November 20, 2012

Me and food

To be able to understand this blog and how it will develop, you will need to understand a bit more about me. I already mentioned that I am a foodie, but what does that really mean?

ak-thenextchapter.blogspot.com
Well, food is my true passion. I cook, I eat, I scout out interesting places to eat and interesting food to try; I learn, I develop, I test, I experiment. I have no formal training when it comes to cooking, but I have a lot of experience.

The first "meal" I cooked was maybe not that exciting, at least not looking back at it, but to me then and there it was. As a small kid, long before I started school, I would make oatmeal porridge and my parents would be served breakfast in bed. I can't recall any more if it was my father or my mother that taught me how to make porridge, but I do remember that my dad and I talked about it. On the other hand, part from the porridge discussion with my father, it was my mother who was the one active in the kitchen, it was her cookbooks that I, before I could walk, would crawl up to and flip through until the pages started to come out, and it was my mother that I watched in the kitchen, preparing much from nothing, and experimenting, it was my mother who always said "did you like the bread? Well, enjoy it, because I can never make it again, at least not exactly the same."

It was through mum I learnt to experiment and that having a feel for the food is more important than exact measurements, and I learnt to use my nose, my intuition and my taste buds when it comes to food and to cooking. Being relaxed around food is the very important foundation that my mother taught me, and from my whole family I got the other important part: How much fun it is to share a meal, and that sort of sets the foundation for who I am, and that is something I carry with me wherever I am and wherever I go.

Market stand with radishes, carrots, fennel, brussels sprouts and other vegetables
Food markets, on my to do list when travelling
I don't just cook, I also love to eat good food and I love to be served good food. There is nothing better than sharing a meal with people that also understand to appreciate food - and it doesn't have to be fancy, some of the best meals I have had have been as simple as boiled potatoes and meatballs with friends and their kids, talking about this and that, where the company and the discussions around the table was what made it special, but of course I admit that an amazing gourmet meal, matched with the perfect wines isn't something I would say no to - as long as the person/the people I share the meal with understand to appreciate food. If they don't and they get bored listening to me praising the food and discussing techniques to get this and that flavour out, well, then a simple meal is far better. I really don't like wasting food, and it is a waste, getting fancy food for someone who understands that it is fancy just based on the price label.

Even though cooking was never my job, nor was food in general, food is my passion, and I can talk for hours about good food, good healthy food, food without too many additives and food that is well prepared. Fact is I sometimes also travel for food, and often when I travel I have at least one thing I have cravings for, or one restaurant that I want to try when I arrive. I may also travel to places just to check out a special market. I live food when I can. There is nothing that makes me sulk as much as food that isn't cooked with a heart. Having a heart and cooking with a passion is far more important than making something fancy.
 
Food is something I really wish I would have a chance to somehow integrate in my day to day work and life. Because food is life.

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