Better late than never

When I was about to graduate college a few years ago, I realized two things with great dismay: 1) although I claimed to be an excellent cook/baker, the only recipe I really knew was for chocolate chip cookies; and 2) I was about to move out of my parents’ house, away from my mother’s stash of cookbooks and easy access to all my childhood favorites. How would I get cookie dough truffles once I lived hours away from my mother? How would I ever figure out the secret to making a clump-less roux?

So I set about collecting all of the recipes I knew I couldn’t live without, the things I knew I would one day need to make for my own children. I gathered together my favorite chicken recipes, the recipes for a dozen or more church potluck bar cookies…and I set out on my own.

But did I bother to bake/roast/sauté anything in my newly minted recipe binder?

I’ll give you three guesses.

Whenever I was called upon to demonstrate my kitchen prowess, I turned to the trusty internet to save me. I found myself constantly saying to my friends, “Oh, I’ve got a great recipe for that!” even when I had never tried it out.

And then, the most glorious thing happened. I discovered cooking blogs. Deb of SmittenKitchen became my idol. I began daydreaming of delicious and complicated baked goods and how I would describe them. And slowly I began to see a pattern in my own life…I love making food. Somewhere between telling people I was a great baker and drooling over pictures of cheesecakes on the web, I actually became a baker. Never did I feel so accomplished or happy as when I cooked my first Christmas dinner all by myself.

And then it hit me. My recipe binder of childhood favorites, which I had affectionately named “mm, mmm, good,” was waiting on me.

Since December 2009, I’ve been engaged in an endless quest to make all of the recipes in that binder, tweak them to fit me and my kitchen, and photograph them. I say endless because I can’t stop trolling Tastespotting, which means that the folder on my computer that houses all of the recipes grows faster than I can test them out. I am engaged in a low-tech blogging project.

Well…it’s finally time to upgrade and face a new challenge. Better late than never, right?

I hope that your house, like mine, will soon smell like brownies.

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