Remember that scene from Judy Blume’s Blubber where fussy eater “Jill” covertly packs herself a “peanut butter sandwich, just in case [she] didn’t like the bar mitzvah lunch?” Yep, that was me growing up. And I didn’t want my kids being like that. So, once the O.J. Simpson murder trial stopped monopolizing my television, I taught myself how to cook by watching Great Chefs Great Cities every day, reading cookbooks from cover to cover, and calling my mother-in-law while she was at work for help.
Oddly enough, growing up in an Italian family in the farmlands of South Jersey, I never learned how to cook. I danced, went to college for Political Science, married my high school sweetheart, was an NFL Buffalo Bills cheerleader in Super Bowl 27, and started having kids.
It wasn’t pretty during those early cooking days: entire pork roasts, pan and all, right into the trashcan – uneaten and inedible. Almost killed my girls with smoke inhalation when I burned through my indoor Jenn-Air cast iron grilling grates – to which my husband was like, “how in the hell is that even possible?” And struggling to master the art of “cooking” my husband’s favorite meal back then – wait for it – Original Pork Shake and Bake. (So gross).
I’ve improved, heh heh. And was fortunate enough to have learned some culinary skills while living in La Paz, Bolivia and Milan, Italy.
Now I cook almost daily for loads of reasons, mainly because I love it and it’s therapeutic. The political world I’m passionate about is enough to drive the sane insane. Especially in today’s times. I’m an unapologetic Reagan Republican who honors the jellybean.
But I don’t bake. At all. Because I suck at it. Bad. And I love the one-dish meals. I also have some weird compulsion to research recipes ad nauseam before flying into the kitchen and making it or more often, creating my own version.
Enter My Cookocracy: This blog is truly intended to be the recipe source for my kids to turn to no matter what part of the world they wind up living in. But, I know that I’m very inspired to cook when I see others post photos of beautiful meals and/or a simple, but delicious-sounding recipe. I’m not out to reinvent the wheel with recipes. Many recipes are perfect as they are or need a tweak here and there and it’s exciting to pass along the good ones!
I hope to inspire you to back away from the Shake and Bake and cook food that leaves your family saying, “damn, that was good.” Or better yet, leaves you saying, “damn, I’M good!”
I have a lot to learn about blogging and taking food photos, but what the hell, we can still cook together!
Welcome to the cookocracy!
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