Now that I have a few posts under my belt, I figure I should make a formal introduction of myself to you, the unknown readership. My name is Kate — Garky, for short — and I love food. I love grocery shopping, testing new recipes, going out to eat, strolling through the farmers market, reading food writing, watching Food Network, doodling pizza slices in the margins of my notebook paper, and so on. It wasn’t always this way: growing up, I was one of the pickiest eaters known to man. As a four-year-old, I only ate white/whitish foods, and my diet revolved around rice, milk, saltines, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In high school, I subsisted on cereal and microwave popcorn. In college, I made a half-hearted attempt at vegetarianism — the school’s meal plan wasn’t diverse enough to support such a choice — but often times fell back on Bosco Sticks, Pizza Bagels, Taquitos, and Sour Straws.
In 2005, as a junior in college, I studied in Berlin. On my first day in Germany, I abandoned my meatless diet; soon thereafter, my love of food and attendant pursuits bloomed. In Berlin, good food was everywhere: never had I lived in a place where high-quality bread was available on every corner, where there was a distinct street food culture and where one could get mimosas and fresh bratwurst at the Saturday market. My brief stint in Germany awakened in me an interest I didn’t know existed, and upon my return to the US, I set about teaching myself to cook.
I started with what I knew — I asked my mom to teach me how to prepare my favorite dishes. I read my mom’s cookbooks, the selfsame volumes from which my favorite nostalgic dishes had been prepared. I read MFK Fisher’s “The Art of Eating,” and then the rest of her books. I started a cookbook collection, scanning the shelves of used bookstores, the virtual shelves of Amazon, garage sales, and big box stores. In grad school, my friends and I threw dinner parties, at which we debuted tried and brand-new recipes alike (which yielded humorous results — I remember one particularly terrible quiche that was highly praised and then left on everybody’s plates). I read Ruth Reichl, Jane Brody, James Beard, and Marcella Hazan. I set a goal to learn to love seafood. (Still working on the seafood goal, but the good news is, I’ll eat most fish! Shellfish is another story.)
I have no formal training as a chef. I’ve worked my fair share of food service jobs (six, to be exact), but the bulk of my experience has been in my own kitchen, my skills learned from books and honed in my own kitchen. What I’m saying is I’m by no means an expert in the field, rather a civilian enthusiast determined to assimilate as much knowledge as possible.
This blog, then, is intended to be a comprehensive account of my culinary experiences: of dishes that I cook and things that I bake, of restaurants that I visit and events I attend, of food-writing that I read and like (or don’t: I’m not shy about airing grievances). The blog’s name, “I Eat” was inspired by my friend Sarah’s blog, “I Blog” (which you all should read — link is in the “Friends” section!). I chose the name for its simplicity and precision. I do, after all, eat: we all do, and therein lies much of my fascination with food culture — it’s universal, fueled by our most basic of needs, and it can be enjoyed by everyone.
I hope you enjoy these posts — I’m excited to be back in the [writing] saddle again(!)