Cooking by Laptop

In my house growing up, pepper was considered exotic. I remember clearly the first time I got my dad to eat a Caesar salad. It was a huge victory.

Suffice to say, I descend from very unadventurous palates. My mom left  her German/Russian Mennonite home at 16, so she didn’t really get a chance to learn to cook from her mother (who, by all accounts was a fantastic cook). My dad came from British stock, hence the lack of spice on our table. Baking, however, was a different story. There were always cookies and pies around.

My foray into culinary experimentation started after I’d graduated from University, and had a decent job where I wasn’t eating Kraft Dinner with hot dogs in it, because I could actually afford to buy real groceries. I was in a relationship, and my partner and I connected with another couple, the male half of which was a foodie. He had a radio show on CBC, and one day he cooked curry for us. Curry. It was a revelation.

We lived in a very small town of 24,000, so it was hard to get good ingredients, but we had one bulk food store that stocked ethnic ingredients, and pretty soon I was experimenting with garam masala, chipotle, and weird kinds of cheese.

I was hooked. I started buying cookbooks and gadgets. When I bought my first chef knife (which I still use on a daily basis), a whole new world cracked open. I started growing my own herbs, and long to have a little vegetable patch.

Sometimes things would go horribly wrong, but that was okay–it was all part of the fun.

Over the past few years, I have begun cooking less and less out of my books, and more and more with my laptop sitting on the table nearby.

Welcome to my culinary experiments.

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