Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Introduction.

I've always wanted to start a food blog. I previously started a workout blog, which was successful for, oh, about 30 days. The problem is, I wasn't working out every day, and even when I did, I had a hard time coming up with fun and interesting things to say about the 4th day in a row I hit the treadmill. Or the 7th time I slogged through one of my multiple Jillian Michaels workout DVDs (what - this time, I used 5 pound weights. Whoo!).

That is not the case with food.

I have always loved food. It's part of my heritage. The Filipino culture is one in which family, friends, hospitality, and food are inextricably intertwined, and I cannot remember a single family gathering that did not involve massive quantities of lechon, pansit, and lumpia (and food comas). In addition, my mom was and is an amazing cook, with the ability to taste a dish once and recreate it flawlessly at home, often with improvements. Growing up, I was lucky enough to be well-fed and fed well, and I managed to develop a pretty decent palate.

But until after I graduated from law school, I just had no interest in learning to feed myself properly. My idea of cooking was heating up sauces for pasta and grating cheese to sprinkle on top, or adding a little extra spice to my Maruchan Ramen Noodle soup. And with the crazy, non-stop schedule I kept in college and law school, I was content with the regular rotation of Chipotle, Potbelly's, and Chinese takeout in my diet. I would get inordinately excited about trips to "real" sitdown dinners at places like Chevy's, or Olive Garden, or better yet, Red Lobster (although I still do love those dependable standbys). But one day, something happened that blew my extremely limited culinary mind, that changed the way I look at food and eating, that changed my life. And that something was...eating cold soup.

It was right after I had taken the bar exam. I was jobless at the time, and my sister had come to town to visit. She suggested Jaleo, a well-known Spanish tapas restaurant in downtown Washington DC. We ordered a number of small plates that night which were all excellent, but the gazpacho? It was a revelation. The idea of a cold vegetable soup had seemed to me, at best, unappetizing. But the moment the flavors hit my tongue, I was a changed woman. It seemed like magic - somehow, the chef had taken raw vegetables and stale bread and converted them into this spicy, bright and lush concoction that I wanted to eat for days.

I spent the next three weeks attempting to recreate the soup at home, trying dozens of different recipes. Those were very messy and very disappointing days. It would take me hours to chop up the requisite vegetables, and I can't think of a single time that these sessions did not end with multiple cuts on my hands and vegetable-splattered walls. And the results generally ranged from bland and mushy to disgusting and inedible. But the first time I made a passable version? It was the best feeling in the world. I was hooked. My newfound appreciation for the work put into making good food translated into a desire to try new cusines and restaurants, and to cook delicious meals that my family and friends could enjoy.

I'm no Top Chef. I don't even know that I would consider myself a "foodie." But I love food, and I've finally decided to chronicle my food adventures (with my equally food-loving boyfriend Mark) to share that love with others. Hope you enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment