This is who I am and how I learned what I know about food, cooking, and other aspects of life that might come up. Some of it will be discussed in greater detail in posts, but the basics are here.

I am now 40 and have been cooking since I was 7. Since I started cooking, I have been fascinated by the process. It always amazed me that some ingredients would taste good when prepared by some people, but taste horrible when made by others. I grew up in Ohio, and I had family throughout the American Southeast, so I was able to try a fairly wide variety of American cuisine. I started teaching myself about flavor combinations and flavor profiles so that I would know why some foods worked together and others didn’t.

After going to school, I spent several years helping to take care of an elderly couple. Most of the care I provided actually came in the form of planning and preparing the meals. Cooking for two bitchy old people on special diets is not as easy or fun as you would think it should be. It did really show me that people eat with their eyes first. It also taught me how people’s taste buds change due to age and environmental influences.

After that experience, I left Ohio and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, initially with the intention of attending cooking school. I really wanted to hone my skills and also learn some new techniques. I ended up using my original degree to get a job at the school’s library working as a tutor, helping the other students with math, language skills, and computer usage. Fortunately, the computer usage didn’t go beyond MS Office, because my math and language skills are far superior to my computer skills.

Working as a tutor turned out to be a bad idea. It put me in a position to realize just how much remedial education some of the students sorely needed. I was also close enough to the administration to see just how little they cared whether any of the students actually left the school having learned anything. I left the job and the school behind me, but I took with me some new things, like the knowledge of how to cure my own bacon!

In 2011, I had a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. I still defend my reasons for having this surgery, in spite of all of the consequences. I was over 150 pounds overweight, nearing the age of 40, and had heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes running rampant in my family history. I had complications in the surgery however and ended up losing a lot of weight very quickly. Too quickly. My condition has finally stabilized, and I seem to be able to live a fairly normal life, after a year and a half of frequent visits to the hospital.

My diet is rather unique by necessity in a few ways for a number of reasons. I was told that I would have a difficult time getting enough protien in my diet after the surgery, and I understand how that could happen. I am a vocal opponent of a vegan diet. I love animals, but humans are designed to eat at least some meat or we would not have the teeth to chew it.

That being said, I will only on very rare occasion be posting anything about poultry. I’m sure that birds are yummy to most people, but they are poisonous to me. I have a wicked allergy to bird fat that makes eating poultry impossible, makes preparing poultry tricky, and means that I have to check the ingredients of most prepared foods that I buy. It does mean that I have a great appreciation for food allergies in others as well. I’ve worked at restaurants where cross-contamination between shellfish and vegetables wasn’t an issue for them. They simply acted as if nobody could possibly be allergic to shellfish.

So now, my partner and a few of my friends have convinced me to write this blog. They think that, in spite of the fact that food is not the only subject I know, food is what I should write about. Like there aren’t already millions of other food blogs on the web…

But I’m going to write about the food that I cook, sometimes giving the recipe. I’ll also write about food that other people (restaurants and stuff) cook on occasion. I’ll include pictures, though I can’t promise quality. I’m better with words than technology.

And if there is anything that somebody wants to know, or some place that somebody wants me to check out, I hope that they write me and tell me about it. I’ll be posting here, or on my Twitter feed, a couple of times a week.

I’m still trying to get used to this right now, so if things are shaky at first, just be patient. I’m new at this.