August 09, 2007

Introductions, and answers...

Well congratulations folks. You recognize yourselves! Thanks for joining in and playing along (even those of you who weren't aware you were part of the game.) You've become the friends I've never met. Kept me company on hot sleepless summer nights and cold rainy afternoons. Introduced me to new restaurants, wines, kitchen gadgets, market vendors, local resources. Made me pause and think about what I feed my family and what that says about me.

Now allow me to introduce you to each other...without further ado: the answers -- the authors.

Number 1: a professional writer, amateur foodie, avid traveler and all-around bon vivant.

I grew up an Italian-American adjacent to the city by the bay... but I've grown to appreciate it in a brand new light through Sean's words and DPaul's images. Sean's introduction to Hedonia reminds me of a personal ad -- the only personal ad I've encountered that's encouraged me to linger a while, pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and join in the conversation.

Number 2: There are a lot of traditions associated with the coming of the new year, whether it’s the Western New Year that we ring in on January 1, the Chinese New Year (this will be the year of the Cock) which lands some time in February, or even Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, in September or October. I’m American, and ring in the new year at midnight on December 31 with lots of champagne, hugs and kisses all around, and pretty much all kinds of other decadent debauchery.

And then there's Sarah, living The Delicious Life in Los Angeles. Part social commentary, part confessional, neatly wrapped up in 'deluscious' restaurant reviews delivered with delightful doses of pop culture, humor and sarcasm. And it all started here.

Number 3: In a busy kitchen a sharp knife is your most important tool. With continual use, it dulls, but much like watching yourself slowly age you don't realize it's gotten quite as dull as it has until you find yourself using massive force to cut an onion. It's time to sharpen.

I don't think it's any secret that I am obsessed with intrigued by the restaurant industry, in how things *really* work in a commercial kitchen. Thankfully, there are a handful of blogs out there that satisfy that jones. The Knife's Edge is one of my favorites. Haddock takes the time to explain the pros and cons of taking reservations, the challenges of balancing budgetary issues with employee morale, offers some sage advice to his dining public, and in the process sharpens your mental edge by getting you to think. His is a story worth reading from the beginning.

Number 4: Bienvenue a Welcome to! This simple title is enough to sum up my destiny...

When I visit Helene's Tartlette, I find myself flooded with mental images of beautiful homes dotting the French countryside, juxtaposed with the action-packed but warm-and-welcoming Midwest American kitchens where I spent many summers of my youth. We've never met, but we've shared Sunday breakfast and Gateau St. Honore and many, many things in between, if only virtually. I'm grateful our destinies have crossed and that she's welcomed me at her kitchen table.

Number 5: Let me start off by saying that I can not spell and my grammar is horrible (thank you public school…I can say that since I taught school for 9 years…public school).

That being confessed to the six people who will read this, I shall proceed. My goal here with my blog is undetermined at this time. I will mostly write about food, share recipes, restaurant reviews as well as cookbook reviews…. but I admit from time to time that the subject of ice hockey just might sneak in.

Peabody really defies introduction. She's developed quite a reputation in my office... any time I bring sweets or snacks to share, everyone wants to know if "it is a Peabody." Spelling and grammar be damned! Just keep providing crowd-pleasing, no-fail recipes -- and the tips, tricks, and stories that go with them. :)

Number 6: There are some moments when I almost believe that the New York Times Dining & Wine section reads my mind.

She lives and works in Brooklyn, arguably one of the food-Meccas of these United States. Yet Cathy's quite passionate about NOT eating out in New York. And not out of some bizarre misguided (or even well-founded) sense of self superiority, but for some very interesting reasons. She seems to be living quite well on not-takeout. And I LOVE the cost calculator and the brownie points! And it all started with a New York Times article on gazpacho...

Number 7: While running this morning, I passed a long hedge and noticed a violent disturbance in the leaves. Then I heard fluttering overhead. To the west, an ominous shadow of a flying bird on the pavement followed mine. I ran and ran and it cawed and cawed, and the bird shadow stayed exactly five feet behind my fleeing shadow. My eyes widened as I anticipated that horrible moment when the shadow would gradually grow bigger and bigger until it finally merged with mine, and I’d see nothing but crimson clouds from a bloody eye-pecking orgy that would put a damper on running ever again, not to mention staining my shirt so thoroughly that I’d have to resort to presoaking with Tide detergent on laundry day.

At the very least, I anticipated that the bird might crap on my head out of spite and/or entertainment and/or target practice. It didn’t, but now that I’m out of danger, the thought of a tiny poo shadow falling from the bird shadow and landing on the head of my running shadow makes me giggle uncontrollably. Hee hee. But nothing happened. The bird left, perhaps assured that I wasn’t trying to eat its chicks or its food, and my head and shoulders remained poop free. That’s when I noticed squashed black splotches on the ground under the trees.

Mulberry season has begun.

I love the way Bon Appegeek's Annie approaches food -- and life: "Does a healthy eater write about rice cakes and celery sticks? No way. Nothing is more exciting to a semi-retired glutton than the pursuit of forbidden excess." A consummate story teller with a natural curiosity about all things edible, Annie serves up some righteous recipes with a healthy dose of sarcasm; she's got a unique style that simultaneously makes me laugh *and* makes me think. And a healthy respect for Hitchcock. Or Mulberries. Take your pick.

Number 8: I swear to God, I'm gonna' get fired and I won't have anyone to blame but the coalition of S.F. food bloggers. They have gotten me addicted to their damn food blogs. I read them all day. They're like my coke, but without the 80's music in the background.

The "shibby" Garrett of Vanilla Garlic routinely reports on the greater Sacramento area food scene, expanding my list of "must tries" in his part of California. His cupcake recipes rock! And he's always good for a laugh...even if he's got some strange vendetta against his neighbors to the west.

Number 9: Shortly after I graduated from university I moved to a small town perched high in the mountains of central Japan. The name of the town literally means high or highest mountain and it is surrounded by breathtaking peaks, many of them capped in snow year round. I arrived in October, just in time to witness the flaming autumn foliage. Soon, however, the leaves had fallen off the trees, the days turned bitterly cold, and winter was upon us.

Rather than repeat myself, check out my thoughts on Tea & Cookies on this post. Then go read her from the beginning. You won't be disappointed.

Number 10: sometimes things aren't always what they seem - often...they're much, much more.

Her photography captured my attention. Her recipes intrigued me. Her stories drew me in. And her soul refuses to let go. She's Tami of Running with Tweezers, and over the months we've spent together, she's offered all of this... and so very much more.


Cynthia said...

Well this was entertaining as it was informative. Thoroughly enjoyed your post and I look forward to visiting all the links you've provided. Nice to know your name too, Dolores. A beautiful name.

kellypea said...

Goodness. You're my kind of thinker and writer. I'm going to have to go back and read this again. Really.

Peabody said...

Yeah, I have a few more than 6 readers now...who would have guessed. This was fun and I learned about some bloggers.

Tartelette said...

You are such a talented writer yourself! I would be honored to have you at my table anytime!

Tea said...

Well done, my friend. Well done!

I loved this--what a great chance for me to experience that sort of post from the other side (fun!), and to discover even more great blogs. Excellent roundup--thanks!

Sean said...

What's weird is that DPaul and I did in fact meet through a personals ad -- that I wrote and posted!