Wednesday, July 26, 2006

wednesdays as good a day as any.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a food blog for a long time. Problem is, I work in an office that has blocked most interesting websites, including any that would allow me to post from work, where I spend 99% of my computer using time. My home laptop died a long time ago, and I use my sidekick for most of my crucial internet time (myspace, obsessively checking craigslist pets despite the fact I already have a dog, a guinea pig that I cant touch because I am deathly allergic to and a bunch of fish, most of whom are named ribs) so my real, unblocked internet use is limited to every few days when I use Kelly’s computer.
I spend most of my time at work reading about food on the internet. Food blogs, recipes, NYT food section, books I find on about food, food magazines online. Anything that isn’t blocked by the IT jerks up in NYC. I come home every day with a page (or three) of recipes I want to try for dinner that night or soon. I have this idea that one day I will compile all my recipes into a cookbook and publish it, even if it’s just for myself. Well, with copies for my friends. A photographer friend is terribly interested in doing a food photo shoot once I get this idea down for real. I wish she lived with me, or nearby, so she could come over and take pictures of my beautiful creations before I devour them. I am too messy when I cook for it to be safe to have a camera near me in the kitchen.
Anyway, I finally decided to do it. Make a food blog. I got a friend to set up an account for me, and figured out that I can write from work, email it to myself, and post from my sidekick. Ha! Beat the system. I made up my mind when I caught myself emailing my mother to tell her what I made for dinner, and realizing I emailed her almost every day to tell her what I had for dinner the night before. I know my mother loves me, but I don’t think she is really as interested as I think she should be in what I had for dinner. So, to spare my poor mother from listening to me crow about what delicious thing I made for dinner, I’m going to post it. On the internet. Because maybe someone cares what I ate for dinner. Because I care what everyone else ate for dinner. Here goes.

I’m jill. I’m 24 and in the middle of a life crisis. Or really, I’m probably going through what everyone else who’s gone to college then right into a boring office job is going through. I don’t want to do it anymore. Cooking makes me happy, I want to cook, all the time. Ideally, someone would come along, ask me to marry them, and let me stay home and cook all day, and have puppies and babies. Until then, I’ll cook dinner every night for myself (my roommate, Kelly, is picky and only eats nachos and sushi).
The other thing that makes me happy is my dog, puff. Puff is going to be 4 in September. I adopted her in January, and she is very important to my mental health. She is a 35 pound Chow/Australian Cattle Dog mix. I don’t think she’s Chow at all, but her vet records say her mom was a Chow. Whatever, she looks like a black fox with a curled tail. Puff likes to lie down, and be outside. She likes checking out the kitchen after I cook to see if I drop anything, and likes licking out the dishes. When she finds something that smells really really good (scented dryer sheets, grapefruit peel, catnip, my friend Nikki’s hair, bay leaves) she gets down and rubs her neck on them. Its really funny to watch her do that, then she is happy because she smells delicious.

I went to college for ‘Urban Geography’. I made up my own major at college, it had been City Planning, but by second semester senior year I hadn’t taken any city planning classes so I thought that was kind of faking it, so I settled on UG. there’s a real UG major in the geography department of my school, but it was easier to do it my way. What can you do with Urban Geography? Not much. I moved down to Philly a year and a half ago and got a job with a company I did an internship in NYC for in college. My job is to make GIS maps, but we don’t get a lot of GIS work, so most of my day is spent looking out the window and reading about food on the internet. I hate it, but it pays me better than I deserve and I have free insurance.
I have a lot of food issues. I will eat anything, provided I can. I was vegetarian for 7 years (whoops) until I kept getting sent to the hospital for my asthma. My mom has celiac disease, which means she can’t eat anything with gluten in it or it strips her intestine and she doesn’t absorb medication and nutrients. I decided to quit gluten and see if it helped. It did! (Gluten is the stuff that holds baked goods together, its in flour and soy sauce and vinegar etc). I also have food allergies. Raw fruit is the biggest problem. One day at summer camp I ate a peach and my throat closed up. Surprise! The only fruits that don’t bother me are watermelon, citrus and bananas. Once a fruit is cooked, I can eat it (thank god) so I eat a lot of pies and cobblers etc. I’m also allergic to seafood (no big deal, I never liked any seafood except crab cakes which usually taste like sawdust to my memory anyway), green beans (bummer), milk (I cant drink it plain, but I can eat large amounts of cheese with no problem, ice cream makes me a little sick but give me a pint of peanut butter chocolate and I wont complain) and tree nuts. Tree nuts are not really a problem, except I’m obsessed with macarons (look them up, they’re the most amazing cookies I’ve ever eaten, and gluten free!) which are made with almond flour. I do eat nutella, even though I’m not supposed to, because I can’t help it. It doesn’t make me sick or anything so why not? I’m supposed to be allergic to lamb too but every time I’ve eaten it I’ve been fine.
So my food choices are limited. It’s tough for me to eat out a lot of the time, which is fine because I don’t eat out that much ever, and when I do I usually go to a few places I’ve been 100 times. Instead, I cook almost everything I eat. Which is something almost no one I know does. I run into kids my age in the grocery store and they look in my cart and say “wow, you’re cooking?” and I’ll tell them what I’m making for dinner and even if it’s something easy they’re impressed. Blame my mom. She cooked us meals every day and raised us right. Both she and my dad cooked a lot. And while my sister and I were whiny picky brats, its worn off and now we’ll both try most anything. Cookies from a tube never tasted right to me (although I’d eat the cookie dough until I was sick) and show me a pie from the grocery store, with the gelatin gooey apples or berries, and I’ll cringe every time. My pies may not stand up in a firm slice like a cake, but they’re a thousand times better tasting. And looking.
All the recipes and meals I post will be gluten-free. I am aware there is a gluten-free girl, but I can’t read her blog at work because it’s blocked. Which is really upsetting. Most of them will be things that were regular recipes that I adapted to be gluten free, since I’ve found that rice flour and a pinch of xanthem gum works fine for the most part.

1 comment:

  1. Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.