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Jun 26, 2007 08:53 AM

Your culinary history?

I'm very curious about the history, location, culture of many of the people who post on here. When i read things, i notice some names pop up quite a bit, but I'd like to know where you're coming from, in any sense of the phrase. Share as much or as little as you'd like. I hope this will let us all understand each other more.

I'm pretty much just a young guy from TX who would hate to be thought of as a guy from TX. My mom was a decent cook in the utilitarian sense, but she made the best sandwich sourdough bread, ever. My desire to replicate that led to my culinary adventures. A reasonable amount of travel has opened me up to different styles and flavors, although I'll pretty much eat anything drenched in salsa, in true Tex-Mex style. I don't cook for others enough to feel like a very proficient cook, but I think I'm at least creative.

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  1. I'm new to posting on this site . I'm a 40 something female from the burbs of Milwaukee. I have traveled extensively. My interest in cooking began in cooking around 11 or 12. Neither of my parents have great culinary skills. My Mom's best meal is chili. Her wierdest combination for supper was pancakes and tuna fish. I guess that came from our Catholic upbringing.

    My friends have called me the Martha Stewart of the Midwest, which I don't like. I like to think that I am a little more avant- garde. I read cookbooks like other people read novels. I very rarely follow the recipe exactly when it comes to cooking, baking is another story.
    I love to entertain. I have no problems trying a new recipe out on my guests. I really can't remember a time that one really failed. If it did flowing wine helped us to forget.

      1. re: mpalmer6c

        I'm a 29 year old professional female from St Paul, MN. I was a latch key kid growing up so I, along with my sisters, often had to watch over ourselves. Mom and dad aren't the greatest of cooks either (everything was from a box) - but they have say, 2 dishes each that they are the best at. And when they did cook - they actually baked. I myself, over the years, took it upon myself to learn to cook because I envied friend's moms who got to stay at home and made everything from scratch.

        Since it is just myself and a boyfriend, I tend to make everything from scratch and so are a lot of the things I make for my cocktail and dinner parties. I love food network, I rarely buy cookbooks anymore - I either print free ones from epicurious or food network, and you can't help but love church cookbooks.

      2. I'm an old (51) gal who grew up with a dad who loved to cook for fun. He worked on Wall Street in a pressure cooker job, and cooking was his form of relaxation on the weekends. We always had a big, open kitchen and many of my memories take place in those kitchens, where the phone was ringing for one of us kids, the dogs slept on the floor (or the sofa) and music played while Dad cooked. He still loves to cook, and is especially strong in the sauce and stew department. He is a huge seafood lover, so early on we were introduced to raw oysters, littlenecks, boiled lobsters served with nothing but butter and lemon, and smoked salmon. We also went out to some really fine places over the years in Fairfield County CT, where I grew up, New York, Nantucket (ages ago), Newport RI and abroad. Holidays were important for the quality and quantity of the food. Since starting my own family, we have been lucky enough to live in some east coast resort areas that have some great food, and I got to know a lot of the owners over the years. I also was lucky enough to write some restaurant reviews. In addition to dating some serious food lovers (that's another topic), I have really enjoyed experimenting with cooking. I also love going out to eat with friends and family. The experience of enjoying a good meal is part of it for me. So the environment and the company are key. I avoid pretentious, overpriced places with an attitude but am really happy paying some serious $ if the food is excellent. When I travel, I love to go out and try new things.(Costa Rica had some REALLY fine food and wine on a recent visit.) I have one daughter who is now a vegan and who adores to cook and another who would not be able to boil you an egg if you asked her to, but we all love being together for good meals, wherever they are. I no longer eat any red meat, avoid sugar, white flour and most dairy (no more butter, even), and try to buy my food at the local co-op or farmer's market. To me, there is a lot of satisfaction in knowing where the eggs and tomatoes come from. Back to work.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mvi

          I'm a 50-year-old who graduated from Cornell, decided to go for a law degree, and at the last minute, changed my mind and went to culinary instead. I was 27 when that happened, so I guess I've been in the career for over 20 years, first as a pastry chef, then working for a distibutor. Now I cater parties. I loved cooking all my life, first starting when I was 12, and today I still love it.

        2. Hi Mr. young guy from Texas, you sound charming. I"m kind of new here and really enjoy the site. People are friendly and helpful. I'm originally from South Dakota and grew up in the 60's with a stay-at-home mom who was an excellent cook ala' midwest simple cuisine. Those were the times in that area where chow mein hot dishes were considered ethnic. We had pizza for the first time out of a box by Chef Boy ar Dee, does anybody remember those?! I live close to the Pacific in Oregon and like to cook with local seafood and veggies, but I still have a fondness for comfort food with a midwest twist. If you have the desire for culinary adventures, your proficiency producing them will follow naturally with experience. When I cook for others, I always have a plan and 50% done before their arrival, my favorite is a seafood salad in the fridge and a cheese/fruit/bread plate for cocktails before dinner. Living4fun, I'm the same with cookbooks for novels...have you tried the Best American Recipes series?

          Very readable...the editors choose the top picks from internet, newspaper, magazine and book sources.

          1. 53 Yo from Boston area. My mom was an ok- if unimaginative cook. But I do cut her some slack, as she did not use boxes or frozen- and was cooking three meals every day for 10 people. My grandfather was a baker, and my grandmother was a wonderful cook. They lived in the same house as us, and I remember longs days making grape jelly, stews, bread. Going blueberry picking with my grandfather and coming home to make wonderful pies and cakes.
            Traveled extensively in Asia and Europe, and loved trying local foods, and hole in the wall places. In my late 20's, I dated a man who had lived in France for a few years and learned so much about cooking and wines. We used to have great dinner parties, and did lots of travelling together..
            Now I am a suburbanite ( never thought that would happen!), with a large extended family. And most of them love good food. Spend most Sundays either serving old favorites, or trying new recipes on them.