Monday, January 4, 2010

Why Me, Why Blog, Why Now

I feel like I have procrastinated enough. This blog has been in spiral notebook form now for at least a month, but it’s been something I have needed to complete for years.

So, Hi! How are you? Thank you so much for stopping by. My name is Dana. I was born in Texas and have never left. I started cooking with my Granny when I was four. Some of my first memories are in her kitchen rolling out dough on her kitchen table. Unfortunately my Granny had no written recipes, she went into a nursing facility when I was 13 and I was not taught anything that we cooked together. I don’t even think she could write out recipes for the things she cooked. Everything was a dab of this and pinch of that. Her hands were her measuring cups.

My Granny really instilled in me the joy of cooking and how the kitchen is truly the heart of your home. You can learn and share so much over food. I continued to cook here and there when I was a child, but not so much. During the summers my sister and I would stir up stuff that would make us sick. I didn’t say that I used to be a great child cook, but I did try.

I believe that I am a Southern Cook. You see for one I learned mostly from my Granny and Granny did not make anything that isn’t now considered southern. Hell, I don’t even remember her making spaghetti with marinara sauce.

When I started thinking about this blog and was really interested in what the name would be I put out a post on Facebook asking for help. I said it was to be a blog about southern food. Well, I had someone tell me they didn’t consider Texas to be Southern. So, I did some research. I am sure Wikipedia is not the best source, but they say “The cuisine of the Southern United States is defined as the regional culinary form of states generally south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and extending west to (oh yeah there is was) TEXAS,” So, I have to admit I slept through history my freshman year in college (my father was so proud) and had no clue what the hell the Mason-Dixon line was so I had to do some further research. Hello! The Mason-Dixon Line is North of Maryland. Never in my wildest would I call Maryland “South.” I am rambling, but my point is yes Texas could be seen a Tex-Mex state, but I am from Texas and still prefer to cook “Southern” over “Tex-Mex.” You will see recipes like Chicken and Dumplings (which is one of the first things I remember making).

When you Google “How to be a Southern Cook” you get many links to or about my favorite person in the whole world, Paula Deen. After taking a long break from cooking, Paula is the one who helped spark my love of cooking again. I remember the first time I saw her on Food Network she was making Peach Cobbler, which to this day is one of most requested desserts. From that point forward I have been cooking like crazy. I cook for myself, for my daughter and I even get to the point where I invite people over just so I can cook for them. It can be very addicting.

While we are on the Paula Deen subject I just want to make one thing perfectly clear. When I was researching Southern Cooking hoping to find inspiration for a title of this blog I stumbled across a lot of Southern Slag websites. I may be a southerner, but you will never here me say:

“I am fixin” “Young-uns” “Reckon” “Yonder”

I barely say “Ya’ll” and if I do it is because I am around a REAL Southern. I have never in all my thirty something years used the word “ain’t.” Now I am not saying I am an English major. This blog will include many a grammar and spelling error which I am sure will be pointed out to me by my friends. I have never claimed to be gifted in that area.

I promise you all my entries will not be as longs as this one. I guess I just feel like I need to tell you about me. So, we have covered the why me. How about why blog?

Blogging is pretty new to me, well somewhat. This will make my forth blog. My first blog is mainly about my life as a single again thirty something looking for love and dealing with life’s crap, StrawberryTart. Now if you venture over there I warn you I am not as sweet and innocent as I may appear. If you want to keep me like that in your mind then go visit our family blog Day by Day with the Duff Gals. My daughter also has a food blog, Kid N the Kitchen.

Blogging was Greek to me until I stumbled upon Natalie Slater. I am not sure how I found Natatlie, but hers was the first Food Blog I had read. She is so talented. From her blog I started reading How to Eat a Cupcake then I went on a six month long baking spree and became completely obsessed with cupcakes. Hell, I have a cupcake tattoo even. My love for cupcakes will not end and you will see a few cupcake recipes as the weeks go by, but I want to focus on all areas of Southern cooking.

Why now? No it has nothing to do with Austin born, Julie Powell’s blog turned book turned movie, Julie & Julia. I think it is just the right time. I have taken a break from nursing school and really needed to find something where I could be creative and thirty at the same time. Cooking is something I love, but so is writing. I have journaled since I was 12. I am a writer (not professional at all). For me writing is an easier form of communication then talking. Don’t get me wrong I will talk your ear off, but one interesting fact about me…I was practically a mute when I was little. My older sister did all the talking for me and I was perfectly fine with that.

So there you have it…Why Me, Why Blog, Why Now. Guess I should at least give you a picture of food to get you started. This is what my daughter calls Sausage and Potatoes. It is her ultimate favorite things for dinner with a side of Ranch Style Beans (because we are in Texas).

I hope I didn’t run you off and you stop back in later for good food and conversation.

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