Monday, February 1, 2010

Greetings and Salutations

This is the inaugural posting in what I hope to be a somewhat-amusing look at the notable minutiae of my life from a strictly culinary point of view. Why am I doing this? And why should anyone care? Admittedly, those are fair questions. If nothing else, the blog will give me a handy record of the recipes attempted here at the Hackknife Commissary (i.e., our kitchen), successes and failures of said recipes, foods tried, restaurants visited, and general thoughts about that which physically sustains our bodies 3 (or more) times daily. If someone out there reads what's here and picks up a useful bit of information, has a chuckle, or otherwise feels like their time wasn't completely wasted by checking it out, all the better (and if it was a waste of time, I apologize in advance). I would like food to be the main topic of focus, but there will probably also be related musings on drink, travel, soccerwatching (my other hobby/unhealthy obsession), and, of course, parenting, as that is my full-time job when I'm not burning something in the oven.

So what are my qualifications? Well, first and foremost, I love to eat and am fortunate to be among people that also love to eat, so I have ample opportunity to have many good (and sometimes great) meals. Since we started dating, my lovely wife (Mrs. Hackknife) and I have developed a passion for trying all different types of cuisines and restaurants (from white tablecloth to White Castle) and we have mostly enjoyed all of them. About 5 years ago, I picked up a sudden interest in wine and made that something of a hobby, which then became the gateway drug to wine/food pairing and eventually, attempts at home cooking. Since I am mostly self-taught, I have had to rely on the many experienced home cooks in my extended family to help me achieve a very basic (hopefully improving over time) competency in the kitchen. Other than noodling around in the Commissary, my formal work experience in the food service industry is limited to 6 months at a deli and about a year and a half part-time in a local winery-restaurant tasting room, so no Cordon Bleu certificate here.

But I like to experiment, I like to write, and I like to share, and as much as I love my kids, I can't very well wax poetically about foie gras with a 4-year old who won't touch mashed potatoes - thus, here I am. Although cooking is something I will probably never master (can anyone?), I want to at least be able to consistently turn out meals under a variety of circumstances that make people (mostly Mrs. Hackknife and kids) happy. That's my aspiration - as far as inspiration, I look to Anthony Bourdain, Jim Harrison, and Bill Buford, all of whom showcase food and its prominent place in our culture/everyday lives via culinary journalism.

So with no further delay (consider this posting an amuse bouche), let's get started. My hope is to post something every day, but given daily parenting responsibilities, that may not happen. I'll do the best that I can under the circumstances.

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