Here are a few things you can expect from my blog:
1) Great recipes, tested and refined by me until I can pretty much guarantee success. I will never pass on a recipe that I think is just “OK”. It has to have survived my demanding nature in all things food.
2) Some reasonably good writing
3) Helpful kitchen tips I have picked up over the years
4) Strong opinions on all things food, and occasionally non-food
And here are a few things you should probably not expect from my blog:
1) Food as “eye candy”. I am not, nor have I ever I aspired to be a great photographer, so I am unable to provide the visual content other blogs do so brilliantly, and I probably never will be. Also, my ability to provide pictures of every recipe I post is hampered by the fact that I live alone, and can no longer produce a new dish as often as I used to when I was cooking for a family. No new dish means no new picture. Also, my talent does not lie in those directions. I’m a cook, and a writer. I will add amateur photos as I can. Please forgive the crudeness of the images when I do. What you see is what I serve, how I serve it. No towers of polenta. No finely wrought rose radishes. No apologies.
2) I am not a professional chef, and have never once in my life aspired to be one. Nor have I ever felt less of a cook because I am not professionally trained. Everything I am able to do in the kitchen is the result of years of studying the writings of brilliant home cooks (some of whom became recognized professionally) whose analytical minds and wonderful ways of passing on information in an accessible voice taught me almost everything I know. I am indebted too, to the many wonderful food professionals who have communicated their knowledge and experience with articulate execution and inspiring humility for the home cook. For me, Madeleine Kamman, the doyenne and famed teacher of French cooking at its best and most basic, has touched the core of my food self most profoundly. Her simple brilliance in the kitchen is to me unmatched. My personal odyssey through the world of food has always been driven by a search for the perfect execution of flavor. In that, Madeleine Kamman always leaves me breathless. Although I will certainly never attain a fraction of her knowledge, she will always be my ideal to strive for in the kitchen. She is without doubt, il miglio fabbro, “the finer craftsman” a phrase I learned from a valued friend and food professional. He always had the perfect turn of phrase I so appreciate.
3) I have zero interest in the fine art of “plating”. I don’t remember ever worrying about the appearance of a dish before bringing it to the table. Here I part company with those (usually not home cooks) who insist that we “eat first with our eyes”. My personal take on that is that we eat first with our noses. If I want to get a loved one (nowadays particularly my grandchildren) to eagerly await a dinner I am preparing, the surest way is to have them smell the wonderful aromas it creates all day long as they rush into the house for a bathroom break. By dinner time, they are mine, the sprig of parsley be damned!
The short and skinny on all this is, expect (and rely on) all that I have promised to deliver. Great recipes I can deliver. but if you are looking for gorgeous, mouth-watering pictures to accompany them, this may not be your cuppa. For this, I do apologize, but lack the talent to correct.