About You

Tell me a little about yourself, why don’t you.

Here’s what I may or may not already know:

1. You are functioning at a literacy rate well-exceeding elementary school levels.

2. You like food, unless you accidentally got here Googling porn (which does not necessarily exclude you from liking food as well).

3. You have a little extra time on your hands.

4. You were the nicest, smartest, and most popular girl/boy in your class.

5. You are stalking me.

The rest, frankly, is a blank. I’d love to know more. Seriously.

168 Responses to About You

  1. Judith says:

    OK, CAL graduate, about the time AW was leaving wierd posters all over town about some restaurant she was starting.
    Foodie before my time, loved to cook in the early 70s, watched the original Julia Childs shows in black and white, on KVIE in Sacramento, my hometown. Remember her as funny but endearing, and didn’t realize she would set me on a path that would involve my own love of cooking.

    First volume of Mastering the Art was my 1st cookbook purchase, which now includes all the rest of hers, plus a few more by various authors…ever seen “”How toPlease a Husband” c. 1930? It contains a recipe for toast, very detailed, with the line “butter generously, care being taken to cover the edges”.

    I’ve lived in Danville for 20 years, where I raised 2 exceptional daughters on my own. Oldest is an amazing cook, but #2 recently complained she lacked the cooking gene, while making some delcious lemon shortbread in my house. Had her use the microplane to make 1/4 cup of lemon zest, and lead her to ask for similar cooking utensils for Xmas.
    Probably TMI, but you asked.

  2. michaelprocopio says:

    My first “about you”. How does it feel to expose yourself thusly? And, yes, I did ask.

    Now please tell me how on earth I can get a hold on a copy of How to Please a Husband?

  3. Wow, this is NOT easy. Hi, my name is Annapet and I love food. I bake a batch of macarons daily.

  4. michaelprocopio says:

    Hi Annapet! You make them daily? It’s something I’ve never attempted. Perhaps I should give them a go. I think your blog might just inspire me…

    Thanks for visiting!

  5. Hello, Michael! Yes, I do make them daily…crazy. Today with Blueberry French Buttercream. I should swim more laps, really. Have a fabulous weekend!

  6. bockychoy says:

    Hello! Found you through a link on Squidalicious. Love your blog voice – very engaging. I don’t know if I’d call myself a foodie, but I also went to CCA – the not as fabulous and very short lived San Diego branch – about ten years ago. I went just long enough to know that working in the restaurant world is not for me! I much prefer the other side of the table. I am a vegetarian and a cookbook collector. (I also have a copy of “How To Please A Husband.” Ha!) I seem to gravitate toward food blogs for my leisure reading, though I don’t really think of myself as a very good cook. I also have my own blog, but I am new at writing for public consumption and I don’t quite know where my posts are headed as yet. I started it as a way to deal with some residual grief over the deaths of my father and friend and a means for letting off steam about parenting an autistic child. Probably more than you wanted to know, but there you have it! Oh, and absolutely loved the Cherpumple post.

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Thanks, Bokchoy.

      Squidalicious, huh? Do you know the author of that blog or did you wander over there? I’ve known her for…oh… a long, long time. Since we were four. She has never ceased to amaze me in all the years we’ve been friends.

      My blogging advice to you is this: If you’re concerned about writing for public consumption, don’t be. Just write as though you are writing for yourself and/or the entertainment of a few friends. Death is something tricky to write about but, as with anything as emotionally complex as the fall out that surrounds it, it’s a wonderful cathartic thing to do, if only to help clarify your feelings. There may be somethings you wish to keep private, other things you feel you want to share. Just go with your gut. Whatever the case, just keep writing.

      Michael

      P.S. Okay, does EVERYONE have this “How to Please a Husband” book except me? I am putting it promptly onto my wish list.

      • bockychoy says:

        I don’t know Squidalicious in person. Probably got there through a wordpress autism tag or something – love her writing. My son is seven and autistic with many similar issues. And yes, “How to Please a Husband” is a definite must-have. My mom has a book called “How to Boil Water.” I’ve been coveting that one for years.

  7. neelee says:

    hello micheal
    Iam foodi and love to try new food, never been to greek resturant. I have heard about coffee reading but never had one. After reading you’r blog I really like to get a reading. If you please let me know which resturant in bay area have good greek food and good coffee reader.
    thank you

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Hello neelee. Sorry for the tardy response. The first place that comes to mind for great Greek food and Greek coffee is Kokkari Estiatorio. Have you been there? If you’re lucky, someone might just read your coffee grounds.

  8. Michael, I just wanted to thank you for the delicious skordalia recipe from your blog. I think your version was even better than the one you served us at the restaurant in San Francisco last month. It is certainly a recipe where the finished product is greater than the sum of the ingredients. Dori

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Dori– So very glad you liked my recipe. And, yes, I would have to agree with you (whole-heartedly) about the finished product being greater than its parts.

      Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog and taking the trouble to comment.

      Michael

  9. julie says:

    I met you over a delicious hot cruller break, which only portends good things about our relationship, I think. ;-)

    Now I visit here and find out that you’re a freaking brilliant writer, too. YAY.

  10. jodi says:

    lol, why didn’t I notice this? Although *tapping finger on teeth* it’s probably because most people have “about me”s, you have an “about you”. I might just rip off you idea, thank you in advance. :)

    I make soup. And sauces. I used to make “cooks”. *sigh* Life happens. I also have scars all over my arms because I’m a really good grill, but that’s a little tmi.

    I write. You probably noticed.

    I can’t remember how I found you. Probably following a link from one of the food blogs I read. I landed on the tuna-tini page…and blinked. Love your blog. :)

    • michaelprocopio says:

      You used to make “cooks”? Is that code for something else? I’m delighted that the Martuna made you blink, ‘coz you’re one of my favorite readers.

      Cheers.

  11. gary says:

    You’re a brave man, Michael, for actually INVITING strangers to blather on about themselves. Do you do that in person too?

    Since you’ve already visited my blog, you probably already know more about me than you ever wanted, so I’ll keep this short. I’m an artist-turned-food-writer-of-a-certain-age. By “age” I mean “the ice age.”

    And like many others here, Julia was an early influence. The very first croissant I tasted was one I baked using her recipe.

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Yes, I do. Since I like to blather on about my own damned self, I think it’s only fair to give others equal time.

  12. Kemper Jackson says:

    HI Michael,
    This is totally random, but here goes….. Im casting a new Food Show for a major network and we are looking for a host. I found your blog, I love it, and would love to talk with you about the show. If you are interested, please email me at foodiecasting@me.com

    I hope to hear from you!
    Kemper

  13. Susan says:

    Hi Michael
    Did you ever respond to Kemper Jackson? Is he for real? I hope so because you would make a great host for a food show.

    Susan

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Yes, she is real. And thank you, but I took a pass. It was a lovely invitation, but it just wasn’t “me”. Whatever that might be.

  14. rachel says:

    hmmm. i’m a graduate student in health administration. i’m slightly obsessed with all things blog: food, design, etc. i’m in the process of deciding on a job offer in san francisco, so i found your blog somehow through my endless efforts to get to know the city. i’ve only been to sf once (just recently), and felt a very strong connection with everything that makes up sf. just trying to decide if my budget can manage it. i’m contemplating making my boyfriend, dog and cat live with me and all of our belongings in a 500 sq ft studio just so we can give it a whirl. i think i’ll bookmark this fab food blog.

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Rachel,

      If you feel such a strong connection to the city, by all means, make it happen. Seriously.

      And I really want to thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It makes me really, really happy that you did.

  15. In no special order:

    * I am, indeed, stalking you, but in that benevolent, want-to-read-what-you-write way, not the boiling-your-bunny way
    * Julia was not an early influence of mine. My mom, vocational cooking school, and Jeff Smith taught me everything I knew about cooking until I was well into adulthood
    * I am only slightly taller than I am round
    * I am queer, a parent, an atheist, and polyamorous
    * I used to write seriously (poetry and journalism); now I do it for fun

    • michaelprocopio says:

      I’m so glad you decided to post something here!

      Julia wasn’t an early influence of mine, either. The only cooking I watched on tv were the guest segments on Dinah! when she’s whip something up with Burt Reynolds or Robert Goulet or someone of that ilk.

      Jeff Smith was/is a total creep/asshole who made my friend Lizzy cry when he entered her cheese shop.

      It’s so rare that I have stalkers, you know. So thank you.

