...but it's got a great personality!*

And so it begins. I've been flirting with the idea of blogging my culinary adventures for some time now, but have been hesitant to take the plunge. "Does the world really need another food blog?" my shoulder devil would ask. "There are so many filling so many niches already, what can you add or contribute?" And my other shoulder devil would say (yes, that's right, there are two. I seem to have conveniently misplaced my shoulder angel), "But the world needs to hear YOUR experiences, YOUR tastes, YOUR recipes. Yessss, world domination through baked goods. Mwahahaha." At that point, perhaps, I realized it might be a better idea to start writing and quit listening to the imaginary voices in my head ;) So, dear reader, here I am.

On a more serious note, I just feel a need to communicate with like minded individuals. I find that many people don't understand my enjoyment of cooking and eating. That is to say, I love flavors and textures, the smell, alchemy, and method in baking and cooking, in discovering unknown restaurants to share, finding new favorite foods and then holding on to them by my teeth (literally and figuratively).

My life is tied to food in so many ways -- preparing it, eating it, reading about it, discussing it, assessing it, dissecting and debating it. So many of my memories are associated with specific foods. Yet, despite all of these intricacies, many people have asked why I WASTE my time preparing meals at home. (Perhaps I just enjoy doing it? Yep.) They think it's odd for a young working gal to have any degree of domesticity. (Did I mention I hate doing dishes?) I suppose it's odd for many people to still cook on their own...or at least derive any pleasure from doing so. There's nothing I love more than clipping an incredibly difficult, multi-step, make-3-day-in-advance recipe from "Gourmet", "Bon Apetit" or "Chocolatier" and eagerly await trying it out.

Sometimes I get the wonderful and age old "Rai, I eat to live, not live to eat!", implying that my world gravitates around my next meal (which is just not true -- it may very well be a snack instead ;) but I truly don't understand why it must be one or the other. Why can't it just be lively eating? Rather than consuming solely for consumption's sake, I think it's time to suck the joy out of the marrows. Be bold, brave, and creative. Create memories and anecdotes...and I don't mean just the food. The best meal (or bottle of wine, or hot fudge sundae) is that shared among friends. That said, solitary dining and amusing oneself have equal if different merits.

There are so many spices and soups and desserts and hole in the wall diners and cafes and croissants and strange fruits not to be missed. By looking at a meal as a way to stay alive and just doing the scantist bare-ist minimum to ensure your survival, you are missing a plethora of enjoyable experiences. Yes, one could live on a very bland diet and be healthy, but where is the joie de vivre in that? Your average pooch will eat the same bowl of dog food day in and day out for as long as it lives. but how much happier is that pup when you throw it a scrap of bacon, dab the roof of it's mouth with peanut butter or pamper it with a 'frostypaws'? I can see how cooking might not be for everyone -- but eating and enjoying it? Well, there is no harm in that. It needn't be high-minded or high-handed -- sometimes we all get cravings for Taco Bell (What? You don't? Freak!) or something else that there is NO artistic or culinary art involved in. But it is just as valid because it's something we enjoy, however guiltily. So here's to guilty pleasures and eating for the joy of it!

Bon Apetit
Your Hostess-


*Disclaimer: This is not a mission statement. It is just a current gauge of my thoughts and feelings involving food. And life. I hope I can expound and explore my feelings as I go. Grow as I go. I tend to write in free form thought...and cook off the cuff. I hope you enjoy both or at least come to appreciate them. I am working on expanding my tastes and my mind. Someday I may write a real mission statement...but I like the idea of leaving it open ended and malleable, able to change with me. From time to time I hope to elaborate on my influences and inspirations -- why I like what I like and how I've come to learn I am a bit picky and what I am doing to broaden my palette. Ideally these would all be part of a real mission statement...but then this may end up a mini e-novella. Think of this less as a blog and more as musings, an experiment in life, a journal of, self, and otherwise.