Monday, April 12, 2010

Portrait of the Writer as a Young Chef

Pin It Now! Growing up, I always enjoyed cooking in the abstract. Singly, the most sophisticated my cookery got was making chocolate chip cookies from scratch; brownies were always from a box (of the Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker variety, I fully confess). I come from a family of cooks, though of the "pinch of this and then mix that in if you want" school, which I personally find a bit stressful. Apparently I do much better with guidelines. Still, as a child, my role in baking was solely observational, with minor stints as assistant peeler and chopper.

There was only one experience that deviated from this. I recall with fondness and some sense of bemusement the babysitter who watched my sister and I for about a week when Mom was away (a highly uncommon occurrence) when I was 12 or 13. I remember deciding that we were going to bake... so bake we did: we made several apple pies during her tenure and (bizarrely) popcorn balls.

Why I was gripped with this sudden fever to create pies, I have no idea. Sadly, I don't think I had any actual role besides the important task of peeling apples. Either that or my fingers and brain have lost any key pie-making muscle memory. Pity.

I've been living in San Francisco for the past almost-two years, yet my "accidental foodie" tendencies sort of snuck up on me. Yet today, here I am, a every-two-weeks recipient of fresh farm veggies and firm enthusiast of farmers' markets; a multi-cookbook owning, flour-smeared apron-wearing, food blog reading (and, finally, writing) cook. Weird, huh?

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