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The Best Thing About Food


A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested I start a food blog.

I did not.  

Some time passed and somehow the subject came up again...  "You really should start writing a food blog". 

I did not.  

I admit the idea was interesting, but I could not imagine what I would write. Who would find what I say interesting? I mean, really, there are plenty of blogs out there doing the same thing so why read my blog? More time passed and one day I sat down at my computer after baking a batch of Banana Muffins.  I had taken about a dozen photos during the bake and used them in what I thought, for sure, was a fairly decent attempt at my first blog post.  I was actually pretty excited. I thought it read well, and although there was nothing earth shattering in it, I felt accomplished.  Maybe, just maybe, there was something to this idea after all. Maybe, just maybe, I really could get into writing a blog.  Only one way to find out, right?  So I sent a copy to my friend, mentioning that I thought this Banana Muffin recipe could be the first blog...

Her reply...

..."it kind of made me want banana muffins, even though bananas are icky..."

Who would have known!  I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!  My first attempt at a blog and the only person who reads it, doesn't even like the thing I wrote about. As I told you, no one would want to read my blog.  Now to be fair, she also reiterated that I should indeed start writing a blog.

I did not.

More than a year has passed since that first attempt, and since then two more people have said to me that I should write.  

So here we are, attempt number two, and I am still feeling a bit unsure about the whole thing.  

My mind keeps coming back to what I will write about.  I don't want a blog that simply tells how good a recipe is then lists the ingredients and the instructions.  I want to give you some of the stories behind the food I make, and give you a hand in making it yourself. And if I can make you laugh at some point, that will be the cream cheese icing on the cake.  

First thing I should tell you: I am not a chef. I have no formal training and I don't know the science behind baking soda or baking powder.  I got my first taste of cooking in the sixth grade and most of my desire to make stuff came from watching TV. In the 70's, it was Julia Child and Graham Kerr. Then later in life, when the Food Network came along, I watched that channel as much as I could.  I have even developed a habit of pretending I am on TV whenever I am cooking something (it's mostly in my head, but every now and then I will utter some catch phrase from one of the celebrity chefs, then look around to see if anybody heard me).  

Now, here is the crazy thing...  I became a recipe hoarder.  I would watch these cooking shows and then immediately download the recipes from the internet and store them in binders sorted by show.  I would even record the show on DVD and cross reference them to the recipe binders; what episode they aired on and to which DVD they were recorded. After filling two large binders with show recipes and buying scads of DVD's that I really could not afford, I gave that up (I also cancelled my cable so that really helped with that decision).  Instead, I turned to magazines…  primarily, “Bon Appetit”.  I subscribed for almost seven years.  Each month I would open the magazine and tear out every recipe that I thought I might want to try, stuffing them by category into my filing cabinet.  As the years pressed on, I collected a small army of main course recipes, a good amount of breads and breakfast recipes, a smattering of side dish recipes, a fair amount of drinks, and a ton of dessert recipes.  I have also collected a bookshelf of cookbooks. Some I received as gifts, some from magazine offers. Others I bought simply because the cover photo looked good.  I have a notebook of hand written recipes that I copied from my grandmother, some clippings from newspapers and even recipes from product boxes.  And I can't forget about all the websites and apps, (like Yummly) where I have numerous recipes saved to "My Favorites".  One day I thought, I will turn all of this into some giant cookbook.  When I mention this to people who know me, we just laugh and laugh.  

Sometimes I tell people: "I like to cook, but I love to bake".  So this is where we will start. I am going to cook and write.  David is going to take the pictures, eat the food, edit the words, handle the web site, and basically do everything that makes this whole thing possible. By the way, be sure to check out the "Unique Things" page. David custom makes everything so if something speaks to you be sure to let us know. As for recipes, I have some absolute favorites I want to share, maybe some funny stories to tell, and every now and then I'll reach into my "never before tried" folder and write about what happens. Along the way you’ll get to know David and I a little better and find some delicious recipes as well.

Often when we sit down to dinner I'll ask David to take a picture of my plate for no other reason than I thought it looked good (maybe secretly dreaming that Bon Appetit magazine would offer me a cover). For me, taking joy in a nicely prepared meal is the "Best Thing About Food". Other things, like a tasty slice of fresh peach pie or perhaps a picture perfect slab of ribs, qualify as well. The texture when kneading bread and the aroma when it bakes? That's a "Best Thing" too. Perhaps the best thing of all is a simple meal shared with friends and the memories that are made. 

Enjoy all of the best things. 

James

May 1, 2017


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