Thursday, July 3, 2008

Introduction, after the fact...

Hi! I'm Joanna, and this is my food blog, Scalloped Edge.

You probably figured that out already.

I kind of dove right in and started posting recipes without revealing any information about who I am or why I'm doing this, so here goes. I'm 25, living in Manhattan, working full-time as a mechanical engineer. I live with one of my best friends, but we cook and eat very differently and usually completely separately from each other. So most of the time, when I cook, it's just for myself. I don't spend much time on fancy presentations or on making my food look attractive at all, really, because nobody else sees it... but now that I'm taking pictures and blogging about it, I'll try to put in a little more effort. ;) I am currently taking pictures with a 4-year-old camera that's partly broken in a kitchen that has truly awful lighting, and I realize most of my photos kind of suck... I'm just trying to make do with what I have for now.

While I always liked helping my parents in the kitchen -- shaping meatballs and matzah balls was the BEST -- I never really learned to cook without their guidance and supervision until I moved across the country for college. I lived in a dorm for two years where we had to fend for ourselves on weekends, and I quickly became an expert in preparing such delicacies as Easy Mac, Pasta-Roni, Campbell's Soup, and Top Ramen. When I felt like being fancy I would boil pasta and add sauce from a jar. (Fancy because it required two separate ingredients, unlike the other convenience foods that came with their own seasoning packet included. Fancy indeed.)

But that was 6 years ago, and I've come a long way since then, or at least I like to think so. I'm spoiled rotten by food accessibility where I live -- I'm within walking distance of the Union Square Greenmarket, I live a block away from an actual supermarket (not the little bodegas that are on every corner in NYC), and if I walk a few more blocks I can get great fresh pasta, mozzarella, any other kind of cheese imaginable, coffee, raw meat, cured meat, fish, cheap organic bulk goods... you get the idea.

These days, I generally try to cook simple meals using seasonal ingredients. Sometimes I follow recipes and other times I improvise; I don't own a single cookbook, so when I do use recipes they usually come from food blogs or Epicurious. And I fully plan on buying a cookbook or 10, as soon as I can make up my mind about where to start!

I'm not sure if I'll keep doing this, but for now I'm trying to list the kitchen equipment required for each recipe I post because I have a tiny sink and a tiny dish drain and no dishwasher and no one to clean up after me in exchange for my cooking for them. In other words, keeping the number of dishes down to a minimum is a big priority for me.

Most importantly, I love food and I love preparing food and I love eating food. I'm by no means an expert, but I'm learning, and I guess I just want to document the process and join the big happy food blog family!


Katie Zeller said...

When I was in college we heated up Spaghettio's in the popcorn popper.....
It's always a cultural jolt to hear that a 'bodega' is a market in New York. In Spain it's a wine cellar - a good one. I was always rather impressed that (on T.V.) so many New Yorkers paid such regular visits to their local wine merchant...
Welcome to the blogosphere!

Maris said...

It looks like we started blogging right around the same time! What made you start a food blog?

My kitchen has AWFUL lighting too! And usually I work so late that by the time I get home to cook/eat/photograph there is no natural light left to let in through a window! :)

Joanna said...

Maris - Thanks for the comment! The real reason why I started my own is that I had been reading other food blogs for about a year, and I realized that a lot of the time my comments on them were more about me and my own experiences than about whatever entry I was posting on! I just really like talking about food, so it seemed like a natural progression to shift it over to my own blog. Only problem is I'm still pretty awful about posting regularly.

And I hear you on the natural light - even during the day, there's no light in my kitchen. My best photos are the ones taken on weekend afternoons where I carefully balanced food on my bed because there's great natural light in there! (Luckily nothing has spilled yet...)