At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I'm a pretty decent cook, which is something that I'm proud of.  If you've read this blog a while you will realize that food is one of my "things". 
But it wasn't always that way.

I started cooking when my mother was hospitalized, and continued doing so when she was bed-bound. Some of those early dinners were, on the whole, more educational than edible. Despite avidly reading the Larouse Gastronomique, there was less technique than absurdity in my kitchen efforts.

Most of it could be eaten. More so as time went on.

When I came back to the United States I lived with my grandmother in Berkeley, where she had been since she was discharged from the Navy. Her cooking was somewhat, errrrrrmmm, single person in orientation. Perforce I cooked whenever I could. At that time I knew what many foods and ingredients were by sight and by their Dutch or Indonesian names, but had virtually no clue what they were called in English.
Immaterial in any case, as American supermarkets at that time catered strictly to people with no taste and no culinary culture to speak of.
Plain bland blah. Kibble, vitachunks, and mere stuffing.

That was many years ago.

For a long time now I have lived in San Francisco, where food is as diverse as the people who inhabit this city.  If I want, I can find fresh fish, live and outraged, splashing about in tanks a mere eight blocks from my apartment.
As well as crustaceans, shellfish, poultry, and delicious fatty cuts of meat. Plus real vegetables.
I hear that out in the suburbs such things are still impossible.
And I believe it; I've seen what they eat there.
They live sad miserable lives.

These past few years I have hardly cooked at all, due to a lack of anyone to cook for or with. I'm fortunate that I know of several good places to eat, which are not far to walk, and remarkably close to the stores where I used to buy fresh fish and vegetables. Some of those restaurants also do some stellar seafood, as well as superb steamed shellfish, or salt and pepper crabs. One need never be without something delicious in this city.

Unfortunately, a steamed fish is usually too large for just one person.
And it seems rather a bother to take left-overs home.
I have not had steamed fish in a long time.

Yes, I could make it in my own kitchen, with a fish of suitable smallness.
But I just don't feel like cooking for myself much anymore.
It isn't very inspiring, unfortunately.

Some day, when circumstances again call for it, I will prepare a feast.
It will include a nicely steamed fish.
Or two such.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.



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