Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Spicy Life

I've created this blog after years of traveling, writing, and generally avoiding my kitchen.  What?  How can a person who claims to have avoided the kitchen think to write a blog about cooking?  Well, I'll tell you.

I come from a long line of cooks.  My great-grandmother and my grandmother, my aunts, my mother, all played a part in getting me interested in the kitchen.  From the large family kitchen in Muros, Galicia (Spain), where my main job was splitting peas, to my mother's kitchen in Miami, to the kitchens of friends and acquaintances all over the United States, food has been an integral part of my life.

Preparing great meals has always been one of my secret pleasures.

So why have I avoided the kitchen?  Well, for over fifteen years I worked around the world, traveling every week from airport to airport, visiting new lands, enjoying a wide variety of experiences, but never settling down long enough to have a kitchen of my own.

Virginia Woolf said that every writer needs a room of her own in which to write.  That is certainly true, and I am pleased to say I finally have one in lovely Midtjylland, Denmark where I live with my marvelous and inspiring painter husband and our amusing kittens.  The room may not be just my own, but it is certainly a great place to write.

In the same manner, I think that every adventurous cook needs a kitchen of her own.  For many years I did not have that, so instead I enjoyed varied fare from all kinds of restaurants representing a wide range of international cuisines in each city I visited.  I consider those experiences a great influence on my cooking habits today.

I don't like to repeat the same recipes over and over again.  I like to experiment.  I like to try new things.  I want to stretch my abilities to the limit.  That means that somedays I produce Franken-plates instead of lovely dishes, but that's all part of the fun.

I'm certainly no Martha Stewart or Nigella Lawson.  I am MOST DEFINITELY not up to Julia Child's high standards.  I don't pretend to be.  I'm all-right with that.  (In case you're in the mood for something they've cooked up, I've placed helpful links to their sites and cookbooks in their names.)

This blog is about the thrill of cooking.  It shouldn't just be a chore.  I really should be fun.

You'll find a wide variety of recipes, some which I've picked up along the way, some which I've invented from my memory of eating the dish, some which I've borrowed from my dozens of cookbooks and the cooking websites to which I've subscribed, and many which are old family favorites.  With very few exceptions, I will have made my own personal adjustments to any recipes I've found in books or on the net, and the recipes I'll put here will include those changes.

I live abroad so many times I can't get the ingredients the cookbooks or cooking websites specify, but I've figured out some nice substitutions and I'll share with you what those are.

If you enjoy good food, don't mind taking risks, like trying something new, and generally enjoy having a laugh or two, then this is the blog for you.

I'd like this to be a conversation between us; a roomy and cozy multinational kitchen where we all gather, share ideas and tips, have a good time.

Pop-in and have a peek.  Stay a while and share a dish.  Put on your apron and make yourself at home. Mi kitchen es su kitchen.  Enjoy!

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