My name is Billy and I enjoy cooking. My methods are unorthodox, my dishes rarely fit into a regional scope and I like to freestyle most of the time. I think measuring is for chumps, but for the sake of my prospective 2 readers, I will measure things (occasionally). I started cooking at the tender age of 19 after moving into my first apartment with a few friends. I was very intimated by the stove at first and spent a lot of time on the phone with my parents trying to determine if I was doing things right. One of my biggest fears was undercooked meat. I had this feeling that if my steak was just the slightest bit too rare, or if my chicken wasn't boiled to oblivion then my stomach would fall out of my butt. I believe there is a scientific name for that condition, but I'll save that for another time. I would call my mother or father and ask, "how many minutes..." or, "how do I know when it's done" only to be answered with "when it's pink" or, "when the juices run clear." This confused the hell out of me seeing as the color pink is relative, and juices never run as clear as say vodka. This resulted in many overcooked pieces of meat and a smoked out kitchen. It took me a while, but I started developing this thing called 'confidence' after realizing my stomach was stationary and safe.
Another big fear was that if my measurements were not precisely precise, the dish would be ruined. I would phone my mother while making a sauce and ask how many tablespoon of fresh basil or parsley do I need? This one was a little easier to shake than the undercooked meat issue. I realized after a while that most food is edible no matter what you put into it, granted it's not arsenic or ricin, and that my fear of ruining a dish by using one too many basil leaves was just plain silly. I was trying to perfect something I had never done before. So now I go measurement free with most things. Baking however is a whole other ballgame and requires meticulous measurements. I don't bake as much as I would like, but just keep that in mind.
I had grown up with a Sicilian American mother and an Italian/Irish American father, both of whom were beasts inside the kitchen. My father had spent a few years years of his young adult life working at Luberto's Bakery, which if you're from Revere you probably know. Hence, whenever we had family get-togethers or celebrated a Holiday he was dragging out the Kitchen Aid mixer and putting in WORK! I feel like an asshole because I never learned from him back then, but he put himself into a tranquil state while making these things and had a way of blocking out everything else, including a whinny little bitch like my 10 year old ass was. My mother handled most dinners though, as my father worked the night shift (no longer a baker, now an electrician for trains). I could rant on about how my mother made the best sauce, or her meatballs were unmatched blah blah blah... but everybody says that. I feel like children form a special subconscious memory of their parents cooking at an early age, and that it follows them throughout life. I still marvel at the meatballs my mother makes, and though I follow her recipe as closely as possible, my end result is something that tastes completely different. I've bitterly accepted this truth, and now I focus more on trying to add my own twists to certain foods.
Well, that's a brief history of food and I. I'm hoping this blog will act as a new chapter and influence me to further my love and appreciation of all things tasty!