**updated January, 2009
Well, with a lot of help from friends and loved ones who let me serve them experimental recipes and my autographed copy of "Typing for Dummies", I've reached my 100th post! That means that I've pushed the "Publish" button on Blogger 99 times so far without hired goons showing up at my door and threatening to remove my hypothalamus through my nose if I do not cease such actions. I'll let ya know what happens after I push the button this time.
Many of the blogs that I comb through daily have a neat little "About" section. I decided that this 100th posting would be an appropriate place to compile some information about myself and this blog. I'll attempt to explain why I subject readers to my particular brand of writing when they could instead be doing something more fun like, counting the number of times Demi Moore cries in "Ghost," rethreading the cap on your tube of toothpaste, gluing objects to your ceiling, or putting tape over your nose and then calling your friends and talking like Michael Jackson.
OH WHY, OH WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
Something shifts inside me when I walk into my kitchen. My right-brain delivers a TKO to the left side and then the party begins! The chance to cook is when the recess bell rings and I get to play until I'm satisfied, or so full I can't take another bite , or until my feet start hurting and I need to go sit. I find the act of cooking to be immensely therapeutic, even when I'm dog tired. I get to be very childlike (not childish) in my kitchen. I roll up my sleeves and give myself permission to get dirty. My cupboards are my toy chest stocked with cool toys, gadgets and electronic gizmos. I can stick my hands and fingers in things. I get to decorate, and I get to destroy. I can beat, whip and mangle things. I get to set stuff on fire! What could be better? How could anyone not find this to be fun?
My kitchen is like your shower (no, not that). In my kitchen I often sing, loudly and frequently off-key. I sometimes dance in front of the range top while waiting for rice to steam. I like to think I'm bringing sexy back to ordinary household kitchens. In reality, I can't sing and my clumsy feet have never inspired Justin Timberlake (but maybe Elaine on Seinfeld). I pretend my kitchen windows are actually one-way mirrors, which allow me to see out but nobody to see in. You should try it sometime. Feel the rhythmic "blub, blub, blub" emanating from a simmering pot of spaghetti sauce and choreograph a routine to it. As it has been said, dance like nobody is watching. Be careful though as a watched pot never boils but you can scorch a delicate white sauce while you are doing the "running man" from the 80's to a Beyonce mash-up.
I've loved cooking ever since my mother first guided me around a kitchen. She sparked within me a passion for preparing food out of a family necessity. What appeared to be doleful chore for a child was actually an exciting hobby and I'll always thank her for the introduction. It is rare that I find myself dreading the task of preparing a meal. I happily volunteer to cook every night after work (secure in the knowledge that Ed will be along soon with a sponge).
EXCUSE ME WAITER, THERE IS A FLY IN MY OINTMENT
A kitchen is a weird place where science, math and technology collide with artistic expression and sensual awareness. They are strange bedfellows, but there should be a balance of both the concrete and creative thinking minds. I've always had a slight imbalance--with the scale tipped more heavily towards the artistic side. Specifically, I tend to disregard measurements and strict adherence to recipes in favor of a more intuitive approach. This in itself is not a problem. However an unwelcome side effect of this style of cooking is that reproducing a winning recipe is difficult. I have produced some very enjoyable meals that were completely original. Once the dishes are cleared, the experience is akin to a sunset that has faded. Yes, there will be more sunsets but wishing to experience that same Technicolor moment are futile as they sky will never illuminate in quite the same way again. That's not to say that all of my creations are like radiant sunsets, some bear more resemblance to the destruction of hurricane Katrina.
Acme Instant Food was born out of a desire to get organized in the kitchen. It's as if I hired a manager to come in and do the crappy desk-work part of the job that I shunned. Or maybe like a therapist I've employed to help me deal with my kitchen A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). Recording and posting recipes, both original and previously published, gives me some focus in front of the oven. I stocked a kitchen drawer with paper and pens and became reacquainted with measuring spoons. I still give myself permission to touch, smell and taste my way through creating a recipe, but I try to stop and write down my formula before the flour dust has completely settled (and Ed comes through and wipes it up).
I'm pleased that so far I've done a fairly decent job of documenting the recipes that worked. I miss posting a lot of items, but I can only find time to write so much. I have the beginning of an internet filing cabinet that I can refer to for menus from the past and inspiration for some new ones. Does anyone know how to make a back-up of your Blogger entries?
SOME ADVICE TO OTHERS WHO TRY THESE RECIPES:
1. Please note that I am not a professional cook or cookbook author. Okay, you can stop laughing now. I do my best to accurately describe ingredients, measurements, cooking times and techniques. Really, seriously, you can stop now. However, I offer these recipes as guides and you should adjust seasonings or ingredients to taste. And yes, sometimes my spelling and grammar suck. Deal with it.
2. I encourage you to use my writings as inspiration—not strict guidelines! Before you serve a sauce, a stew, or an anything, stick your finger in it and TASTE. Follow your intuition and adjust it if necessary. Get playful with your food! Most recipes, with the exception of some classic published recipes and most recipes for baked goods, are more forgiving than you think. Cooking is subjective. Don’t over think your way through a recipe. Impart the flavors, textures and heat levels that you and those you are cooking for will enjoy. If your taste runs askew to what's considered popular or "normal" just go for it. Who cares what people think.
3. If you try something here and it's a total dog, let me know. Maybe I forgot a critical ingredient or step in the preparation. Perhaps I just suck at writing instructions. Maybe I was drunk and the whole post should be deleted.
4. I'm open to comments and criticism. Just like Charlie Brown, I run to the mailbox every day with hopeful anticipation. Don't let me down.
5. If I use a published recipe, or one that I've made very few changes to, I do my very best to credit the original source. Who doesn't like getting credit for their work? Occasionally, I'll find a recipe I printed from the internet or jotted down on paper and not know the source. This doesn't happen often. You may also feel free to reprint a recipe I've posted here, but please give an appropriate nod back to me.
SOME RANDOM STUFF ABOUT ME AND THIS BLOG ABOUT WHICH YOU MIGHT NOT REALLY GIVE A SHITAKE MUSHROOM
1. I'm a native of Los Angeles and currently live in Hollywood with my loving partner of over seven years. Ed suffers from a condition known as Palmoliveluvahwashititus. It's an acute condition that causes uncontrolled fits of dish washing and counter top cleaning. The malady also manifests in the brain of the afflicted, causing him or her to believe that such activity is actually fun. After his diagnosis I committed myself to researching the disease. With hope, and your continued support, I may continue my crusade to prevent finding the cure for this disease. I will rest easier once I know that nobody can market a treatment for this disease.
2.*updated Jan. '09. I began working on a television production in July of 2008. My previous job allowed much more time for me to play with cooking, but now spare time is a precious commodity. As a result, I can't devote much time to blogging.
3. Even though this blog is titled Acme Instant Food I am not a believer in so-called "instant foods." I am saddened by the trend in Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee (Semi-homemade???? Who are you kidding?) cooking styles. Diabetes will soon change the face of our planet. Obesity is choking the life hood out of our hearts. Our bodies are crying out a collective death song! The name is simply inspired by an animated, accident prone coyote in the desert who is handy with a mail-order catalog with mega-quick delivery.
4. HTML? Hard To Memorizemuchless Learnlanguage? Huh? Go easy on me folks.
5. I hate eggs. I'd rather you throw them at me than have to eat an omelet.
6. I love Peeps. If they are stale then I like 'em even better. I think they make great salad toppings too.
7. **I'll stop here and add to the section to keep it updated and relevant. Besides, you stopped reading after the first paragraph.
Kevin, your serious host.