      • I was so totally disappointed to find out he was a creep. I loved his show so much. Then after I found out people (like Craig, his erstwhile assistant) disliked him and even were suing him, every show was tainted. I still have fond memories of watching the show with my mom; we made a few of his dishes, though, including a rather expensive Peking Duck, and they all *sucked*. Still, I hear I am a wonderful egg cook, and I owe that all to his show.

  16. happy monday. update: baking macarons on a weekly basis now.

    • michaelprocopio says:

      I am currently full of admiration for you– I’ve never dared to make macarons. Perhaps you will give me the courage to give them a go.

  17. Michael!
    I adore your blog! I can’t recall how I originally came across it but I look forward to your updates. Actually; as I pause for a moment, I believe I came across your culinary blog after reading from another of your forums – a lovely personal story about riding the school bus and “popularity” – yes, that was exactly how I found myself here. I suppose that’s rather close to stalking, isn’t it?
    Oh yes, but about me…
    Poor, single mom with a rich imagination and an abundance of creativity. A sometime Computer Programmer, Insurance Broker and Administrative Zombie. Currently a school bus driver with vague literary aspirations – a 50-something zoomer who is crazy about roller-blading, food and literature and doing my own thing.

    xo,
    Juddzz

    • michaelprocopio says:

      I am so delighted you stopped by the “About You” section. I love it when people take the time to share a little bit about themselves with me. And I adore anyone who adores my blog. (Wink).

      Thank you very, very much!

  18. DW says:

    Hi Michael,

    I found your blog while looking around for what people had to say about the Negroni. I was considering the issue because a friend had just sent me this link:

    http://www.findeatdrink.com/Index/Drink/Entries/2010/9/9_recipe_negroni_sbagliato.html

    Being ever intrepid and a great fan of interesting things on the grill—I’ll invite you over for grilled pizzas sometime—I dutifully marinated some oranges and set out to make this drink. Now I’m with you that the Negroni is a species of perfection, so I’m never happy when somebody borrows the name for a lesser concoction however inventive. The “Sbagliato” is already a problem, and with the sugars from the orange, there just isn’t going to anything left of that beautiful ballet of bitters that is a Negroni. That’s when I decided that Joe Campanale is trying to make the wrong drink and we should ditch that sparkling wine distraction. Those yummy slices of burnt orange should be in this:

    Grilled Orange Americano

    1 grilled orange wedge
    1 ounce Campari
    1 ounce sweet red vermouth
    2 ounces soda water

    This could well become my standard aperitif for a grill party. Anyway, this is a drink I thought you might like to consider. Glad I found your blog.

  19. beefpiranha says:

    Found you on eater today. I’m a waiter, and I now love your blog. I now shamelessly promote my blog, which is a food blog that is of no threat to you…because my blog is also about cats, pandas, my sex life etc.

    Best to you…I’ll be reading!

    Shaun
    http://beefpiranha.wordpress.com/

    • Michael Procopio says:

      Shaun,

      It’s a pleasure to serve you, fellow waiter. If you manage to include cats, pandas, and your sex life into the same post, I will definitely be reading you as well.

      Michael

  20. dkzody says:

    50 something retired school teacher who has moved to the big city to start part 3 of her life. Found your blog through a tweet. I love to cook most times, but seldom use recipes except as jumping- off places. I love to eat at all times.

    • Michael Procopio says:

      Okay, HOW did I miss this? Apologies.

      I love that you say you’re starting part 3 of your life. I’m nearing the end of part 2 myself and currently assessing my progress.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog.

      Michael

  21. beefpiranha says:

    Michael,

    Heaven help me, I can only hope for a day where that happens. But I won’t force it, pandas just hate it when you “ask.”

    :)Shaun

    • Michael Procopio says:

      Pandas are shy creatures. Except perhaps when one succeeds in getting them drunk on tender bamboo shoots that one has soaked overnight in plum wine. Works like a charm every time.

  22. Kitt says:

    24, recently married to a Marine Officer who is also my high school sweetheart (but it was prep school, so it’s not as cheesy), living in North Carolina against my wishes, daughter of a gay man (and a straight woman), food blogger who’s waiting for someone to offer her $1 million to write a book about food memories (or for more than 1,000 visitors a month), and absolutely, utterly, unequivocally in love with your blog. your voice is clear and entertaining, and your recipes make me hungry.

    • Michael Procopio says:

      Oh, you can’t fool me. Prep schools have a high cheese factor, too. It’s just much nicer cheese.

      If that person of organization who offers you $1 million for your book deal, please send him/her/it my way. I’ll do one for half that.

      I’m really glad you decided to stop by and share a bit of yourself with me (even though it tok me two weeks to get back to you [I've been in hiding]).

      Hope to hear from you again!

      Michael

  23. Walter Ezell says:

    After 16 years (to the day) as owner of Menu Works (a menu design and printing company) I sold the business and went to work for the new owner. This career led to an appalling obsession with food photography, which shows no signs of relenting. In 2009 I did a 365 project. Photograph each of my breakfasts for a year. They are posted on flickr under my identity as wikipix. Now I’m just getting started with a blog called The Food Reader and am still finding my voice in this new endeavor.

    • Michael Procopio says:

      I think it would be a greater personal challenge for me to eat 365 breakfasts in a year, let alone photograph them every day. Cudos. Please send recipe for morning energy bars. Much needed.

      If you’re looking for your voice, I suggest you don’t go very far looking. Just be yourself and write about what interests you. Don’t worry about trying to be anything other than yourself because it’s exhausting work and you’ll wind up having a nervous breakdown in the middle of one of your breakfasts. You’ve got your own voice. It may take a little while to warm up, but it’ll come.

      Thanks for visiting,

      Michael

  24. Annapet says:

    Happy Holidays, Michael!

  25. Judy says:

    Ciao- welcome to my world- another SF’r gone expat. Turning 30 in SF and being a single woman, spending much to much time at places like the Stud and Hamburger Mary’s I fled to France and Italy for a break before moving up to the wine country to break out on my own as a pastry chef after 7 years in a 5 star hotel. J’adore France, but my first trip to Italy was my last. It is now home. I turned in my pastry chef title to become cooking teacher. We all now know it was Catherine de’ Medici that taught the French to cook! Found the boy of my dreams who is now my house-husband, I spend my time Over a Tuscan Stove http://www.divinacucina-blog.com

  26. Sasa says:

    1. New fangirl of Food for the Thoughtless via WORC.
    2. A hangry monster when not fed properly and at the correct intervals.
    3. Half Kiwi half Japanese though I’m not sure which half is which.
    4. Live in Austria, hate snow.
    5. Not sure if I was the nicest or most popular girl or boy in my class but was definitely the best at spelling. And enjoyed pointing out mistakes, annoyingly, to those who had made them. Somewhat less so now, though I do admit to experiencing a frisson of schadenfreude when professionally printed signs say things like “confectionary.”
    6. Now worried I have made a spelling mistake in this comment.

  27. Laurie says:

    Hi Michael,
    I just found your blog through the White on Rice Couple’s blog post about you today. What a treasure! Your post about Faggots made me cry, but so glad that you faced your fear and turned out a lovely recipe. Kudos to you.

    I started blogging about a year ago. This post pretty much explains where I come from, and why I love to cook: http://www.fishtailsandpearls.com/2010/05/cooking-can-be-life-changing-event.html. Blogging is a just a hobby, although the hours I spend on it one might wonder. I work full time as a global marketing director for a software company. My company recently purchased a company based in Paris and Munich, so I’ve been able to travel to both lately which suits me just fine. Love all the new blogging material traveling to nice cities has to offer.

    I continue to tweak my blog, and contemplate moving over to WordPress. Presently, I am working on improving my photographs, so I loaded up the manual for my camera onto my Kindle and I read it every night until I fall asleep…that doesn’t take long.

    What a pleasure to find you, and I look forward to following along.

    Best, Laurie

    • Hello, Laurie.

      Thanks very much for the message. I really had no idea how much that faggot post affected people. I’m now very glad I went ahead and wrote it.

      Congratulations on surviving your first year as a blogger. I’ve been examining my own lately and have come to see it as childlike in its development: The first year spent eating too much and filling too many diapers with marginal content, etc. I think I’ll save the rest of what I could say about it for another blog post, since I just came up with that. ;-).

      But I will leave you with one bit of advice: beware the Terrible Twos!

