Wow, I’ve been staring at this blank screen for at least five minutes now. Everything I’ve started so far either sounds like I’m writing my own eulogy or trying to wow you in a job interview.
Let’s start by suggesting that you follow me on Twitter at @AnnAllchin.
So cooking, then. I am the home chef in our household, pretty much exclusively. If I go out for an evening, I have to leave a box of spagetti and a jar of sauce on the counter, and then I may or may not get a text asking for further instructions. My husband does many other helpful things, like cleaning, laundry, and changing the occasional diaper, but cooking and grocery shopping are my departments, and I like it that way. Please don’t tell him, though - I have to look slightly put out at all times so that I don’t suddenly acquire new departments.
I firmly believe that a person can only be a good cook if they’re a good eater, and enjoying food has long been something I’ve been passionate about. I like going out for a nice dinner, and if I was wealthy I would eat at a different restaurant in this great city of Toronto almost every night and would revisit my favourites until I had made my way through their menus. Alas, I cook at home a lot. I am the opposite of a creature of habit, and I cook that way too. I also enjoy sampling foods from diverse cultures, and I believe I have more opportunity to do that in this city than anywhere else in the world.
I’m a good cook, but I’m not a fantastic cook. I’m not showy, and I don’t know how to plate things, which is why you may not always see an “after” picture. I have no formal training and no aspirations to enter the culinary industry. I wouldn’t know how to debone a duck…but I could figure it out if I looked it up, and I wouldn’t shy away from trying it if I thought it was worthwhile.
If you’re a home chef too, I think you’ll like my style. I have a refined sense of taste, and good intuition about whether a recipe will work. I’m practical. I try to choose healthy, balanced meals, but I’m not fanatical. I avoid recipes that are overly complex but that doesn’t mean that I won’t dedicate time to a meal, and I try to cook mostly from scratch.
I will always try to make you smile with my writing.
As far as personal taste goes, the only foods I can think of that I would flatly turn down are traditional mustard and hard boiled eggs. Maybe this blog will add to that list, though (insert suspenseful music here). I get annoyed if a dish is too dry or too bland or too spicy or overcooked, but I think that my tastes would align with those of most people of similar cultural background with a diverse palate, and I’m not overly picky. I’ve never eaten a pet, except for rabbit and goat, neither of which were my pets, and I’m fairly inexperienced with organ meats, although I like a good pate.
Oh, and since I brought it into evidence… My cultural background is Canadian (Southern Ontario) and English/Scottish/Irish four or more generations before that. Meat, potatoes and vegetables were present at almost all dinners when I was a kid but I also devoured seafood whenever I could get my claws on it. I began to experiment (with food) in college.