I grew up surrounded by food. Great food, in fact. Both of my parents know their way around the kitchen, and they were both always trying to deliver the delicious and healthful to a trio of the pickiest kids in the country. And I was by far the worst. Any hint of herbs, the mere sight of a spice bottle on the counter, a single drop of sauce of any kind, and I would turn up my nose and refuse it. My mother rolled her eyes and made perfectly plain roast chicken, pasta topped with nothing, unseasoned broccoli and peas. My dad got annoyed and made me eat a whole barbecued portobella mushroom, sauce and all. I have no recollection of how that tasted, but I do remember being completely horrified by the very idea of eating a fungus. I still don’t eat mushrooms, in fact. But I digress. The point is, I got over (most of) the ridiculous pickiness. And thanks to my family, when I did start cooking real food (sauce, herbs and all), I knew the basics from watching them. Some of my earliest memories are of making cookies with one grandmother, banana bread with another, and sitting outside with my parents on a 95° Florida afternoon while they cranked ice cream in a great big salt-and-ice filled barrel. I do not recall helping with the ice cream. I probably got bored and jumped in the pool.
My point is, home cooking isn’t hard. Okay, certain recipes are challenging, and sometimes mistakes are made that make a cook wonder why she was ever allowed access to heat and ingredients in the first place. But anyone can make dinner, and I rather believe that everyone should. Maybe not every night–Mr. Blackbird and I continue to eat out about once a week–but honestly, wouldn’t you rather have what you like, when you want it, for significantly less money than a restaurant can provide?
So here’s what I aim to deliver:
Dinners and desserts that I really make, mostly on weeknights.
Kosher food that pushes boundaries (probably too many boundaries for some).
Tips for shopping and making those parts of life that revolve around the kitchen easier.
And the occasional review of a cookbook or food-related book or show.
What you will never ever see here:
Pork or shellfish (or rabbits or turtles or bugs or any other treife meats or fish.)
Onions. They make Mr. B gag.
Mushrooms. As mentioned above, mushrooms freak me out. Sorry, Dad!
Strawberries or tomatoes. I’m deathly allergic, much to my chagrin.
Fancy-schmancy towers of soup or anything else that takes significantly more active kitchen time than you could possibly spend eating it. (Inactive cooking time is fine. Put your lamb shanks in the oven and go watch a movie.)
Other than that, I just plan to enjoy myself, feed people who get too close to me, go through way too many batteries for my poor little camera, and eat like a king.
If you’re interested in the photos, I’m by no means a professional photographer, and I’m painfully aware that it shows, but I’m learning every day. The good folks at FoodGawker and TasteSpotting have declared the bits behind those links as the best I’ve done so far, and I’m pretty proud of them. I use a Pentax K-x and the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL lens that came with it, along with a macro lens adapter that takes amazing super-close ups that so far haven’t made it to the blog, because who really wants to see the fine wrinkles on a blueberry? Because the flash has never done anything good for me, I leave it off and keep a level on my hotshoe so that I can be sure my shots are aligned right even when I’m taking one of those pesky bird’s eye view photos that prevent use of the viewfinder by all but literal corvids. If I get more confident with manual shooting, I might write about it, but I’m really here for the food.