Being Cuban and Italian, I grew up around food. I vividly remember baking with my mom and my grandmother cooking all day for a small cantina catering business she ran out of her small apartment. My first job was working the line at a Mexican restaurant and all said, I’ve spent about ten years working in kitchens. Cooking is just something that’s in my blood.
While living in rural Texas for a few years, I found myself with little else to do but watch re-runs of Good Eats and copy what I saw. Produce and meat were cheap, wages low, and with plenty of friends around and few restaurant options in town that weren’t fast food and Denny’s, I cooked at home a lot. That habit nearly a decade ago stuck with me. I regularly cook dinner 3-5 times a week, bake breads, make frittatas from leftover mise for breakfasts during the week, and even rise early on weekends to make a pot of coffee and popovers, or pancakes, or waffles (all from homemade mixes that I’ve honed over years, of course.)
I relish the labor of the kitchen. I look forward to getting home in the evening, blasting some music, and getting lost in the process of making a meal. It’s odd, but in the same way that a lot of creatives spend time away from work to do other creative endeavors, I find myself in the kitchen. Instead of doodling, I work on pickles. Rather than painting I make sourdough starters. And while I could spend evenings going through the mountains of photos that need editing, I spend that time in the backyard brewing beer over a propane turkey fryer.
This weekend, I made pizzas. The dough was a slow ferment that I did for 24 hours in the fridge (though I would have liked at least 48.) The sauce was homemade, the mozzarella was fresh (though not homemade…I have the rennet, but haven’t made my own cheese yet) and the mushrooms and kale sauteed fresh. If a photographer can blog about the sculpting they do, the hell can’t I write about my pizzas?