      Glad to have you along and thank you again,

      Michael

  28. ellie says:

    hello Michael! i was transmitted to your blog via the White on Rice Couple and their “portrait” of you as a- (and in a thick french accent)- GOURMAND! wow that sounds formal. anyways- i am utterly intrigued by your witty tone and i am utterly pleased to fine one food blogger to finally respond to their commentors! shocked and pleased. you are a very kind man and i hope whatever happened to you before can be healed because those people who treat you badly will have no good results given to them. i promise. take it like this- you were once a scarred worm, but you are now a blossoming butterfly. gosh that sounds cliche. pleasure to meet you and blessing to you this fateful year~ e

    • Hello Ellie.

      You mean other bloggers don’t respond to their commenters? Maybe I’m going about this all wrong.

      Thanks for the lovely note– I’m delighted you’re enjoying my blog, because I’m enjoying writing it.

      I’ve never considered myself a scarred worm, but I am here to self-examine, so I will look into it. Blossoming butterfly I can handle.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  29. kitchenbeard says:

    OK, this is going to sound stalker(ish)…… Saw a picture of you on Tartelette’s photo stream on Facebook, googled your name and then an hour later saw you also referenced in the CNN article and figured I’d say. Please let me know if the restraining order is needed.

    • I guess I’m all over the place today. Do you know Tartelette? She’s a very lovely woman.

      And, presently, I would have to say that a restraining order is not necessary. When odd little bits of food start showing up on my doorstep, I may have to reconsider.

      Michael

      • kitchenbeard says:

        Tartelette and I are facebooks friends but I’d love to sit down with her and pick her brain about food photography and food writing and just in general. Altho I don’t say it, she was the inspiration for my most recent Examiner article on pot de creme.

  30. Rachael says:

    I saw your blog featured on Eatocracy…CNN…
    Nice to read something newsworthy for a change and important.

    I have a food site myself, if you can call it that. My passions involve travel, diversity and food which I have tried to intermingle. Whether people read it or not, I enjoy the journey myself.

  31. Aphrodite says:

    Hi Michael

    I just came across your blog via Eatocracy too. It’s great and I look forward to reading more. I’ve just started food blogging and I love finding inspiring reading. I’m a fan of healthy living but of course not all the time!

    Aphrodite

  32. Susan says:

    Hi Michael

    I can tell you how I found you and that would tell you a lot about me. I was googling “white lady, sidecar, mainbrace,and between the sheets” and up you popped. You see I enjoy watching movies that have scenes that relate to food or drink or cooking. After watching “Evil Under the Sun”, I was curous to find out more about the cocktails that Daphne offered Poirot. I enjoy movies and I especially enjoy movies that have food scenes. For example, there are over 50 scenes in the Godfather that to food. It would be fascinating if you were to blog about some of those scenes and the respective recipes. Also, have you noticed that in “Brideshead Revisited” most of the food being served looks pale white in color except for the Christmas dinner scene in which the food served looked brown. You may find my interests in movie scenes to be strangely boring but that’s me.

    Leave the gun. Take the cannolis. (godfather scene
    after killing Paulie.

  33. Lisa Shenk says:

    Hi Michael, found you through WORC as well as many others, it appears. I am a new blogger, really, really, new….don’t have a very nice camera, yet, have started doing some research. Anyhoo, I too, got a little teary in your faggot post, though I am not quite that adventurous in eating, I don’t think I would try that one.
    I love to cook, love to try new recipes, and have a great husband that will try anything I make, at least once. I have joked that if I ever write a book, it would be titled something like, “Confessions of an ADHD Farmers’ Daughter”, but that would imply that he was ADHD, it is I, though, that has a little trouble with that! I have a bad habit of saying, “that looks like fun, let’s try that”, and “that sounds like fun, let’s do that”. In fact just the other day I wanted to see specific differences in “hot” and “sweet” Italian sausage, and ended up grinding up 16lb. of pork shoulder and making my own, it was quite good, too! I ended up naming my blog after this, though it is a little much to type, so someday hope to come up with a catchy, shorter title! If you have any wild suggestions, I am open! Love your posts, keep em coming.

    • Lisa,

      I was in the market for a shorter, catchier blog name myself. I have since given up all hope of coming up with something clever.

      16 pounds? Good gravy, that’s a lot of pork shoulder.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and telling me a bit about yourself!

      You don’t need a really, really nice camera. With a bit of luck and practice, one can get great photos from a little point-and-shoot. Hell, one can even get stunning images with an iPhone these days. Just keep plugging away at writing and cooking and taking photos with what you’ve got. It’s fun. Lots and lots of fun.

      Except for those times when one feels as if one cannot write or cook or photograph or do anything right, in which case I advise you to walk away from your computer and ingest a small martini. Works like a charm.

      Michael

  34. I somehow feel pressured to tell you about me, I hate that feeling. How’d you create the group meeting ambiance using flattery? (Pure. t. genius, I tell ya.) Those group meetings with the metal fold-up/out chairs were the worse. I hated the obligatory ” go around the circle and introduce yourself.” My lower inevitably ended up numb because some maroon always feels the need to yap—on and on, until the break of dawn about nothingness.

    I’ll sum up what most people here people saying in fewer words:
    ” Hi, my name is ______. I’m 2+ years a pretentious foodie.”

    Alright, fold up the chairs and let’s go home.

    Fo’ serious:

    We make Pops. We love food. We love how food brings people together. We love that once one chooses to sit down, the table becomes invincible to the hurtful isms and food gives way to color, flavor and deep emotions. Most importantly, we both had rat tails in 2nd and 3rd grade.

    • I would just like to correct a ” tense, ” for 200, Alex: felt*.

      And poor syntax for another 300: what most people are* saying…

    • Hello, Cranky.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Question: Did the short-lived television series Square Pegs at all influence either of your decisions to wear rat tails? It’s something my other readers might very well want to know.

  35. Lawrence says:

    I am very glad I did a Google search for “Coronation Chicken.” This site is nicely done, amusing, and so far, I have not read a thing by you, Michael, with which I could disagree.

    I am a 50 year old gay man living in an academic village in Northeastern Ohio.
    I am also a member of The United Church of Christ, and am trying to be a caring, justice-seeking, steward of life. (Democratic, and I VOTE. I am also, if it matters, pro-choice. “Safe, Legal, Rare!”.) I also have not had a drink in nearly XXX years, and am indeed familiar with church basements and (generally) abysmal coffee. I am usually content with not drinking.

    People with limited perspectives have called me “a gourmet cook,” a notion I seriously reject. I try to say that I am “a good cook who usually likes to cook.” Very few of them grasp the difference.

    I like Mrs. Child, but do not generally emulate her, nor wish to do so. I thought the book and the movie had far too much Julie, and not enough Julia. Ms. Streep NAILED her, as I knew she would. Stanley Tucci was wonderful as Paul C. Child.

    I used to really like Food Network, but I cannot abide what it has become. Fortunately, I live on next to nothing a year, and had to decide between a high speed internet connection or cable television. I feel smarter and saner for forgoing television.

    As for cookbook authors and food essayists, I will make a (very) partial, partisan list here: Jean Anderson (The New German Cookbook, Process This!, A Love Affair With Southern Cooking.) John and Matt Lewis Thorne (Simple Cooking, American Pig, Mouth Wide Open.) Irma, Marion, Ethan Rombauer-Becker, (The Joy Of Cooking, all editions, EXCEPT for the 1996 disaster.) Beatrice Ojakangas (The Finnish Cookbook, Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand, The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever.) Marion Cunningham (The Fannie Farmer Cookbook {1979}, The Breakfast Book, The Supper Book..)

    After years of dealing with an inadequate, non-self cleaning electric range provided by the landlord, I now have a wonderfully adequate self-cleaning gas range, provided by me. Also a really good bottom (!) freezer refrigerator, likewise. Until the local weather turned seasonal, I was having a great deal of fun slow-roasting asparagus in butter, and garnishing it with freshly shredded Parmesan.

    I had the blessing of a mother who was an excellent cook, without regard to the fact that she was a teacher of Home Economics.

    I have taught cooking, particularly the food processor in non-academic settings. I have four food processors, ranging in size from 2 cups to 12 cups.

    I do not have a blog, but am suffering from an overload of encouragement to start one. I have a digital camera, but the thing frightens me, and I have not learned this “uploading” stuff. (I take a tiny delight in being considered somewhat Luddite.)

    A mackerel tabby named Madame Rosa seems to cohabitate contentedly.

    There ARE a few things I have not mentioned, but a Bear does deserve not to divulge everything upon first introduction.

    • Wow! What a great “About You”. Apologies for only commenting on certain areas of your comment, but you have four food processors? Four? Good gravy, man.

      Also, I love that “academic villages” exist. It gives one hope for the world.

  36. Barbara says:

    Hi Michael
    Istarted following you on Twitter recently after seeing you mentioned in someones tweet. This is the first time I’ve visited your blog. Great reading and I look forward to reading more.

