the best thing i ever ate was a bouillabaisse by the sea.
well, that's not exactly true.
it was by the ocean.
afterward all hell broke loose and my life was a mess for the next year and a half or so.
and it probably wasn't the best thing i ever ate, but whenever i think about favorite meals, i think about that bouillabaisse.
it was a birthday dinner.
it came right at the time in my life when i discovered i could be happy dipping bread into sauces for dinner.
i was rediscovering my love of seafood and wine.
and it was served in a restaurant called "the hobbit," which cracked me up endlessly.
actually, i still laugh about that restaurant name whenever i think about it.
i've had a very strange love/hate relationship with food over the years.
we get along well now, but we haven't always been on speaking terms.
because of that, i generally avoid getting into my personal food details.
i like to save my opinions and experiences for my close friends and family, but i think they've heard most of my stories by now.
and today feels like a sharing day.
well, not really. but there isn't really much else to talk about.
also, i really need to clean out my photo library.
i think you're all used to me rambling by now.
i've had some good ideas cooking over the years.
wasabi ginger cupcakes were pretty good.
so was the spicy sugar steak.
i've also had some bad ideas.
apple brownie pancakes might look good during prep, but they don't work.
not one little bit.
and clean-up is a nightmare.
actually, the best meal i ever at might have been the dinner i made a different year for my birthday.
i made way too much food, i don't remember it all now, but there were herb fritters as an appetizer and angel food cake with fruit and a sabayon sauce for dessert.
plus, two of my favorite people, c(s)w and and sc shared the evening with me.
we ate out on the porch, with the heat and mosquitoes, and talked about philosophy and orange groves.
the picture is blurry, but the evening wasn't.
sometimes cooking is being brave and trying new things.
brewing earl grey vodka was an experiment.
but it turned out so well, earl grey martinis are currently one of my favorite drinks.
also, i can serve them in a fleaker now.
yes, that's a fleaker.
and fleaker is a real word.
it's part flask, part beaker.
my dad was a scientist, that's how we know these things.
fleakers are fleaking awesome.
i think this picture of my father is fleaking awesome.
that cake isn't getting away with any nonsense.
one time i catered a party for my sister using plastic shot glasses.
the best thing i ever ate might have been pizza.
that probably doesn't surprise a lot of you.
there was this one pizza we had in great barrington, it was square and it had bacon on it.
paired with apple juice it tasted like clouds.
good clouds. not misty dewy clouds.
imaginary clouds that tasted awesome.
homemade pizza is pretty awesome, too.
pizza almost never photographs well.
even when it does.
this egg was not the best thing i ever ate.
but for some reason this picture amuses me.
in makes me think of a face.
or the yin yang symbol.
up on my list of favorite things i've made is definitely the pac man cookie i baked for sb's birthday.
it was happenstance.
i might make them again for him on purpose someday, although i'm pretty sure sugar cookies aren't an appropriate wedding gift.
another idea that didn't turn out so well was my three-dimensional pie crust.
sure it worked, but sometimes that isn't enough.
slicing asparagus wrapped in pie crust is actually pretty difficult.
i bet you didn't know that.
i like cooking because there's more room to experiment.
baking isn't always as generous.
i guess i'm just a troublemaker like that.
the best salad i've ever had is actually one my mum and i have been making a lot recently.
it changes every time, even though it stays the same.
that last sentence will make sense in a minute.
we lightly pan-fry a tuna steak in butter, shred it, and toss it with lettuce (or spinach, or whatever), crumbled bacon, and whatever other salad stuff we have on hand.
we always serve it with hard boiled eggs and olives.
we serve those on the side because my father isn't as big a fan of them.
this is one of my favorite pictures of me with my mother.
no really reason for that photo.
i just like it and i'm showing it to you because i can.
also, i think we've hit the rambling point of no return.
one time we made smoothies in my office.
they turned out pretty well.
and i got to use the office camera to photograph them.
that's why there's actually depth in the photos.
this is my favorite photo from the seattle farmer's market.
it's been the background on my phone several times.
actually, hang on.
i'm going to make it the background again.
in other news, my mum might be allergic to artichokes.
it's a pretty devastating thought.
speaking of photos i like...
i think i might take too many photos.
either that, or i've lost my ability to filter post material.
one dish i wish i had liked more than i did was kale chips.
i might be too much of a potato chip addict.
these weren't bad, but they weren't stellar.
then again, i ate a whole bunch for dinner when i made them, so maybe i just overdosed myself out on kale.
cooking for me is sometimes about getting out of my comfort zone.
and getting excited about things i never would have thought of.
like microwave bacon plates.
and then microwaved bacon.
it's also about cooking for friends.
and then needing to cut bangs into your hair immediately after because it turns out your friends are putting pictures and videos of you cooking up online.
there isn't always a method to this madness.
favorites come and go, though.
so i can't really tell you what the best food i ever ate was.
i can, however, tell you what i love now.
i love that phebe stares into the fridge with me.
i love coffee.
and having coffee in south africa.
like this latte from durban that saved me from one of the worst migraines i'd ever had.
i love dreaming up food-based murder mystery games.
while drinking wine.
i love this cake.
which i really hope will show up again before the summer is over.
it's like the largest, best swiss roll ever.
i love tapas dinners.
also with wine.
and maybe with some doctor who or top gear.
but mostly i like chatting with all of you, if you can't tell by this ridiculously long post.
because you're all awesome.
let's drink a toast to that.