About Me

I am a hardcore food fanatic. My body is my temple and I try very hard to treat it as such. This includes eating healthfully – I try very hard to eat locally, sustainably and ethically.  Others see me as a food snob. Hmmm? Maybe. But mostly, I am fanatic for fabulous food. What I put in my body is of paramount importance to me.

HOW I GOT TO BE A FOOD FANATIC

I grew up eating exotic and fancy food whenever I had the chance. Unusual for a little kid back in the olden days, my mom taught me to love good food from the time I started teething. For birthdays she would take me to Trader Vic’s or Nantucket Cove. The former served all manner of Asian delicacies and the latter specialized in crustaceans. For special occasions, we were often asked what restaurant we wanted to go to. I always named the fancy French place where they specialized in rich and saucy foods.

While other kids were eating things that came from cans, my mom was buying whatever she could find that was fresh (a true feat in the late 50s). On the weekends in summer, our family would take long drives out to “the country” and find as many farm stands as we could in order to buy the best produce our area had to offer. At the grocery store, my mother would buy everything exotic she saw, just so we could give it a try. I ate and loved avocados, artichokes and all things green and fresh. I loved liver with onions, beef tongue and duck a l’orange!

HOW I LEARNED TO COOK

Mom was a great cook (well, aren’t all moms?) and along with the traditional Jewish dishes she learned from her mother and grandma, she also figured out how to prepare the aforementioned exotic dishes. She always encouraged me to be with her in the kitchen, gladly telling me how to work some culinary magic, giving me tasks to learn by and having me assist her. I knew if something was short on sugar or needed salt. I knew when something was ready to come off the heat. I learned, I loved, I tasted everything.

I started cooking without my mother’s help when I was about 12 years old. It was at this age that my mother divorced my dad and suddenly life was very different. With custody of 4 children, mom went to work. My older sister was the baby sitter and I became the cook. Somebody had to make dinner because mom did ‘t get home until later. I took on the job – I loved to cook – this never seemed like a burden to me. And, because she was pretty broke back then, I learned the many virtues of ground beef and tuna fish, while dreaming of lamb chops and lobster.

FABULOUS FOOD FANATIC

As the years went by and I had my own life, my own family and my own responsibility, my love of food just grew. I have had the good fortune to travel the globe and experience exotic culinary delights I never could have imagined. I have been a serious cook and a hardcore food enthusiast for as long as I can recall.  I have no formal training in the culinary arts. Sure, I have taken little classes at the local culinary stores and once, I even spent a week at the venerable Culinary Institute of America. (In fact, I am going back to the CIA in a few weeks and I will be telling you as much as I can about that experience.) I read as much as I can (Michael Pollan is my hero), and I spend tons of time out in the food blogosphere.

I thought it was high time I put in my two cents! I hope you are entertained and that from time to time I give you some fabulous food for thought. I also hope that as the mood strikes you, you will join in the discussion.

12 responses to “About Me

  1. Mac

    Looking forward to hearing your stories Merridith! Awesome.

  2. Marianne

    fantastic blog!!

  3. Patti Kearney

    Loved reading this! Keep it up, Merri – you’ll be better than Julie and Julia!!

  4. David Cox

    Please don’t stop! Very enjoyable…and, of course, I remember you and your mom (and your big sister) in the kitchen back when. Maybe it wasn’t lamb chops and lobster, but my recollection is of lots of delicious, well crafted FRESH food. Keep it up!

  5. You have taken this to another level. You and Jordan need to connect. Mom’s Barley, bean and Mushroom soup with fresh rye for dinner just once tonite as a good bye to winter!

  6. Hi Fanatic,

    Welcome to food blogging! Anne Cori sent me your link, she says you’re from St. Louis so, also, welcome to the ranks of St. Louis food bloggers. I’m the self-appointed social director of our group, we do occasional gatherings / classes / etc so I’d love to add your name our mailing list.

    Alanna

  7. John

    I know Mer’s cooking- you don’t. I spent many years of holidays in her home overeating her incredible recipes. Bon Appetit

  8. Having just taken up Sous Vide about six months ago, I particularly enjoyed ur short ribs experience. I plan to read ur blogs here on out. Thanks

    alanjesq

    • Nice to meet you Alan. I saw you on eGullet which is an awesome resource for sous vide information. I have been away from the blog due to travel and illness but I have a bunch of posts in the works. I’m doing my turkey sous vide so I am excited about the, too. Thanks for visiting!

  9. My Turkey done last Saturday/Sunday SV a’la Doug Baldwin will be going in the “bath” shortly. As a long time Greban affacianado, using Chicken skin, I did Doug’s turkey skin for the first time, and was I surprised as to how good it turned out. Finishing out the cook with Turkey chopped liver, who could ask for more? Keeping fingers crossed for tonight’s emergence from the bath, I remain, alanjesq

    • Mmmmm. I cooked my thighs and legs SV per Keller and Baldwin. They will be warmed up when I put the breast in. The breast goes in about 2 1/2 hours before serving time . I made a turkey demi with the carcass. I will do the skin per the eGullet thread on turkey – between two sheets in the oven with oil to “fry” it, at the last minute. I saved the wings to do per the instructions on the Modernist Cuisine blog. Nothing goest to waste – a great way to show gratitude! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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