    About you is a nice feature. I’ve been blogging just over 6 years and am probably one of the older bloggers about. I live in Brisbane, Australia. Are you of Greek heritage?

    • Hello Barbara! Thanks very much for adding to the “About You” page, which can only make it nicer. Blogging for six years? You’re practically a pioneer! I think I had barely gotten around to buying a mobile phone six years ago.

      And I am not Greek. I just play one four nights weekly at the restaurant in which I work, which is Greek. Are you Greek?

      • Sophie says:

        Where do you recommend good Greek food, other than Kokkari?
        I love Horta and came here by way of Bay Area Bites and your article on Horta. My Father was born in Crete in 1928 and survived the wars in part because of horta.
        Thank you for your wisdom,
        Sophie in Walnut Creek

        • Hello Sophie,

          I’m afraid I don’t know any other places for good Greek food other than Kokkari for the simple reason that, after a few days in a row of working in a Greek restaurant, I’ve had enough of Hellenic-inspired food for the week (As much as I do truly love it). I’ve never sought out other places. I’m sorry I can’t be of much help.

          Michael

  37. Barbara says:

    No I’m not Greek. My son recently married a Canadian born Greek girl.

  38. Gary Allen says:

    Well, Michael, most of your suppositions are correct… but I’m not saying which ones. I WILL say that the ones you got wrong were hilariously wrong.

    I’m a food writer, and occasional blogger — and I only discovered your blog because you (or someone who has visited your blog) visited my website from yours. I hope you (or whoever) enjoyed themselves as much as I’ve enjoyed yours.

    Why do I like your blog so much? Aside from your wonderfully mirth-producing observations, your writing exhibits a delightful propensity for procrastination. You take even longer getting to the point than I do. Needless to say, I consider that a GOOD thing.

  39. I was #4.

    Great meeting you guys tonight at Irvin’s Dessert Party. Irvin was right — love the humor in your writing.

  40. amanda says:

    always lucid and rewarding.

  41. Dr. CaSo says:

    1. My literacy level is hopefully not too bad because I’m a university prof;
    2. I do like food, too much in fact;
    3. I present I have a little extra time on my hand but I really shouldn’t;
    4. I was definitely not the nicest nor the smartest nor the most popular girl in my class;
    5. I just “met” you so I am not stalking you… but I might in the future;
    6. I hit my right boob with the leg of an IKEA table yesterday, which led me to conclude that the quality of these things is crap but they can still be dangerous;
    7. I live not too far from the North Pole and expecting snow any time now;
    8. I am going to spend for the first time of my life a day in our huge mall, which leads me to the conclusion that people CAN change;
    9. I have two cats and cat hair is a secret ingredient in most of the food I cook;
    10. I am going to buy chicken and 269 cloves of garlic and try to get rid of my 269 vampires, thank you very much!

    • Okay, your “About You” is marvelous. Truly.

      Now, I have an important question for you. Regarding #6: were you assembling this Ikea table. Is it an especially high table? Or were you crawling around on the floor. I need to know so I have an accurate mental picture of the accident.

      And I hear that cat hair is an excellent thickener for sauces. If you do a post on cat hair cuisine, I will promote it to my utmost ability.

      Thanks so much for taking some of your (#3) little extra free time to say hello.

      Very sincerely,

      Michael Procopio

      • Dr. CaSo says:

        Haha, you are most welcome! I like that I say in #1 that my literacy level is great but then make a few bad spelling/grammar mistakes…

        Regarding #6, I was actually trying to destroy the IKEA table because I hated it. So I turned it upside down and tried to pull its 4 legs (because I don’t have a PhD in IKEA furniture and had not realized that you could simply unscrew the damn things)… So I pulled and pulled… and it did come out but there was a bit of misdirection involved in the movement… You can see a picture of the weapon right there: http://cestpasmoijeljure.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/lespion-qui-venait-du-froid/

  42. Jenni Jansen says:

    Hey Michael,
    I am a chef by trade, though I haven’t worked on a restaurant line in years. I am a mother by choice, though I do have an almost ten year old daughter who was a welcome oops-didn’t expect this at 40 baby. Lastly, but certainly not least, I am a writer, since the moment I could hold a pencil.
    I have been a stay at home Mom for 17 years. Sadly, I drive a red mini van at present, though I am no soccer Mom! I have been trying, without success or enough money to make it happen, to get divorced from another chef. I am struggling to play catch up with a career in food that I stepped away from so many years ago.
    I just discovered your wonderful blog. it is inspiring, insightful and best of all funny!
    I began a blog 3 years ago about starting an organic dog biscuit business. You can read it at http://www.diaryofadogbiscuit.blogspot.com. I am curious to know more about your back-round. The more I know about this and my fellow bloggers, the better chance I have at being a more successful blogger myself. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated! Meanwhile, I will enjoy following you!
    Jenni
    In Philly

    • Hello, Jenni.

      I was more of a scribbler from the moment I could hold a pencil. I didn’t know I could write until much, much later when I learned to hold a gin bottle.

      Tell me, did you stumble upon my blog by Googling “dog cookie”? I’ve got a recipe. Hell, I used to eat them. We may have a lot in common, minus the children and minivan:

      http://foodforthethoughtless.com/2010/06/dog-cookies-treats-for-man-and-beast/

      I’m not sure if I have any words of wisdom for bloggers other than to just be yourself. Write about what you want to write about and don’t worry so much what other people are doing.

      Cheers and thanks so much for taking the time to say hello!

      Michael

  43. Kirsten says:

    Ah ha! About me?! :)

    A friend posted a link to your blog on facebook. That happened about 3 hours ago and I’ve been casually reading my way through your blog since then, procrastinating all the things I might possibly want to consider thinking about starting later.

    I’m a Bay Area native, but I live in Poland now. I’m a middle school music teacher working in a large fancy American School here and I will one day move back to California when they stop firing all the music teachers.

    Reading your blog makes me miss home.

    • I love it when people leave comments here. I’m so glad I can provide a source of procrastination for you, since I am often the major source of my own.

      Tell me, has the firing of musicians begun in Poland? Have they forgotten Chopin so soon?

      • Kirsten says:

        No, no… Poland loves it’s musicians. Just this past week, I went to an American-Idol style contest for tenors. They sang their arias complete with full orchestra, lighting effects, ballerinas and ballroom dancers at the same time, costumes, and two formally-attired judges yukking it up in the corner. And the hall was full!!

        Poland has made much of their claim to Chopin… there’s a huge Chopin summer concert series in the Rose garden sharing his name under the large statue of him. The airport and loads of other buildings bear his name. Just imagine if they had his whole body in Warsaw instead of just his heart!!

        Kind regards to you. :)

  44. NOLAnn says:

    Michael – I like your blog. Lillith told me to visit, so thank her. I just made nearly perfect soft boiled eggs for my breakfast here in New Orleans. You know they suggest that you reduce the boiling time if you are closer to sea level. But none of the recipes ever suggest what to do about the boiling time if you are below sea level, as in New Orleans. I have been practicing, and I have it narrowed down to about 4 minutes 30 seconds for the consistency I like. How do you like your eggs, Michael?

    • If you’re a friend of Lillith’s, you are okay in my book.

      Odd, I’ve never given the least thought to sub-sea level cooking. I wonder if there are any cookbooks devoted to the subject.

      As for how I like my eggs, I think Dean Martin can answer that question for you:

      Cheers,

      Michael

  45. Tammy says:

    I came late in life to cooking and even later to blogging. The writing has always been with me, through various corporate careers and sideline projects, but as evidenced by my just-hatched blog (a wee 8-weeks old), I’ve always been a late adopter. No matter. I’ll catch up sooner or later. Or not. (What’s your take on the rumors about the death of the food blog? See Adam Roberts’ recent post on the Amateur Gourmet.)

    Great storytelling and interesting characters have always inspired me, which is why your writing keeps me coming back for more. But blogging idols understand things like that.

    FYI: Kale is a colon’s best friend: my fiber of choice. And since I already know how clever you are, I don’t even have to point out my double pun there. There’s a bumper sticker on a car in my neighborhood that reads: http://eatmorekale.com/

    I’ve always envied that anonymous person’s super-green lifestyle. I’m not the bumper sticker type (late adopters rarely are) but I support the sentiment. Don’t mess with my greens!

    • How the devil did I not respond to this?

      More than two months later, I offer apologies.

      The food blog is not dead, it’s simply a genre going through a fit of growing pains. I hope.

