what on earth possessed me?

about all this

The running joke in our house is a wildly self-deprecating view of my schizophrenic career (snort) path. After college I just never seemed to find my groove, having been too lazy to pursue graduate school and too stubborn to run back home to Savannah. I bounced around from the New York art scene to teaching English in Japan to a long, but unfocused stint in college administration. By 2012, there I was with my fancy degree in architecture and a pile of experience in education…doing nothing with either. But I was having the time of my life as the mom of two teenage boys with a part-time gig as an assistant preschool teacher.

Nara, Japan 1992

I always knew something was off and from time to time that nasty little voice would step up from the background and remind me that I could have done so much more with my life. You’ve heard it; we all have. You just tell it to shut up and get back to that science project because it’s due in the morning. But motherhood evolves and as my boys needed me less that little voice grew louder and more insistent. This is probably a good time to mention that I am rarely patient and hardly measured, so I was quite hard on myself and took every opportunity to share my displeasure. When my husband finally challenged me on it, I snapped back “well at least you became more than an ass-wiper!” He calmly pointed out, “assistant ass-wiper.”

And we are still married.

so why now?

It was that moment I decided I needed to find my passion. And this time I meant it. I finally understood that it had to be artistic, personal and intellectually challenging enough to keep me up late at night gobbling information. In turn, I wanted to lose track of time exercising my new-found knowledge the following day. I needed a deceptively creative passion with technical rules – rules I could learn, master and ultimately break. So I bought a refurbished Canon T3i with a dodgy little 18-55mm kit lens. I was utterly and irrevocably hooked. Thousands of clicks and thousands of dollars later, I had crafted my little cottage industry for middle and high school sports, and occasionally some performing arts.

my happy place

See that photo? Well that’s not the result of a 9-5 desk job. As I grew more confident and more ambitious, my weekdays oozed into nights and then weekends. Also, in addition to being somewhat competitive, I may be a little bit of a perfectionist, albeit a selective one, so every hour I spent on a field shooting translated to 2-3 hours editing. By 2019 I was exhausted enough to announce semi-retirement. Luckily(?) the following year the pandemic’s cooling effect on any group activities (athletic, artistic or otherwise) pretty much ensured my sabbatical was official. I wasn’t the only one – my husband began working online and the college men came home.

Well…who’s hungry?

Thelma needs a Louise or two…you know who you are

here’s the point

This is not a blog about my mythical cooking prowess or the unattainable conjuring of imaginative feasts night after night. Nor is it intended as an esoteric tour of world cuisine. I was simply bored and hungry and I love photography. And snark.

Anyone can make the dishes I’ve included, but you will need a few basics: curiosity, stubbornness and time. And you need some tunes – kitchen singing and dancing has helped me through the pandemic, while completely mortifying my family…so win-win.

the hungry ones and me, L to R: Food Taster, Husband and Sous Chef

I will always share a song that I identify with the featured dish – don’t read too much into that, sometimes it’s just good timing. The recipes come from many sources and people so I try to provide links and context. But those recipe buttons are always at the top of each post – nobody wants to scroll through my history to learn how to boil water, but your choice. A barrage of photos is just what I do and what you, dear reader, have to endure. Because…passion. Finally, I have a few stories, lessons and observations that somehow connect everything together. And it all connects in the end, at least to me. To paraphrase a great wizard, just because it’s all happening in my head, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.