"Mom can we have pancakes or waffles or something like that for dinner tonight?" -Me, age 9.  Hopeful.

"Sure.  Make some." -Mom, tired dinner-maker. Pragmatist.

(A moment.  I'm thinking.)

"But I don't know how toooooOOO!!!" I wail.

"If you can read, you can cook," she replies.  The winner.

She got me every time.  How could I deny it?  She was so undoubtedly, unquestionably right.  Pure and simple.  FACT.  So what if I was nine years old?  Pff.  If I was already reading chapter books, then by golly I could read the label on a Bisquick box.  And so, my culinary career was born.

Learning to cook is a fundamental rite of passage...to live, one must eat; to eat, one must find and prepare food (or at least know how to order good takeout, I suppose).  Like daughters all around the world throughout history, I received my first cooking tip from my mom.  True, it was a mantra she drilled in my brain to save herself from having to sling pancakes every night, but it was also something she gave to me in the spirit of one of humanity's most time-honored traditions:  Mom-To-Daughter Food Knowledge.  Many a daughter out there touts a special recipe, like the sacred secrets behind her mother's prizewinning yogurt pound cake or beloved green bean casserole.  Or maybe a daughter inherited a physical relic, like the jello mold her mom received as a wedding gift from some wrinkly great-aunt back in the '70s.  HA!  Not this daughter.  The secret I received is so sinfully simple compared to the mysteries of some overwrought heirloom casserole:  just read the directions.  And then you can make anything you damn well please.

Turns out Mom was right...I've really taken that little tidbit of advice and built upon it.  I'm interested in what food means to me, to my family and friends, to Americans, and to the world.  I'm interested in recipes, in cooking, in sharing food with people I love.  Herbs, apple varieties, holiday feasts, meal etiquette, teatime, chopping techniques, you name it.  The sight of a well-stocked produce stand takes my breath away.  And I hope to record my experiments and experiences here, in this blog.

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