      Even though I am not a fan of kale itself, I am (oddly) a huge fan of the Eat More Kale campaign. And now I can only hear Marilyn Monroe singing about how kale is her colon’s best friend. So thank you for that.

  46. Marlene says:

    Why have I not seen this before? I’m sorry I posted my menu, but if you lived closer, you could have come! In the meantime, I cook a lot. I test recipes for Michael Ruhlman. My dad passed on his love of cooking to me and he, my brother and I spent many hours in the kitchen together, sometimes with hilariously disastrous results.

    I m not stalking you. At least I don’t think I am.

    • Oh, feel free to stalk me, if you like. I never do anything embarrassing with my windows open. Ever.

      You test recipes for Ruhlman? I did not know that. Please let me know if he ever starts testing recipes for hair care products.

  47. Marlene says:

    LOl. I’ll be sure to let you know.

  48. Sara says:

    *I am most definitely not stalking you (although this shirt you have on today really does look better on you than the one you wore yesterday…)

    *While I am in my mid- to late-twenties, I constantly have to remind myself that I’m not actually eighteen anymore and have been known to double check my age on Facebook (I can’t really be that old, can I?!)

    *I work two jobs because I apparently have an expensive lifestyle and will be paying off the most useless English degree for the rest of my life.

    *I love to cook and bake as much as I love to eat (which is a lot), which is a problem because I absolutely detest sweat.

    *I have also eaten dog biscuits. They were not spectacular.

    • I recently reminded myself that I was actually younger than I thought I was. I typically start practicing for my new age a good six months before my birthday. That way, there is no shock.

      Also, have you tried my dog biscuit recipe? I wouldn’t hail them as “delicious”, but they are very palatable, in human terms.

      I’m so happy that you left a comment here. This is my most favoritest page of the blog.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  49. Yes, I am functioning at a literacy rate well-exceeding elementary school levels, I have one bachelor’s and two Master’s in Political Science which sit in a drawer gathering dust, as I am currently unemployed, which means that I have ALOT of time in my hands to enjoy food and porn, sorry I meant to say porK, and stalk you and many others like you on the web! Unfortunately I was not the nicest/smartest/most popular girl in my class but this changed drastically when I started drinking wine, which I love as much as porn – damn! again meant porK.
    So now you know six things about me….for the rest I will keep you posted as I find out..
    Maria

    • You make me glad that I didn’t bother with a Masters degree. I have so many other things collecting dust in my home.

      And, if you give me a few minutes, I’m certain I could probably find some interesting pork porn links for you to enjoy.

      With wine, of course.

      Michael

  50. Jenni Jansen says:

    Hello Michael,
    I am thrilled to make your acquaintance! Not sure that I recall how or where I found you, which speaks volumes, when I consider my ADD condition. I am a chef, writer and photographer living in the city of Brotherly Love. I have been on the blog train for roughly five years, give or take, and often off this Orient Express, more than on.

    I just finished reading your latest piece. I laughed and cried aloud. What a touching tribute to your Grandmother. I will add her to my “if you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?” list. My Gramma Gert was a tough broad with a heart of gold. She taught me to cook with her iron fist.

    I have been caught up in a nasty divorce for three years. After being a stay at home Mom of 3 kids, for 16 years I am excited to re-invent myself for the umpteenth time, but on my terms this go around!

    I look forward to your every post. Keep up the fantastic work. You earned my vote for Best Blog on Saveur Mag site. Good LUCK! You deserve to win!

    Time for me to get back on mt train!

    Jenni in Philly

  51. Christy says:

    Michael,

    It’s all your fault, really. You posted something on Twitter and someone I follow re-tweeted it. Love the blog. Five stars, man.

    I used to blog and think about going back to it often. It wasn’t a food blog. (I know. I know.) That said, I love good food and like cooking. I almost never use the dishwasher. (That was random, no? Well.)

    My better half is a scientist and so the day-t0-day here is always interesting/cool/strange/busy. I, myself, studied philosophy. It was good for the mind and bad for the wallet.

    Oh, and I’m not stalking but you can count me in for the long haul.

    Regards,
    Christy

    PS Are waterbeds still in fashion? Really?

    • Christy,

      If you are assigning blame, I am accepting.

      I almost never use a dishwasher myself, but that is only because I lack one. And I like pillows. I through that in to make you feel more comfortable in your randomness.

      Thank you for letting me know you like my site. It’s very lovely of you to tell me. Seriously.

      Cheers,

      Michael

      P.S. I hope to g-d waterbeds are no longer in fashion, but I wouldn’t put it past hipsters to latch onto “ironic” bedroom furniture. With that in mind, I am grateful I live on the top floor of my building with only the roof to leak upon me.

  52. Dan Main says:

    Hello Michael. Your blog has already occupied far too much of my day, and I suspect is likely to do so again and again with the same persistance of my former caffeine addiction. I live in Cornwall, England, I’m lucky enough to work from home as a kind of consultant (what kind? I don’t know), and I have a food blog that is supposed to be a hobby, but recently seems to torture me in moments of crisis when I think I should be spending more time/less time/more effort to make it in something to provide me with an income, which is unlikely given that my food interests lurch between vegan gluten free food and huge great bloody slabs of undercooked meat. Reading your delightful musings is a reminder of the reason I started it in the first place, to write about what I enjoy about food, and to entertain me and possibly some other people. I have very little time to spare and generally spend it doing things that I shouldn’t.

    • Dan,

      All food blogs are torture– especially when they do not provide income (like mine). I sometimes wonder why I bother.

      Oh, yes. Because every so often, I receive comments as kind as the one you just wrote to me. Thank you.

  53. Nina says:

    Yes to all except #3 and #5. I just came across your blog in that random cross-blog-reading way and I don’t know where you are — so coy! — but I suspect the Bay Area. Just feels like the Bay Area to me. I’m from Berkeley but I’m parking it here in Maryland for the next year while I finish my Culinary Arts Entrepreneurship program so I can make the jump from teaching to Something Better.

    Your post on anchovies made me laugh. I had just recently resolved to try fresh mackerel, but perhaps I’ll give anchovies a whirl instead.

    I had to type that sentence over four times because of my dang cat’s aggressively inconvenient tail. Which gives me an idea of what to do with the anchovies should they not be to my taste. So it’s settled, then!

    • Did you get around to trying the anchovies yet?

      Apologies, but I essentially took August off from my blog without doing the whole “Dear Gentlereaders, I am so self-absorbed that I feel I need to tell you I won’t be posting for a few weeks to prevent you from panicking because I know all you do is sit by your computer waiting for my next blog entry.”

      I love mackerel, too, but I have never prepared it. If you’ve got any tips, please let me know.

      Cheers and thanks for stopping by,

      Michael

  54. Nina says:

    Just saw your thoughts on cupcakes. Now I’m sure I like you.

    http://beanpieandbaking.com/2012/04/12/cupcakes-bah-humbug/

  55. Paige says:

    1. You are functioning at a literacy rate well-exceeding elementary school levels. <—yep. (didn't want to hurt myself answering the first question.)

    2. You like food, unless you accidentally got here Googling porn (which does not necessarily exclude you from liking food as well). <—Love food too much. Not really interested in porn. Well, unless…nevermind. That could be too much for a first post. Can you love food too much?

    3. You have a little extra time on your hands. <—yep. (again, going minimalist here)

    4. You were the nicest, smartest, and most popular girl/boy in your class. <—hmmm, that's been too long ago to remember. Or, maybe I'm just blocking it all out?

    5. You are stalking me. <—no, just the site. Unless you are synonymous? Another hmmmm.

    The rest, frankly, is a blank. I’d love to know more. Seriously. <—-more? Ask and you shall receive. (If only….)

    • Paige– I know several people who love food too much. I believe there is a 12 step program for just such a thing. And I have a deep appreciation for minimalism. Thanks so much for saying hello.

      Cheers,

      Michael

      • Paige says:

        I can imagine, given your uncommon habit of replying to posts by followers, that minimalism can be a saving grace at times. And, I’m sure, you wish some followers would subscribe to the theory as well.
        Moving on.
        After reading about the Draft Dodger (I am giving it much deserved respect by capitalizing the name) I felt an uncanny connection to your experience with this created libation. However, my experience was interestingly opposite in ways. Instead of Kentucky bourbon, I chose Canadian blended whiskey which was bottled mixed with honey as opposed to maple syrup from Canada. Who knows, maybe the honey was from Kentucky? Kentuckian honey? (Minimalist, Paige…geez.)
        Instead of preventing taxation, I prevented consumption by the teenagers that flocked to my home that Labor Day weekend as well as dodging labor (instead of the draft) and trying not to think about what the hormone-riddled teenagers may have been up to. I mixed it with Canada Dry while it was available and then some other things that didn’t much matter half way through the bottle. Very smooth. Too smooth. I might have been considered for a 12 step program for consumption if I kept it up after that weekend.
        Cheers, love….happy dodging….

