Hands up: Who here enjoys eating excellent food but cannot afford to pay restaurants to make it for us all the time?
Wow, that’s a lot of hands. Okay! Let’s get started.
MEET THE COOKS
Greetings, Earthlings! I’m Variable (“Jymi” to some). I have associate degrees in English and Digital Media Production, a BA in Arts & Letters, an overactive imagination, and because everything in the the whole metaverse is interesting and inspiring if you look at it just right, a tendency to take on too many huge projects at once. Like starting a food blog.
When I’m not doing art, studying metaphysics, or playing D&D, I’m probably in the kitchen trying to make dinner. (Unless Corvin is taking a turn at the stove, in which case I’m feeding the cat and setting the table.)
In the midwest U.S., where I grew up, friends and family show affection by feeding each other until no one can get off the couch. Everyone there cooks with lard, and every meal comes with bread. Lots and lots of bread. And gravy. Mom was raised on a farm where she got the idea that pot roast should be 80% fat, and Dad was a crazy surrealist art teacher from Montana who sometimes painted pictures of food with all the wrong colors. When we moved to southern California in the 80s, he was inspired by the local cuisine and took over most of the cooking. Dinnertime was weird.
Luckily I am not a fussy eater, and I seem to have a cast iron stomach. I’ve eaten from dumpsters. I’ve lived on rice and diet soda-pop. Mom used to feed me bread and peanut butter stuffed in a glass of milk. The only way to go from there is up.
Hello! I’m Corvin! I’m the more complicated one because I am a fussy eater. Not as fussy as I used to be, but still enough to make mealtimes a challenge. Mostly for other people who have a wider range of foods they will eat. I’m almost an anti-vegetarian. I’ll eat some, but mostly I find vegetables repulsive in both taste and texture. That’s why I say almost. Jymi has managed to get me to eat more veggies by hiding them in her tasty culinary concoctions. Even the occasional mushroom. And I despise mushrooms!
Like Jymi, I too hail from the midwest and grew up on a diet of carb-based blandness. I never really thought of food as something more than a necessity to keep from dying. I mean, of course there were foods I found tasty, but between bland cooking and a dysfunctional family lifestyle, the communal aspects were never instilled in me. As a result of that nonchalance, however, I was not eating healthy which of course was going to kill me anyway. I didn’t really start getting into cooking until my late 30s. Before that, I would occasionally produce something edible that resembled real food but for the most part I relied on other people and microwaves to ensure my dietary sustenance. A big part of that was because I was scared of the kitchen. I had not yet learned to accept failures as a part of the experience and was easily discouraged. Once I even had a dream that I was trying to light the pilot light on an older stove in a shitty apartment where I used to live, and it exploded in my face. I wouldn’t go near the damn thing after that!
Once I started gaining confidence though, my skills progressed fairly quickly and as I learned to combine flavors with other flavors I realized this was actually pretty easy. I still don’t cook a very wide variety of meals, but the ones I do are pretty darn good! Some have culminated in a relatively set combination of ingredients as the result of an evolutionary process, and others are still evolving, but the point is I was able to overcome much of my kitchen anxiety and found cooking to be fun and rewarding (and fattening!). I hope as our adventures here progress that I will inspire other neurotic would-be amateur chefs to venture out into the cooking space and use a spatula for more than just retrieving spilled cereal out from underneath the fridge.
Neither of us has any professional culinary training whatsoever. We both grew up assuming that everything on our plates just came like that, and cooking was something done by wizards (or our parents). We’ve worked together over the years to improve our diets: both in nutritional content and deliciousness factor. This project grew out of our shared desire to figure out how to make meals worth eating without going broke or setting the kitchen on fire. We also have a wide spectrum of other interests, and cannot resist working those into the material as much as possible. Don’t even try to stop us. This is not a blog for food snobs. It’s for people who just want to make delicious, healthy food, try new things, learn from mistakes, wander off on a few tangents, and/or get as much value as possible from the last few coins in the pocket (hey, we’ve all been there, and that’s hard to forget).
Now wash your hands and clear that junk off the counter; we’re gonna cook something.