kitchen “stuff”. So when I arrived at my new flat and scoped out my new kitchen with it’s limited cabinet space and lack of dishwasher I decided that I wasn’t going to replicate my plethora of cookery here and I would buy gadgets and utensils as I needed them. My kitchen could best be described at this point as minimalist (with the exception of my splurge on a big, fancy, electric range). A year and a half later I’m still getting by alright with my one baking pan, two mixing bowls, three spatulas and a partridge in a pear tree…(you know I sang that last part… out loud even). This summer I broke down and purchased a hand mixer (how I dearly miss my beautiful, pale pink KitchenAid Mixer) a vegetable peeler and most recently a bread knife! What, you don’t get that excited about buying new knifes? Something must be wrong with you (and not me of course!).