The Beginning


Like many things I make in life, this blog was created in a burst of spontaneity. A thought that struck me while browsing the aisle of the local grocery shop, my basket again overflowing with assorted culinary odds and ends that was gradually amounting to more than the contents of my checking account, when I experienced a moment of pure elation upon seeing a jar of chili paste I'd searched for in every other grocery store in a ten mile radius. FINALLY! I could make every thai dish on my To-Cook List! And I didn't even have to cross the river to the Asian grocery store 40 minutes away to do it!

It dawned on me then, more than ever: I love to cook.

This, coupled with the earlier epiphanies of "I love to write" and "I need to find a 12-step program for my internet addiction" resulted in two things happening that evening: One, preparing a creamy chicken marsala dish for tomorrow's dinner, and Two, this blog entry.

Gellato in Portland, ME

It's a logical step. I've had a blog more or less since I was ten, and have a couple currently. But they're mostly for me to rant and complain on and post pictures of cats. Who cares about that?--Well, a handful of special people actually, but for the most part, no one. Who cares about food? EVERYONE!

Sharing my love of food and possibly writing something people will actually read? Sounds good to me.

A brief (hah, yeah right) summary of my culinary history: I always tried my hardest to cook. From the time I could reach the stove I was waking my parents up with a delightful breakfast-in-bed of brown apples cut clumsily with a plastic knife, lukewarm coffee because the coffee maker scared me, and rubbery scrambled eggs. It was always a little joke, Bee Can't Cook. A fact enforced when I melted a bowl in the microwave, somehow managed to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies that simply would not solidify in the oven no matter what the temperature, and tried to melt butter that was already smooshed into some kind of batter that resulted in cooked, sugary egg mush.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

And so it lasted for about ten years. And then two very important things happened: I moved into my own apartment, and became a vegetarian. Suddenly there were not many things I could eat, and I had to cook them all myself! Lest I go broke eating out all the time. Armed with a stack of vegetarian cook books, I slowly began to teach myself how to cook. By the next month my baked mac and cheese was legendary. A year and a half later I succumbed to a Big Mac and my veggie phase was over, so I did the logical thing and taught myself how to cook the meats.

The final push into my obsession with cuisine and my over-spending in the supermarket was my summer interning for a cook book publicity agency. I stumbled upon her business in my college textbook for Book Publicity while doing a project on freelance publicists. Soon I found myself lost in the cook books, photocopying her clients' recipes and trying them out on my friends. I admired and envied every smiling face on every cover--they were cooking for a living! Why couldn't I?--oh, that's right, I have still am vague on what exactly fois gras is and my knife skills are abysmal. I don't think I've even ever tasted souffle...

Frites in Amsterdam

My next internship, at FamilyFun had a similar effect on me. I still have piles of torn-out pages, waiting to be cooked up. I wish I'd been brave enough to ask the test kitchen to let me shadow for a day. The smells wafting from the basement were divine, and on the lucky days we got to taste-test and rate the recipes slated for publication were the ones I looked forward to most.

Did I mention I watch Top Chef religiously? One of these days they'll take a chance on a young go-getter with no experience, right??

So I graduated with my shiny new publishing degree, moved back in with the parents (though I now have my own apartment), and got a sensible job as a marketing assistant for an energy company. In my free time, I keep my parents and friends well-fed.

Tortilla Soup

This was when I decided that I knew my mid-life crisis was already impending. I would reach 40 and go to culinary school and finally make my secret dreams come true. Hell, at quarter-life I'm yearning to do that too! So my recipe book gets thicker, my ambitions get higher, and my wallet gets skinnier as I shell out $5 for Oyster Sauce to make thai lettuce wraps.

And so begins my journey into the Cooking Blogosphere, my Quarter Life Crisis. Hopefully I can inspire other wannabe chefs to try on the ol' silly white hat, or just give you something interesting to cook for dinner or drool over. I have big plans for this, let's hope I go through with it.

Guinness in Dublin