  56. Avery says:

    I have no idea how I found you; most likely trolling the internet for food porn, and found you instead. And delightedly so.

    I’m creative; a writer, painter, sewer, comic artist, and cook. Nothing makes me happier than working with my hands, unless it is someone else working with their hands. For me. I work in fashion, and like making things handsome. I detest glitter, and think clip-on bow ties are awesome because they are cheap, portable, and suave.

    I adore your writing – thank you for taking the time to distribute your wit.

    • “Cheap, portable, and suave.” <– Those were once the qualities I sought in a boyfriend.

      Avery, I am very glad you found me. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me a bit about yourself. And for your high praise.

      Sincerely,

      Me

  57. Steve says:

    Michael,

    At the risk of losing my San Francisco citizenship and then, just for good measure, being stoned to death, I should confess I have zero interest in cooking. Anything. Ever. My boyfriend does that, quite nicely, and I’m lucky to have met him.

    What does interest me is stumbling across writing I wish I’d done. I love your mix of tenderness, self-confession, wit, humor and honest emotion. So excuse me for glazing over the parts about grating, blanching, et al; I have enough to worry about (fracking, not knowing my Body Mass Index, uncertainty re: how to thank my father-in-law for the cutting-board-divider-thing he made for our kitchen cabinet) without adding “learn to cook” to the list. I’m here not for the Cake Pops (delicious, I’m sure) but for the posts about Cake Pops, which are in fact about life and loss and the passage of time and the ineluctable sorrow we all feel from time to time, but are afraid to share with anyone.

    Thanks for the nourishment –
    s

  58. Aaron says:

    My name is Aaron and I’m a semi-professional stalker…

    …when it comes to interesting people in the food world, or at least those that I’m told are interesting by the powers that be (congrats on the JBFA nomination). Out of college I started working in finance, but shortly thereafter realized that I couldn’t do it as a lifelong career. I started a food blog because I thought, “Hey, I like to cook, eat, and write.” That somehow turned into me going to culinary school, quitting my job, and thrusting myself (sometimes inappropriately) into the food world. Now I cook at a restaurant in NYC and spend my nights with a glass of whiskey trying to determine what exactly I want to do with my life as I never really intended to actually cook in a restaurant with my culinary degree. I feel content to know that others like yourself end up meandering through the culinary diaspora as well, but seemingly end up at a happy place.

    Today is one of my days off and I have a little too much time on my hands. Thanks for reading and indulging my train of random thought.

    • Aaron– I think stalkers should always retain their amateur standing. It’s when one turns professional that the lawyers start to get involved. And who on earth can afford them these days? Perhaps on your next visit, we can discuss this habit you have of thrusting yourself into the food world inappropriately. One should buy it dinner first, at the very least.

      I never intended to cook in a restaurant with my culinary degree, either. Keep meandering. I hope you, too, wind up in a happy place.

      Cheers,

      Michael

      • Aaron says:

        I certainly don’t have the money for a lawyer, so I’ll be sure to keep my stalking at the amateur level. Plus, it seems like you may be speaking from personal experience—where you the stalker or the stalked?

        I took my first baby steps into the culinary world when I created my blog (thehungryhutch.com). It was a way to entertain myself back when I had a desk job. After a while I decided that wasn’t enough to satisfy my hunger and eventually found myself enrolled in culinary school. My last day at my finance job was the same week I graduated. That following Monday I started an internship at Food Arts magazine during the week, and soon after began working in a restaurant kitchen on the weekends. I spent my entire summer working pretty much every day (with maybe a grand total of two days off). So after that point I think perhaps I should be the one who gets bought the dinner. Currently, I work full time at that same initial restaurant and also work for a food writer/tv personality in my (not so abundant) free time. Next up? I’ll let you know once I figure that out.

  59. Sarah says:

    I’m here because Shauna James-Ahern said you were awesome on Twitter. And I like awesome people/places/things/writing.

  60. Karletta says:

    Actually, I was the most popular girl in my high school class but you probably already realize that…
    Always loved to cook. Went to cooking school. Realized that the actual process of cooking in a restaurant kitchen hurts. So, decided to take my culinary education to the front of the house. Managed a VERY popular ‘ladies who lunch’ restaurant in SF. The day that I actually considered strangling an old woman with her mink collar as she complained about the chicken salad was the day I said ‘au revoir’ to dealing with the public and their bizarre behavior around food. I know you and I could swap stories for hours. Now I consult to the food industry about things like new product ideas. Written a couple of cookbooks and wonderful websites like Leite’s Culinaria. Judged the James Beard Awards. Hmmm, sounding a little boring…
    Anyway, my latest venture is my new website, The Urbane Grandmother, where I am trying to figure out how to convey my love of SF to my granddaughter, age 3, and not end up at some joint that has a bouncy room and large rodents. At least not without my flask.
    P.S. Congrats on JB Nomination.

  61. Kathy Behrens says:

    The Corn Dogs of Easter came to me via a friend who appreciates the delicious in the delicious, as do I. I was raised in the Catholic church also, and I love cooking and eating and irony, and I think your recipe instructions (e.g., “2 eggs, lightly flogged”) are inspired. Sometimes I do have too much time on my hands, or I pretend to so that I can not do something else that I probably ought to be doing. Or not.

    I never was the popular one, though. It took a long time to find my peer group. My friends tend to be very bright, irreverant, good with words and lovers of food and wine. We laugh a lot. I suspect you’d fit right in.

  62. I love your blog, Michael. I found it somehow recently – the “foodie” post. Oh, how I hate that word and the clients who use it to describe what they want on their menus – “Oh, my husband’s such a foodie” No, he is not!! I also follow Amy Sherman and she has included you as one of her favorite bloggers. I’m a fledgling blogger and really appreciate your irreverent, honest, funny voice! Thank you!

    • No, Margie, thank you. It’s really lovely to hear that people like what I’m doing. And it makes me unspeakably happy when people take the time to post on the “About You” page.

      Best of luck with the new blog,

      Michael

  63. Kelly Z says:

    Can’t believe I just discovered your blog! I guess I don’t have as much time on my hands as I would like, but I was doing a search on the ‘Liberace Cooks!’ book this past week…and there was an entry from your blog. I was laughing, enjoying the recipe you included, and then found myself sucked in to a bunch of other entries (ovaltine ice cream)…while I was supposed to be working.

    I work full-time as an Epidemiologist, it is not anything like what they show in the movies (Contagion, Outbreak)…I work at the local level so it pretty tame stuff. I love to cook when I have time and I’m just genuinely interested in food. I’ve been kind of obsessed with cookbooks since I was 18 and started collecting them in college. I think my interest in cookbooks stemmed from being anthropology student…I was intrigued on why, how, and what people cooked at various points in time.

    I’ve amassed a fairly large collection, someday I will catalog it, I think I have over 150. Some are greats and some are kitschy not-so-greats but I thought they belonged somehow. In the meantime, I’m busy with a toddler and one on the way…hopefully in a few years I can return to perusing my cookbooks.

    I really enjoy your blog!

    • Kelly Z,

      I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to respond to your comment! (Apologies. I haven’t had the will to so much as look at my site since the whole awards season ended.)

      Do not downplay the importance of local-level epidemiology– I imagine it is nothing to sneeze at. Although I suppose it could be, in a very literal sense.

      You definitely have me beat on the cookbook collection front, but I do treasure my Liberace book. Now even more because it has lead you to me. Welcome.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  64. Congrats on the James Beard finalist nod! Discovered the Kentucky Jam article through there. I am an aspiring lawyer, but from a family of foodies-restauranteurs, chefs, culinary teachers, restaurant lawyers- you name it. To own up to the family name, I am attempting to start up a food blog as I cook my way through southern German specialities while studying abroad. Definitely will pore over your blog for inspiration! Danke schön~

  65. Well Michael,

    I believe it’s possible that we were separated at birth.

    I am a reformed Catholic who was also afraid to chew the Communion wafer for fear of being struck by lightning (or Sister Lizetta’s ruler.) I loved Corn Dogs for Easter.

