Welcome

Hi, welcome to my blog and let’s chew the cud for a while. Food has always been my passion and it’s ironic because I have a lot of dietary restrictions. However, I don’t let that get in the way of my love of food. My mom had a successful restaurant. I grew up in a large family that loved to eat.  The dining table is where we congregated and ate our fill, exchange stories, laugh at jokes, got scolded. From a young age I had always been enthralled by cooking shows and I would spend Saturday mornings watching them instead of cartoons. I could watch cartoons any day anyway.

The first person who taught me how to cook was my grandfather. He was staying with us around the time I was about nine. One morning, he just heated up a frying pan, put some oil and called me to crack the egg in it. Voila! My first fried egg. Grandpa was not always fun, though. He gave me an aversion to oatmeal because he would crack an egg in it and make me eat it for breakfast. Eww. I was already an adult when I tried oatmeal again.

Because I loved baked goods, I tried my hand at baking first. In my teens I started collecting cookbooks and typing up cards for recipes from magazines. My first attempts were edible but unmemorable. I had to make a lot of substitutions because we didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. My mom was a single mom so the budget was tight. I remember saving up coins to buy small packets of flour so I could bake cookies. My mom was a great cook but she didn’t bake much, hence the absence of flour.

She did teach me a lot of the dishes my family still enjoys today. She cooked by instinct, so there was no measuring. And I learned to do the same thing. I don’t know how she gauges things because I hardly saw her taste the food she is cooking. But I can tell by the smell. This instinctual cooking drives some people crazy but I don’t know. For me, adding a dash of this and a splash of that, adds a rhythm to the whole cooking experience.

So before I go into my whole relationship with food, let me point to those pies up there. I named my site Chewettes because it’s about food, which we chew, and well, I love pies. Chewettes is a medieval term for a hand pie. The ones in the picture are mushroom pies but they can be filled with just about anything but mostly meat. During that period, there were no Ziplock bags or Tupperware so food was encased in a thick flavorless crust which served as the cooking/serving vessel. And in the case of chewettes, they just made the dish portable. I thought it’s a cute name. Besides every gosh darn name I could think of was already taken!

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