Monday, May 5, 2008

Why


I grew up in a family in love with food. We planned dinner over breakfast and then spent the rest of the day shopping for groceries, cooking, running back to the store for forgotten ingredients, cooking some more, and then eating. Otherwise we spent the day carefully deliberating over which restaurant to go to and then on what to order when we got there.

But I really became obsessed with food when I moved away to college. I couldn’t afford to eat out on my student budget. If I was to satisfy my cravings, I had to learn to make all of my favorite foods myself. It seemed easy enough.

I loved Chinese food, the kind I had eaten in restaurants, so I figured I’d start there and buy one good Chinese cookbook. At the bookstore, I discovered that one book had the Mongolian beef recipe, another had sesame chicken, and yet a different one had the potstickers. Each book had completely different instructions for sizzling rice soup—I had no way to tell which was right, and I couldn’t find the recipe for my favorite garlicky chicken drumettes anywhere. The single good cookbook I had imagined did not exist. And, besides, where were the pictures? How was I supposed to know what this stuff was supposed to look like without pictures?

I finally picked out two of the cookbooks. Between the two books, I had what looked to be simple and straightforward recipes for most of my favorite dishes. Then there was the matter of Mexican food, and Italian, and also Indian, and then dessert…

And so my cookbook collection began. But I wasn’t satisfied with sticking to recipes for long. The results didn’t always taste as I imagined they should, and my cravings weren’t always satisfied. I dreamed of being able to march into the kitchen and cook up exactly what I wanted when I wanted without being bound to recipes.

I decided to go to culinary school. It wasn’t any kind of career planning or the aspiration to become a chef. I was just very hungry.

And so, Hungry Cravings—and, in fact, all of my life’s work—grew from the desire for a single comprehensive collection of recipes to satisfy all of my cravings.

Hungry Cravings is a collection of my very best recipes, with step by step photos and/or videos, to satisfy any craving, along with information on ingredients, cooking equipment, knife skills, cooking methods and techniques, and all things food.

May all of your hungry cravings be satisfied here.

6 comments:

Heather said...

Great blog! I like the artistic wisk picture.
I've been lucky enough to try the lettuce combination and the dressing and it is very good! We tried to make the dressing the other day, but instead of using a food processor, we put the olives and capers in a garlic press (just to make a small batch) Of note, I think a food processor would work better.

Irina said...

I love the blog and pictures. Can we see your cookbook collection? Which books are your favorite?

Claudia said...

I am again hungry after reading your blog even though I just ate, the lettuce looks wonderful and the dressing, can almost taste it. Am looking forward to more recipes!!

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

Irina,
I love all of my cookbooks equally!

Ingrid said...

Hi,
Just hopped over from tastspotting! You have a lovely blog, very informative from what I've seen. I love all pic of all the whisks!

I'll be back to see what you're cooking up!
~ingrid

Claudia said...

Have just discovered this blog and spent much too much time here as I have an assignment due tomorrow, but can not tear myself away! I love it! Also appreciate the links to your favourite blogs. I plan on cooking the beef barely mushroom soup this weekend, and perhaps the quickie chocolate cake too. Will definitely be checking in here regularly!
You may also like Bonnie Stern's blog. Quite well-known chef in Toronto, ON, has published several books as well and keeps up an interesting website.
Thanks again!

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