    I’ve been serving for years (although I recently managed to extricate myself and am pursuing a full-time freelance writing career.) I love gin more than chocolate or any other food group. I am waiting for Catherine Zeta Jones to realize she’s been wasting her time with Michael Douglas and marry me instead. I will cook for her.

    I was the third smartest girl in my grade school class (behind Sarah Wall and Barbara Kline) but I was widely respected as the best speller. In our sixth grade spelling bee, all eyes were on me, and everyone knew I was going to take down those public school losers from Crestview. My first word was “hearse.” I was almost laughing out loud as I thought, “Oh, this is just gonna be too easy!”

    “Hearse. H-E-R-S-E. Hearse.”

    Dead silence.

    I literally stood in front of the mike without moving as they gently tried to usher me off the stage.

    “Denial. D-E-N-I-A-L. Denial.”

    Amen. If your travels ever bring you to Indianapolis, look me up. I’ll buy you a gin martini.

    Your sister from another mister…

    Karen Kennedy

    • Karen,

      How does one extricate one’s self from serving? Please let me know because I am all ears.

      It is a relief to know that Indianapolis is well-stocked with gin. And I love that you misspelled “hearse”. It means you are pro-life. And I don’t mean that in a reproductive rights sort of way.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me about yourself, sister.

      Cheers,

      Michael

      • Well Michael…

        I have extricated myself by finding ways to get paid for writing!
        Although the money is less and has forced me to curb my lust for online shopping, I do feel fulfillment from making money using my brain more than my back. (not that serving doesn’t require a great deal of concentration!)

        Also, I had a major wake up call that I needed to stop serving the night when I looked at a woman who was agonizing (as though lives were at stake) about her dinner choice when I was totally in weeds. She looked at me with complete desperation on her face and said, “Oh my gosh, if you were me, what would YOU get????”

        And I looked at her with a smile on my face and sweetly said, “First of all, I am thanking God that I am not you, and secondly, no irreparable damage will occur to anyone or any thing regardless of what you choose. Just pick.”

        There was total silence at the table for a moment, and then, thankfully, they all started laughing. (Apparently she does this every time they go out to eat, so they were delighted someone finally called her on it.)

        However, if I had not been the owner I would have (and should have) been fired. So I fired myself.

        Amen.

        kk

  66. Amy Milor says:

    I got here by my google search of the phrase “Christ on a cracker”. It is my favorite thing to say under duress, but have had to put that away for a while, as I work in an elementary school. Summer vacation began today, so it is back in use.

    I was also a spelling bee contender of a huge sort. 8th grade, bigtime competition in DC. I however got 6th place, and a dictionary and a savings bond. It was 1983. I lost on the word “accrete”. That is a word I had never heard before that spelling bee. I have not heard or seen it in use since then. And spellcheck is questioning my correct spelling.
    2nd place is better than 6th. I applaud you.

    I spent several hours on your website and your facebook page today. I felt totally entertained and somewhat educated. My husband says I am driven and persistent about things. I am actually just OCD. When I latch onto something I like, or want to know about, I refuse to let go.
    I would say more but I scalded two fingers cooking dinner, and it hurts to type.

    • Amy, I was 2nd place out of a small pool of students. You were 6th in a much, much larger one. It is you who should be applauded.

      You spent several hours on my pages? That’s a ridiculously high compliment. Thank you. And welcome– it’s lovely to have you here.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  67. EL says:

    Nope! You’re all wrong. I was highly unpopular (probably because of my sarcasm) and really do not have time on my hands. In fact, I don’t know where it (time) is. I fast on a regular basis (but not for religious reasons, just simplifies things). And I’m not certain that I am functioning at a literary (oops! literacy) rate higher than that of elementary school. I don’t stalk.

    Anything else you want to know? Loved the corn dogs!

  68. EL says:

    I don’t like cupcakes either. I also don’t like sweet muffins. Why? Because essentially they are just cupcakes. Mostly I don’t like cupcakes because they are too sweet and generally too bland. They also tend to be too dry. Muffin tops (and cupcake tops) also suck. I have a sweet tooth, but there are generally much more scrumptious things to eat. I mean, frosting? That type of frosting? Yuck!

  69. Roger Danley says:

    Hi Michael,
    I arrived here from a page about making pita bread; searching for new recipes to use on my 2 burner gimbaled stove and oven aboard Serenity, an Allied 36. I left a small southern Alabama town with a Whole Earth Catalog under my arm and a dream to chase the sunset to places I’d only heard of in National Geographic. Along the way I built eccentric houses, got a degree in water chemistry and married a long-haired wahine from the south seas. Of course I read “How to Please a Husband”, my grandmother had a copy. It was a turning point in my life, realizing I was different than my peers because I knew I didn’t want a wife who followed that book. Well, that and digging chicks with underarm hair. I’m sure you can imagine how folks reacted to that in Forrest Gump country. I came to cooking as the oldest of 5 kids with an invalid mother and a father working long hours in a factory. I’ll be sticking around here for a bit. You have a great sense of humour and some fantastic ideas about cooking.

  70. Chris J says:

    Ahh. How nice to be asked, and a clever way to elicit comments and, presumably, the hits on your website to make it more viable…of course, I could be wrong about that, but let me luxuriate in talking about myself.

    I used to cook with some pleasure, but ended up reading a 16-year-old and a newborn for a time till the empty nest found my wife and I in Barcelona where we discovered–food can be fabulous. I had gotten laid off from a well-paying sales job in 2008 and even then, immediately got unemployment bennies, a part time gig at a Peet’s Coffee, and an awareness that I liked food.

    My other passion was/had been/still is comics and drawing and I had a very happy and satisfying and moderately successful side-career as a dealer of said items vintage and otherwise for several years, then managed one of the preeminent comic book stores in the country, then another for awhile, but living that dream got sour, so food took first place.
    Peet’s Coffee.
    Spanish Table. Selling Spanish imported goods, paelleras, wine, etc.
    Farmstead Cheeses and Wines. Selling such (duh) for less than six months (and there is a story to why I quit which involved realizing my own self-dignity etc.)
    Berkeley Bowl West…cheese department manager. Probably my last job before eventual retirement, and a nice capper.
    I love to cook, love to bake, and love learning new things about food, cooking, cheeses, etc., and I hope one day to find a particular food passion that I can go artisanal on and develop a small market for and charge too much money for, guiltily, to privileged middle and upper class people.

    • Chris,

      Thanks for taking the time for telling me about yourself. I love to know who my readers are.

      I used to shop at Berkeley Bowl (when it had only one location– the old bowling alley) when I was extremely broke working at Zachary’s Pizza fresh out of college. I could buy a big bag of great produce for very little money to help augment my pizza-only work diet. That place was a (insert expletive here) godsend.

      Now if you somehow manage to combine your love of food and comics into a comic book about food, I will be your biggest fan.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  71. Chris J says:

    Ahh. One fine day, sir…I assure you. It will only be a matter of time.

    Tonight, a duck breast from Fatted Calf with a cobbled together apricot preserve and sherry sauce on a bed of polenta and sautéed shard with garlic and raisins. Only uncertainty is the polenta–haven’t made that for awhile.

    Had a great time in the city today with my wife–visited SF Center for the Book fr their annual Roadworks with a vintage steamroller rolling over prepared prints, a quick lunch in Hayes Valley at La Boulange, and a visit to Cookin’ on Divisadero where I picked up a chinoise for only $34–the French units at Sur La Table are $135!!

    And a visit to Comix Experience!

  72. Violet says:

    I work as a package designer at a gingerbread house company. I am doing a bit of research about trans fat free products and came across your blog, through Diary of a mad Hausfrau. I LOVE your poem about kale. I HATE kale too. But I eat it because I need the nutrients. I clicked on your site because it says, food for the thoughtless. I think about food a lot and I would like to eat well and nutritious, but not have to think about what I am eating. I would also like to become friends with the lady that bakes macarons everyday. Nice work.

  73. Chris J says:

    Kale hasn’t yet reached my overused file…unlike truffle oil or truffles. I need to eat kale and rich greens uncooked for health reasons (cooked greens contribute to kidney stones) so I will occasionally make a kale/apple/candied pecan salad which is pretty good.

  74. Pamela Poon says:

    I am an attorney and mediator from Bozeman, MT. How often does one laugh aloud when reading a recipe? It was Jesus on a corn dog that got to me. Have you ever read Anne Lamott (also a Bay Area writer)? Your writing is similar to hers (without the religious references)-poignant and hyper-engaged in life. Thanks for writing!

    • Pamela– What a (expletive) wonderful thing to write. Thank you. And I certainly know who Anne Lamott is, but I have never read her before. Maybe I will now (and add religious references as necessary).

