When I was in my twenties-into-thirties, I developed a passion for learning all sorts of wonderful ethnic cooking. I had a friend with whom I took graphic design classes at San Jose State who was from India, who encouraged me to wade into Julie Sahni's book on classic Indian cooking. I bought whole, raw spices and roasted them in my little cast iron skillet and learned to time the inclusion of them in whatever I was making at exactly the right moment (no throwing everything in at the same time!) Another friend, Grace from work was Japanese, and she showed me the best shops in the out of the way corners of Japantown. I drove myself crazy trying to make perfectly clear broth from scratch until Grace pointed out that most of the people whe knew just used Bonito flakes and were done with it. I took on Chinese on my own and added some books on not only classic Chinese cooking but specialties like dim sum to my collection.
I had a lot of fun with it, and of course when the opportunities to learn authentic Mexican, Vietnamese and German cooking were offered, more techniques (and more cookbooks) were collected. When all was said and done, though, there were times when it seemed as though I was simply doing far too much to the food, as though it somehow needed all sorts of ministrations to be tasty and good. Don't get me wrong - I still love to cook, and when I have time still see it as a creative outlet. That's the exception to the rule most of the time now, though.
I take a very different approach to most food preparation these days, and over the course of the coming months as I develop these pages (and learn how to build a more friendly site!) I want to talk about whole, unprocessed foods. Food that in many cases has at least not been stripped of its best parts to make it look "plastic perfect," but rather left as close to its original form as can be. I'll be talking a lot about living foods -- things that are either juiced or pureed and eaten "raw" or sprouted, cultured, or minimally cooked.
My latest purchase in pursuit of making a lot of what I eat from scratch has been a dehydrator, and I'm exploring all the fun things I can do with it, including creating sprout-grain-veggie crackers. As soon as I can get some photographs loaded here, I'll share my adventures, and I hope you'll leave feedback for me on the Contact page, where you can email me.