Lets talk about the two sides of me. I am a Gemini just so you know. The first side of me is the cooking and entertaining part. This is a major part of my life and I wouldn’t be fulfilled without it. Of course, we all have to eat, but the main part of cooking for me is entertaining and sharing fun and flavorful foods with great friends. Dinner parties, happy hours and well, most anything to do with food is where I begin to enjoy.
There are many foodies out there and cookbook junkies, too. Maybe I would fall at the top of the list of nuts when it comes to foodies and recipe book hoarders. I don’t think there’s any real help for cooking junkies, so, here I am now writing a BLOG partly about cooking, recipes and my other passions.
Several of my friends are also deep into the heart of cooking and recipe collection. We exchange recipes and ideas often. My library is crowded with a massive amount of cookbooks from many of my favorite chefs; Julia Child and Martha Stewart, along with several Professional Chef style books. Need a recipe for a special occasion? It’s probably there.
Grilling most anything is a must for me, especially steaks, chicken, lamb and seafood. It’s a favorite way for cooking. Originally I had an electric grill because for some reason using gas frightened me. I’m a chicken! Maybe it was because in my early years we had to light the pilot light and I was always afraid it would blow up in my face. Several years later my talented hubby was badgered into converting my electric cook top over to gas. He took on the task and ran a gas line to the kitchen and installed a gas cook top. Hooray! There’s been no going back.
One of my earliest challenges in life when learning how to cook was when my mother was teaching me how to make fried chicken. I accidentally rolled the chicken in powdered sugar instead of flour. Go figure…. I was 15 or 16 at the time and they both looked alike at that stage of my life. This lesson taught me to experiment with cooking and not to get too upset when something doesn’t turn out great the first time. Usually a little adaptation will make it work. The fried chicken was placed on a baking pan in the oven, spiced up with something that mom came up with and we had a “Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken” for dinner. This learning experience quickly followed by several much better successes that launched me toward my love for cooking and entertaining.
My little sis, Pam, also could not eat Macaroni and Cheese for many years after trying my first experience in attempting to make it. This was probably about the same time as making my first fried chicken. I didn’t follow a recipe for either. I just boiled up the macaroni, added a good size clump of cheese and figured it would all mix together some how. I can’t even remember if I shredded the cheese first or just tossed in a chunk of cheese along with some milk or cream. Anyway, it was a bunch of macaroni with one big glob of cheese in the middle. It’s a good thing we can laugh at our first attempts of cooking.
My other side, the artsy side is a craving for art, painting and photography. Maybe this is my Gemini left side of the brain?? Since starting to write a Blog I’ve picked back up what my hubby calls my big ass camera and started carting it around again. He’s always afraid I will ask him to carry it. Of course, compared to mine there are many more big ass’d gigantic cameras out there for him to carry for me. I just need to pick one and buy it.
I enjoy spending hours glancing at the TV sitcoms, but all the while I’m really reworking an image with Photoshop, browsing on my computer with the help of Adobe Bridge going through thousands of digital pictures that I’ve taken over the years. I hadn’t used Photoshop for so long that I’d become rusty. I’m freshening my skills with Photoshop and spending hours going through all those pictures I’ve captured from my various travels. Thanks to all our fellow bloggers I’m reminded of all the crazy things you can do with a picture to either make it great, make it bizarre or just take care of a few little dust fleck here and there.
I’ve taken several classes in Photoshop and learned some tricks. Probably just enough to get me in trouble where I over do the changes. My trick is to save often, save copies, keep my original, use the undo when necessary and work with layers. When time allows I would like to take a few more photography classes to learn more on how to actually use the manual settings of the camera just like when I was working with film. Many years ago when working with film it seemed that there was I used the process of adjusting aperture, focusing, etc that just came with a natural touch and feel. I’ve lost that touch with the ease of digital and am ready to pick it back up again. The auto features of digital can make us lazy.
Just as with cooking, my library is filled with rows of dusty books, magazines and DVD’s about the art of photography, painting and Photoshop. I keep thinking that when I retire (?#&*!!!) that I will have time to read them all and become a superb photographer. Wishful thinking.