One of the biggest joys in my life, ever since I was a kid, was to make things. If there was anything I enjoyed, I would try to learn how to make it. I picked up a lot of artistic skills from my love of comic books, I learned how to program through my love of video games, and I learned how to cook out of my love of food.
So far I have been fortunate enough to share my art and programming abilities with the world, thanks largely to the community at Newgrounds.com, but I really hadn’t found an outlet to share my passion for food. Until now.
My relationship with food has evolved so much over the years. When I was a kid it was all about baking. I was a total junk food addict, and my grandma used to let us go wild in her kitchen. That’s when I learned how to experiment with food for the first time instead of just following recipes. I can’t even begin to count how many of those experimental treats were completely inedible, but Grandma was always encouraging and I got pretty good at it.
For most of my adolescence, both my parents had full-time jobs. Every night one of them would make a quick family meal and we would all sit around the table and eat. Unfortunately, the lack of time meant we ate a lot of bland and repetitive meals as kids and we always looked forward to the few times we got to go out for dinner. Mom and Dad taught us how to cook most of the quick meals they knew how to make and I eventually started putting my own spin on those dishes here and there (replacing ketchup with cream of mushroom soup in the family meatloaf was a stroke of genius!). But nothing ever compared to the flavors of McDonalds, KFC or the local Chinese buffet.
As I got older I figured out how to make a few more things on my own and when it was my turn to cook dinner I always tried to mix up the routine foods a bit more. I still didn’t know how to make a ton of things, but I was really good at making the ones I did know.
When I first met my wife, one of the first things I ever did was make a lasagna for her and her sister. It was my way of courting her and getting her family to like me. When I first met her parents, I cooked them dinner on a makeshift charcoal grill. It was becoming obvious that cooking was really the best way to share myself with people. You get to put that love into the food that you just can’t get into a lot of other mediums, and you get the instant gratification of sharing it when everyone sits down to eat it.
Shortly after we were married, my wife and I fell in to the busy life schedule every young married couple finds themselves in. Lots of work, a bit of play, and not much time for anything else. We found ourselves eating out almost every day and that was our lifestyle even after our first son was born.
Around the time our second son was born, I was working from home full-time and we had moved in to our current house. For the first time since I lived with my parents, I had a large, fully stocked kitchen. Between that and my new-found free time, I started rekindling my love for cooking. I started deconstructing all the restaurant food we had enjoyed over the years and began experimenting again until I figured out how to recreate all my favorite dishes the way the restaurants made them.
Then I discovered Food Network for the first time. The shows on there took everything I knew and gave it wings. I was inspired to try new cooking styles, visit ethic restaurants I normally wouldn’t have gone to and got me discovering that quality ingredients had been in front of me the whole time and I just never noticed.
After all these years I have picked up more techniques than I can name. I have also discovered how to apply those techniques to my average kitchen at home with my humble pots and pans and cheap kitchen gadgets. I’ve cooked for nearly everyone who’s come through my door and had some great times doing it.
And now, I hope to share the things I have learned with you guys.
I cook at home… and so can you.