Monday, September 3, 2012

I think therefore I am. - Renee Descarte, I eat therefore I cook. - Big Mike

I have always been a Foodie. Even before I knew what a Foodie was, I was a Foodie. For as long as I can remember I have been in the kitchen while my grandmother cooked, or as my mother cooked.
Sure, my original and primary motivation was eating. I certainly like to eat, but it's more than just about eating. I like food. I like the act of creation that is involved with cooking. I like taking a bunch of random raw ingredients and creating something new and wonderful and delicious.

 I started watching cooking shows before cooking shows were cool.

The first cooking show that I remember watching was a local show with a woman named Rita Davenport. She cooked herself, and also had local chefs on to cook with her.

 Later I watched the Galloping Gourmet with Grahm Kerr, who was a sort of wine-inbibing, british playboy turned cooking show host.

Then one day I discovered Julia Child and the rest is history.

I probably learned the most from cooking with my grandmother and I cherish the recipes that have been preserved and are still in use today by myself and my family. I also owe much to my mother's patient instruction in the kitchen. Much later in life I discovered camp cooking, in the tradition of the old cowboy camp cooks. This form of cooking was perfected by the chuck wagon cooks that fed the ranch crews on ranches in the American West, and is still practiced in all of it's authenticity on a few surviving big ranches today. This type of cooking employs cast iron cookware, primarily the cast iron pot known affectiontely as a dutch oven. We will learn more about this unique american invention later. My brand of outdoor/camp cooking is updated considerably from those early cookies who worked off of the back tailgate of a chuck wagon.

(A historical recreation of a chuckwagon at theTexas Parks and Wildlife Expo in Austin - Wikipedia)

My style of outdoor cooking relies on some modern innovations. I don't like bending over hot ovens that are sitting on the ground. I use a cooking table. I also use charcoal briquets instead of burning hardwood for coals, plus I use a high capacity gas burner to start the charcoal briquets so I can start cooking in a hurry without waiting an hour for my charcoal to be hot.

So I hope you will come on along with me and do some cookin', both indoors and outdoors. For me cooking and eating and the fellowship that surrounds both is part of Living Large.

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