Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sails Up I Suppose!

Starting a blog still feels a bit vane. I mean, who cares what I have to say about domestic life? The answer is, possibly no one. But I'm doing it anyway. And here's why.

Until recently, I've always baked more than I've cooked. My mother had four girls and then she had the smart idea to enlist us to help with the cooking. Whilst being homeschooled, we even managed to pass off cooking a few meals a week as Home-Ec. Then I met Benny. Upon which, I stopped cooking altogether. You see, Benny is a great cook, whose family is of Dutch Indonesian descent. Which is perfect, because when I was growing up my family moved to Indonesia for a few years, during which (and this part is a little fuzzy) we somehow managed to come back without a single recipe. Benny's wonderful mother knows everything there is to know about Indonesian cooking, in that way that only amazing little Asian ladies can. So when we started dating he did the cooking, I occasionally baked something.

Just when we thought we could celebrate avoiding the inevitable new relationship weight gain, we moved in together and I got an office job at a bakery. I had my first kitchen all to myself! No roommates to use all my brown sugar or dirty all the dishes! Not to mention all the new-found inspiration, smells, and leftovers that come with a job at a bakery. I started baking every chance I got. Plus, this job meant way more money than either of us was used to, and we started eating regular meals and things that werent ramen. Then I quit my job (that parts complicated) and suddenly I had a ton of time to bake. Safe to say, Benny and I finally gained that weight. After many months of being full and feeling like crap, I decided it was time I start baking less and cooking more. My goal here is to continue to find healthy meals that we both like.

This presents me with quite a challenge. As I said, Benny's family is from Dutch Indonesian descent. This means that they have considerably more grown up tastes than me. He loves savory, hurt-your-mouth-for-hours-spicy foods, potato soup, and rich desserts that go well with coffee. I tend to err more on the side of light, sweet foods, fruity desserts and pretty much anything Italian. This means we overlap on the part about coffee-partnered desserts, and pretty much nothing else. Over the year and a half that we've been together, we've found a few recipes that we both really like and so now its just an issue of finding more. Which doesn't mean that we won't continue to make two pots of chili (one spicy and one with a little bit of cocoa powder and brown sugar) or that I'm going to stop taking my half of the stir fry out before I add the spicy stuff, but you will sure as hell see some dutch, indonesian, and thai recipes here.

I don't intend to leave out the sweets either. I'm going to try to keep myself busy with healthy meals, lots of veggies, an herb garden, and maybe the occasional craft but fear not, there will be baked goods. Oh yes.

I will say however, that there won't be fancy professional pictures, or super expensive ingredients, and I don't own a KitchenAid mixer (which isn't to say that I don't pine for one every time I whip up a batch of meringue), but I feel pretty good about making a contribution.
I'm just a girl cooking from scratch on the cheap for myself and my ever so eclectic other half in a tiny kitchen.

"The difference between an executive chef and a line cook is technique" - Jacques Pepin

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