Hello and welcome to yet another food blog! Here's how it started:
My husband, Edwin, and I moved to western North Carolina in June 2008 after we finished graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. We're both librarians. It's adorable (and not uncommon: library school has fostered many a romance, including my marriage and 2 more weddings). Who knew cataloging could kindle such sparks?
So. Edwin and I moved to Cherokee county (where Cherokee, NC, along with its casinos, is not actually located) to be professionals. He's the branch manager of a small town library, and I'm the Youth Services Librarian for the region. We moved, along with our cat and masters degrees, to a house in the woods. Though we owned plenty of kitchen supplies, they hadn't been used for much more than tacos from a box mix and spaghetti with jar sauce.
I didn't cook. At all. Why would I need to? Having lived in the Raleigh/Durham area all my life, I was surrounded by good restaurants (not to mention the 2 year stint sharing an apartment with my sister in which she cooked all my meals). When we moved to Andrews, though, the food chain sort of morphed. Instead of a nearby buy one roll-get one roll free sushi restaurant, we had a trout farm. While I was used to Whole Foods hot bars, we found Elsie's Restaurant, which didn't exactly have the variety of organic goodies I hoped for. It quickly became obvious that one of us needed to learn to cook. Fast.
Let me be very clear about something before I go on. I hated cooking. I hated the grocery store. I hated chopping. Doing anything other than boiling something made me nervous.
But we needed to eat. You can only have so many Old El Paso taco mix meals in a month, and Amy's frozen meals are expensive (and high in sodium). So I learned. Slowly. I spilled a lot of food on the floor, burned my arm, and cut myself more than I'd like to admit. As I got going, though, I began to enjoy the process. My first cooking love? Marinades. Who knew that tossing* together some simple ingredients and giving some meat a little soak could produce such results?
*I don't actually toss. I measure. Everything. Always. I can't guess at anything.
The first time I roasted a chicken I thought I might vomit during the prep. I'm sorry, but sticking my hand up a slick bird and pulling out the innards is terrifying. And gross. I chanted a little as I pulled: "This is for my family. My family. It's for my family." And I got through it.
It still grosses me out, though. Don't think it's not gross. It is.
But the chicken! The finished chicken! I was talking to my friend Ashley as it cooked, and I felt so proud when I told her what I was making for dinner. Over the months, I made countless meals for my husband and me, and once I made some friends in Andrews, I made meals for them, too.
2009 brought my first cooking resolution: to make at least one new recipe a week. And I actually did it. It was the first resolution I saw through to the end. I even made Thanksgiving dinner for my in-laws (and I didn't have to pull anything out of the bird! The butcher did it for me!).
So this year's resolution? To make a cooking blog.
I'll update at least once a week, and I'll tell you about how I spilled a beautifully chopped onion (learn how here) on the floor right before we had company or how Edwin had to give my nose a milk bath after a fight I had with a jalepeño. I won't be as entertaining as Ree Drummond or as charming as Julie from Julie and Julia, but I'll satisfy my friend Emmel's pestering (she really wanted me to start a blog).
I hope you like it. I made it.
39 minutes ago