About, about, where to begin? Some of the basics can be found in my first post, Taking the Plunge, but perhaps I should shed a little more light on this “about the author” thing.
I’ve lived in Washington, DC for four years now, in a studio apartment that has a very tiny kitchen. Despite the fact that I have minimal space in which to engage in my passion for cooking, I’ve managed to make some delicious dishes and huge messes. Sometimes those messes don’t get cleaned up until the next day because I have plumb worn myself out making them. Huge perk of living by yourself: no one to yell at you when the kitchen should be declared a federal disaster area.
As you will gather from my posts, my approach to cooking has as much to do with the people I am feeding as it does with the food itself. I definitely inherited the southern hospitality gene from my mother, who never lets someone walk out the door without making sure they’ve eaten. The small community in North Carolina where my parents live uses food as an expression of care, concern, sympathy, excitement, and celebration. Neighbors share extra produce from their farms and gardens, everyone cooks for the VFD fundraising suppers, and, when someone passes away, the church embraces the family with a giant spread of home cooked food after the funeral. Food is an expression of love, in its purest form. It’s a way of life, a tradition, which I am honored to continue.
How does this play out in my life in the big city? I cook for my friends! After all, friends are the family you choose. I would much rather spend an evening cooking for and then sharing a meal with my friends than I would dining in almost any restaurant. I’ve even been known to pack up all of my ingredients and relocate in order to cook for, or with, the people I care about. I have one group of friends who, for a long time, had standing Sunday dinners at their house. Everyone was invited and everyone had enough to eat. It was a wonderful cooperative cooking, kitchen sharing, potluck event. Besides my teeny tiny kitchen, the only complaint I have about my adorable apartment is that it does not have enough space to host a big group of people. Now there’s something to look forward to!
I hope that all of you enjoy the stories and recipes posted here. Please comment, give feedback, and let me know if I’ve made some horrible typo. I’d also love to hear your stories of love, friendship, and food, so send those along as well.