Daily Archives: January 13, 2012

Welcome!

Welcome to The Persnickety Palate!!  This blog is meant to be a journey into the culinary world and I am thrilled that you have joined me!

I discovered food fairly late in life.  Now I realize that sounds silly since we all eat from the day we’re born.  But I am referring to the love of food; the true enjoyment in making it and eating it.  I was born in India and grew up in many different cities throughout India and the U.S.  You would think this would have exposed me to a plethora of cuisines and yet most of my childhood revolved around home made Maharashtrian Indian food.  Mind you my mother is a superb cook and would venture once in a while so no complaints here.  But our outside influences were the basic burgers, pizza (from Pizza Hut no less), pasta with jarred Ragu, and take out Chinese.  Not exactly haute cuisine.

My college years were my missed opportunity.  You see I went to a university with international diversity and met friends from more than 30 countries.  I even had the good fortune of traveling to Greece and Italy to live with the locals for which I will be forever grateful to the two friends who made it possible.  So why do I call this a missed opportunity?  Somewhere around my senior year of high school I decided to go partially vegetarian.  Today, just writing that makes me laugh.  What exactly is a partial vegetarian?  Well, I decided I wouldn’t eat anything with a bone on it – chicken breast only.  No beef – unless I craved a burger.  No seafood – except white fish fillet……you catch my drift.  Needless to say, I missed some amazing foods in my travels.

Luckily my first job was in NYC in corporate america during the glory days of the 80s.  The days of 3 martini lunches and Friday lunches that turned into dinners at the company expense.  Here I met some wonderful mentors who told me how idiotic my little rules were and I began to try new foods.  My most memorable dinner was at the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, TX where for the first time I had a 12 course tasting menu with wine pairings…….I was hooked!

Ok, so I had learned to love to eat food but I rejected any notion of cooking it because I saw it as a chore.  Largely because I had watched my mother day in and day out working so hard to make a meal after a hard day at work, and then cleaning up afterward only to do it again the next day.  My culture also has a tendency to make cooking an obligation for women which of course sucks the joy out of it.  Moving out on my own took all those silly notions right out of my head.  I realized I was the one suffering since eating takeout got old very quickly.  You see my mother had spoiled me by providing delicious home cooked meals for all those years.  So it was either learn to cook or give up good food!  I chose wisely and started experimenting.

Today I love to try anything and everything (almost – there are some limitations).  Recent adventures coming in the next post.  I love to cook different types of cuisines and am experimenting all the time.  My son and foodie friends are kind enough to be the guinea pigs and polite enough to eat what I make.  I rarely follow a recipe without changing it and consider it a piece of scientific artwork.

If you have a passion for food, I hope you will share some ideas and experiences with us.  If you are a novice to cooking or want to get started, I hope this blog will provide you with some tips and encouragement to keep at it.  So let’s share some food and some fun!!

Cheers,
Swati

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