Here it is! Well, yes, the recipes, but also a long-awaited, constantly-fantasized-about food blog. In my mind, food blogging is one of those things on the mental list alongside patching up the thigh rip on my old favorite pair of jeans or folding all my laundry; I'd really love to do it, I genuinely want to, I have every intention of one day doing it - but something, everything else comes up.
So why is today different?
For a while, cooking has been something I have to do. I cook for pleasure. When I get home from work, I hide my phone and put on music and disappear into experimenting with some beautiful piece of food waiting for me. Food has always been my first all-encompassing love affair. When I was 9, I used to write about cheese in my journal. It was romantic, almost lusty. The cheese would beckon me, dripping from shells, melted, tangy, immediately comforting. (A cruel twist of fate - I've become supremely lactose-intolerant in adulthood.) In college, a boyfriend introduced me to bacon. He went; the bacon stayed.
For the last 8 years, I've worked professionally as an opera singer. This means constant travel, constant upending of living arrangements, friendships, job security. Frankly, it's really difficult. Traveling is endlessly exciting; walking down the incalculable streets of a centuries-old city in Europe never gets old. But the longing to hold my boyfriend's hand after two months without him is always there. The longing to wake up in my own bed, use my own shower, know if I have the time and funds to go to my friend's wedding in two months, to have the freedom to schedule a doctor's appointment without the worry of it conflicting with rehearsal - that gets old.
So food has been my primary source of stability. When I worked abroad in Spain, admittedly my Spanish was not great. I worked on it. But it was lonely and sometimes humiliating to be unable to communicate in public and at work. The man bagging my groceries screamed at me a couple times in Spanish before I (a) was able to explain I didn't speak Spanish and (b) realized I needed to weigh and label the produce myself. When I worked in Santa Fe, I lived alone for many months. When I worked in Muscat, Oman, it took me nearly the duration of the contract to change over into the 12+ hour time zone. In every case, I found comfort in the local food.
Food is a language that never lies. You use your tongue to know it, like any other language. Anyone can speak it. Everything living needs it. It, like music, my other passion, is a universal truth. You don't need any special skills to eat food. Sure, you can develop them. And I'm super guilty-as-charged where that's concerned. I've spend the last 10 years of my life developing self-taught cooking techniques and flavors and simultaneously honing my musical craft; all the years before that were spent building a profound love of both. Both music and food are languages of inclusion, secret passageways to communicating with anyone. That's what I'm here to do. Bon appetit, enjoy, and yummmhmhmm (the international expression of a mouth full of something delicious). Thanks for reading!