…And by world I mean my mom, boyfriend, and random Facebook friend who was bored at work and clicked on my link! This blog has been a long time coming. I’ve been mulling over the idea, writing blog posts in my head and imagining the beautiful glossy photos that would accompany my witty and humorous stories of my culinary life. We’ll see if I can live up to my disillusions of grandeur. To begin with, here is a little background about how I got here. I must give full creative credit to Stan Malinowski for the title “What’s Elizabeth Cooking Now?” He coined the phrase for the first time when he came home from work to a kitchen overflowing with pots, pans, and gourmet grocery store bags. “What’s Elizabeth cooking now?” he said. It was uttered in a tone of both excitement and fear (as I’ve been know to whip up impromptu lobster feasts…usually on his dime.)
So that’s the story of the title, as for the rest, well, I started seriously cooking when I was deprived of a kitchen freshman and sophomore year of college and would come home on breaks and turn my house upside down with my latest and greatest delicious creation. My family members were my guinea pigs and they were the greatest audience to experiment on. They were and are the perfect blend of encouraging and brutally honest. My mom always instilled in me a great deal of cooking confidence. “If you can read you can cook,” she would say. I honestly believe this, and when any of my friends ask for cooking advice (while simultaneously stroking my ego), I repeat this phrase with gusto. The best thing about cooking for a small, yet hungry family of five was that I knew that if I screwed up, if my soufflé fell, or my crème brulee faltered, or even if I burnt the Thanksgiving turkey, we would order some pizza and I would have provided them with a hilarious story to tell over, and over…and over. My family also aided in my two least favorite parts of the culinary process – paying for groceries and cleaning up. Sometimes my family would groan (like when my brother would have to clean up after my chocolate truffle making project…), sometimes they would moan (like when my dad asked me if I reallly need five different kinds of wild mushrooms for my mushroom gallette…btw…the answer is yes.) But most of the time they would applaud and blame me for their impending heart attacks, especially when I make Turducken stuffed with andouille sausage (stay tuned for that little ditty of a blog post.) So armed with a financier, a dish boy and my mom’s confidence I started my love affair with cooking.
I love to cook for three reasons, the first is simple, I love to eat. I definitely love it more than the average person, when I’m eating one meal, I’m already thinking about the next. I’d rather go out to dinner than buy a new pair of jeans. I think about what late night food were going to get before I’m even a bit tipsy. I read about 18 culinary blogs a day, I watch approximately 12 hours of Food Network a week, and before my rent was nearly half my paycheck…I kept William Sonoma in business. The second reason I love to cook is explained oh so eloquently in one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of the 21st century, Julie and Julia. At the beginning of the movie the heroine (who also lived in New York with her supportive sweetie, had a 9 to 5 low-on-the-totem-pole day job, and blogged about cooking…hmmm sound familiar) describes that she loves cooking because after a day when nothing is sure, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk it will get thick. I love cooking because it’s consistent and I’m good at it. It’s enormously comforting. At a time in my life when it feels like I’m not good at anything, I can just throw a party and make appetizers and everyone will oh and ahh and compliment me and I will feel like a worthwhile person again. Which brings me to my final reason I love to cook, it makes people happy, which is one of life’s greatest and most rewarding feelings. I love the look on my boyfriend’s face when he eats my roast chicken, I love to see my little sister brimming with pride as her and her friends make their own pizza out of my homemade dough and hand selected gourmet toppings, I love to watch my friend blow out her 21 candles on a cake shaped like champagne bottle (carved free hand thank you very much!) I don’t just love getting compliments, I love feeling like I made someone really happy, ok I really love the compliments too…
But enough about me…lets get to the food, tonight I will be making Sunday Sauce/Sunday Gravy…more to come on the double name of this dish and why it’s being made on a Monday not Sunday (hint: it might have something to do with the fact that Shake Shack was on the way home from my field hockey game.) So come back tomorrow if you find yourself wondering…What’s Elizabeth Cooking Now? And yes as I write that imagine it proclaimed in unison by the studio audience of my own cooking show. Don’t judge me.