It’s not that I didn’t know my way around the kitchen. Thanks to my grandmothers, Mother, and aunts (along with some very patient home-ec teachers), I knew the basics. I’d worked kitchens, waited tables like every good actor should, and tended bars. I could pull together a pasta dinner worthy of Lady and the Tramp. But, I was still hungry.
I think my hunger really took hold about the time my oldest child was born. I had this idea that food should mean more. More than just calories and carbs and complex sugars and proteins. More than just basic fuel for a machine. Food could be lived, and experienced in an entirely new way. Or, rather, a very very old way.
I began to think back to the way my family used to cook. It took time, but the food filled both the body and the soul. I had to learn how to do it right. And, in my mind, that involved cast iron. So, I went to my local big box store, picked up a pan, and brought it home.
I was… not impressed.
Food stuck. It had hot-spots. It cooked too hot, it was heavy, and I couldn’t get it clean. Out of desperation and a bull headed sense of figuring out a way to be right, I began my research. I dug through old cookbooks and interviewed local chiefs. I tracked down anyone and everyone I could that owned and worked with cast iron, and then integorrated them with everything I had. I joined online forums. I discovered Alton Brown, and had him Sainted. More on St. Alton of the Brown in future posts. And, it worked! After countless hours (and many, many sub-par meals), the food on the plate began to match the image in my head. But now what to do with my newfound passion?
Welcome to the results of 15 years of failure, trial and error. Burnt steak, bad eggs, and the occasional decent meal. I’ve picked up a few things over that time, and look forward to sharing them with you.