Food has long been tremendously important to my family. My mother and father were both very deeply affected by the American Culinary Revolution (be warned that the Wikipedia entry tends to reduce this to a one-note movement focused on Alice Waters and Chez Panisse; both are wonderful and important, but the world is less simple than this article implies) of the 1960s and 1970s, and, as natural scholars, both took to food as an amazing intellectual project that was worthy in its own right. Although there were many, many figures that influenced my parents (Pierre Franey, James Beard, Jacques Pepin), and who were, in spirit, always good friends in our house, it was Julia Child who might have been most important to us–if not always as a model to be perfectly imitated, as a figure who functioned for us (cultural Protestants) as a kind of secular saint. For my mother, in particular, Julia Child modeled a kind of passionate research-driven approach to food that satisfied the laboratory impulse that still to this day animates her work. To my father, Julia Child modeled a kind of intellectual integrity; she reviewed food honestly, directly, and precisely, and saw “food talk” as an opportunity to plan how to make the next meal better. Food was quite literally the most important thing that my family did together. We loved each other through the table. I can scarcely remember a day in my life living with my parents where there were not several piles of cookbooks–propped open, interleaved–sitting around the house as research projects into one meal or another.
So why open up this blog? Because it occurred to me that I still cook passionately, but that unlike my mother, who documents her work as she goes, I have left no footprints behind my cooking for my daughter. I have no easy way to share what I have been doing in the kitchen with my guests. I am quite literally cooking without a history. While this site will never rival some of the slick productions of professional food bloggers, I don’t need it to. Rather, I just need to share what interests me. And that will be enough.