roll on 2013!

Crappy Kitchen

Yeah, I know, another person who wants to talk about food!  Maybe when you can’t sleep, are avoiding work, bored , or whatever, you might find some of the entries interesting to you in some way.

I think my need to write this blog is a selfish one. Afterall, blogs are mostly about the people who write them!  My reason for this slightly ambitious attempt to document nightly dinners cooked by me for family and friends in my crappy kitchen, (along with other information as it occurs to me! ) came about because I truly want to have a record of my recipes for my own reference, and to pass on to my children, and to whoever else wants them. There are so many times I am asked for specific recipes from my friends and I have only a vague memory of what I actually did!  Also, as my kids got older they started to request certain things that they loved and I was again thrown into confusion and could only guess at what it could have been? I cook very spontaneously, and whatever I have on hand gets thrown into the pot if I think it will work. Because of the way I cook, it makes it difficult to recall recipes. I have tried on several occasions to write them down in a notebook as I cook, but I have always given up. I figured if I made it “official” and wrote them down as part of a blog, I would feel compelled to keep it up. So far, so good!

I love the history of food, and read cookbooks like novels. I am inspired by this, and by all of the recipes I read. I am also very aware of what is growing around me and try my best to use foods that grow or are raised close to home. I am certainly not strict about this and will buy something from thousands of miles away if it looks good. I grow what I can in my puny garden in the Summertime, and am a member of a CSA (you can read about what a CSA is in the column to the top right of my blog) for the rest of my veggie needs.

If I am curious about an ingredient or a certain type of dish, I will read everything I can about it before I attempt to cook it. I think food is better understood if you find out more about it. I sort of take the same approach to food as I do people. I understand them better when I find out where, and how they grew up, and love meeting, or hearing about their family members. It rounds out the person and can explain so much about why they do what they do. I think food is so similar. Every country cooks food in their own unique way, depending all kinds of factors; culture, tradition, needs etc. I love finding out that the Cornish Pasty for example, was made with a sturdy pastry so it wouldn’t fall apart while being jostled about by the miner, fisherman or farmer during the course of their strenuous workday. As corny as it sounds, this brings me closer to the food, and I enjoy the act of eating so much more than if I just blindly follow recipes, with no understanding of the ingredients.

The deal is, I do love cooking, but, it takes effort and planning to squeeze it in on a nightly basis. It is what I do when you might come home and sprawl on the couch, or catch up with laundry. My sprawling takes the form of hanging out in the kitchen and forcing my family to love hanging out with me. We drink wine (not the kids of course – not yet anyway!), maybe watch a movie and chat, while I chop and stir and give tastes from the pan or pot. By the sheer act of doing this every night (or mostly) everyone is learning about food, and learning to enjoy each other and the whole scene. Same thing happens automatically when friends join in. What am I saying?? – the food makes this happen. It is the excuse that brings us together. There is nothing spectacularly amazing about the food (am I being modest?) I make, and the seating is cramped, not to mention the dingy kitchen, but, it makes the evenings in our house happy ones, and how can that be a bad thing!

I hope you enjoy some of the entries, and maybe even relate in some way to me or the food. And, if you cook something from my blog, be sure to let me know how it turned out!

18 responses to “Why?

  1. looks purty, sounds yummy

  2. Keep it Up Teresa, x

  3. I can’t wait to keep reading more! Love your spirit and your style. Keep it up!


  4. Hey, Tess, I like your blog. It’s hard (I think, never tried, but have heard rumors) to get pics of food to look good/appetizing and you do! Congrats.
    Nice meeting you the other night (or week) and hope to stop by the shop soon. Best, Bathsheba

  5. Tess,
    Well, back home to Michigan, and missing the Cortona group already. What a blessing the four of you were to my visit!
    Can’t wait to try some of these recipes… is the barley soup you forced on me here? Ha, who knew that a bowl of soup would be the first introduction to “Crappy Kitchen.”

    all my best to you and the family (June and Merriam too)

  6. Tess, I am so in love with your blog- I really want to be there with you in Italy! Tell my best nephew that we love him and can’t wait to see you guys again. I want to try all of your recipes-they are so much fun- Love to all of you-

  7. Guess who’s been following you!

  8. Hey Tess ! The tofu looks amazing!

  9. keep it up mom! calder

  10. Breda Doran Perez

    Hi Tess, only me checking in. Love your food …. Giving me a hankering for some old Irish soul food!
    Love, b b

  11. I love cooking too!

  12. T
    Blood type A looking for a substitute for potatoes.

    • Crappy Kitchen

      I like to use things like Celery Root, Turnip and Yucca which are all beneficial for type A. They can be made just like potatoes: mashed, fried, dropped into stews….have fun!

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