  75. Gwen says:

    #1. I. LOVE. YOU.

    So, I thought I’d introduce myself instead of ending it with that weird, stalki-ness.

    I work at The Office of AIDS. I love it.
    I also have an Undergrad in Art History. It has come in very handy while playing trivial pursuit. I’ve played two times.
    And, I like food. A lot.
    Lastly, I like to think I’m a foodie and have a close friend who befriended me based on my knowledge of bouillabaisse. She agreed to be my friend after I told her it originated in Marseilles – I should have, instead, made up some grand history detailing my own lineage in reference to French fish stew (no part of my family emigrated from France – ever). We have been friends for 20 years. I always think of the real zingers after the fact. Curses!
    Michael, perhaps you could help me finish my book? You make me giggle. *See #1.

    • Well hello, Gwen.

      It’s lovely to know that one is loved, stalkily or otherwise. Thank you.

      And I probably would have befriended you, too, based solely upon your bouillabaisse knowledge.

      Now, as for helping you on your book… I think one must help one’s self before helping others. It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting your neighbor.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  76. Lu Procopio says:

    Estava pesquisando a respeito de origens gregas e sobre me nome de familia.Assim encontrei o seu site.

  77. Mary says:

    How I got here? I was craving galaktoboureko and was looking for a recipe of all places on Pinterest. I have also been looking for a good halva recipe. I’m Greek, was born in Egypt, lived in Greece until I was 12, lived in the midwest (Indiana) until I was 20, back to Greece until I was …..50+ and now I’m back in Indiana….I am not a blogger or chef or highly educated. I like to cook for my family, with out an apron to protect …anything. I collect recipes that I may never make. I love taking pictures that some say I’m good at. My brother is an artist in SF, he got my dads talent, I got his, my dad’s critisism and become nothing cause he said that’s all I was good at. My late husband didn’t like my cooking or cared to try new things , he was Greek, my new husband loves my cooking and I like his chicken and noodles. We are trying to start a fudge business (yummy peanut butter fudge) and he likes to say that I married him for his fudge. I hope you were bored enough to read about me. I enjoyed reading about you and I’m surprised that you dared to ask “about me”…. You should be careful of what you ask, you haven’t learned your lesson? BTW…when I was around 5 and had a tummy ache, my dear grandmother would give me half a shot glass of brandy!! Every so often I pretended to have a tummy ache so she would give me some of that warm golden drink that warmed me from the inside out!! I wont drink whiskey /bourbon or Campari anything else goes!! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to bore you and a good recipe I will try as soon as I get some fyllo!!

  78. Warmth, intelligence, humor. All I want in a blog. I started a blog about tea, in my mother’s memory. I want to learn more about…everything. Tea, anyone?

  79. Actually I was looking for advice on how to be a good server. I found your blog and so much more!

  80. Sue says:

    Just found you on this Groundhog Day like sofa king cold morning, during a lull at the medical clinic, after reading your feature in Best Food Writing 2013-Hortotiropita and the Five Stages of Restaurant Grief. (ya, I’m grieving Harold Ramis big time) You had me doing something unexpectedly while reading that I have literally not done in many many years. Actually laugh, gafaw, outloud-for real, and remember here again, I’m at work. Serious business here, being a family doctor and all. But what can you do when you’re stuck out on the frozen prarie of Iowa, day after day and no one can get in except the staff. Even two of those have been taken down by the ice, one with a broken arm and just this week the office manager slipped and dislocated her shoulder, and received some dilaudid to bring home with her-won’t be back in until who knows.

    Anyway, here goes my story, first born of four, only daughter to a Marine then career Coast Guardsman and his very unprepared wife. (I am the product of 1960, that being the year that my mother was taught in Catholic school that the world would end according to the prophecy of Our Lady of Fatima) Mom figured she would get married and have a child before the end of the world at the tender age of eighteen. Of course 1960 came and went and the Pope would not reveal what was written in those prophecies not be read until 1960…I know, who makes up this shit?, imagine how I feel?…so mom was left stuck with actually having to raise a kid and then 3 more that came in less than that many years. She always said she hated cooking, but everyday she made delicous breakfasts, and packed school lunches, because school lunch made me puke, and plenty of dinner every night. Nothing fancy and mostly featured hamburg in one way or another, patties with gravy, loose, meat sauce for spaghetti, on a bun with peppers and onions, american chop suey, it was all pretty gross, but we didn’t know any better!! Fridays were clam chowder day, very basic ingredients, so on and so forth.
    She still has the first edition of The I Hate to Cook CookBook that I gave her for Christmas back in 1972. She never uses it!!! I used to try some of the recipes, and they all basically failed because I never had the right stuff or utensils to make it work. But I improvised and got good reviews from the hungry gang.
    I love to cook and bake and make all sorts of things. Now a days I make all of my lunches on the weekends, freeze them and haul them out each day, so happy to have a great meal waiting for me. (an atheist, but my parents continue to love and pray for me anyway!!) My children are all grown and all love to cook as well. They have become foodies and such. Things I never even heard of or quite understand. I just cook and eat because it’s a nice thing to do.
    Your chapter touched me in many ways. I am grieving the unexpected loss of my firstborn granddaughter shortly after birth only 2 months ago (heart and lung defects, worse than they expected from prenatal ultrasounds). Reading, cooking, sharing the food and laughter as much as I can with my daughter and her husband are what help us through this difficult time. The only crying I know of goes on in private and at unexpected times (speaking for myself). Hence, I was unexpectedly laughing and crying at the same time I read your, dare I call it, masterpiece? Yes, masterpiece, and thought I’d waste more time and look you up. Ta Da!!
    I absolutely love what I have read thus far and want to get back to finding out what I’ve been missing these past few years. And I’m sending on the link to my kids because you seem to be our kind of funny/authentic breath of fresh air.
    Really, keep up the strong work. Laughter is the Best medicine, so is good food. Those Greens and Cheese Phyllo Pies are going to be in my lunch bag next week!!!
    Love, peace, joy!

    • Sue,

      First off, apologies for not getting to this sooner– I essentially took a month off from my blog and am now catching up.

      I am (pleasantly) stunned by your note. Thank you. To know that I have helped pass the time for you in the frozen heartland in some meaningful way is a really wonderful thing to hear.

      I am grateful to you for sharing a bit of yourself with me. And I am very sorry to hear about your family’s recent tragedy. But being together– cooking, laughing, crying– is definitely the best medicine in these situations. But it’s clear you already know this, being a doctor and all.

      Sending a bit of warmth to you in Iowa,

      Michael

      • Sue says:

        Thank you! For your warmth and your time spent reading ‘about me’. I hope your time away was wonderful. I suppose it can be stunning returning to the page and not knowing what you’ll find there. I was stunned that the server accepted so long a story, being used to keeping letters to a minimum in electronic health records and prescribing, texting and basically not writing about myself at all! I pressed the button and there it went……….oh oh what did I do?

        In the meantime, I’ve been reading through your terrific blog and find it quite wonderful. I’m telling all my friends and wish great things for you.

        I also feel like I should tip you! Is there an address or a favorite cause that could benefit from your obvious dedication to your work?

        By the way, the chard and chees pies……..Excelsior!!! (can you say that about food?)

        Keep up the great work.

  81. JulIet Richardson says:

    Michael, I don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog, but I am so happy that I did. I have an interesting relationship with food, I don’t like to cook it, buy it, post pictures of meals I order on social media, in short food is not my thing. But I do love eating delicious food and drinking good cocktails. Your blog has become a source of entertainment for me as I enjoy your humor in your posts and watch my friends attempt to make your dishes and drinks. Thank you for being so raw in your stories and your About Me, it’s very refreshing. I think you are a very funny and talented person and I look forward to one day potentially enjoying cooking. Maybe.

    Juliet

    • Juliet,

      I don’t know how you stumbled upon my blog either, but I am equally (if not more) happy that you did.

      Personally, I don’t believe that a lack of desire to cook and the absence of need to share photos of what you eat with the world necessarily mean that food is not your “thing”. You love to eat and drink well, and sometimes that is enough.

      I’m glad to know that you are wise enough to use my blog for entertainment purposes. You have friends who attempt to make my recipes? (They really should work– especially the cocktails). I think I’m just amused/satisfied that (present company excepted) some people actually make what I write about. That’s delightful.

      And you’re very welcome re:rawness.

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Juliet, and taking the time to share them with me.

      Cheers,

      Michael

  82. Martoonie says:

    1. Oh God, I do hope so. I also know what to do with an apostrophe and believe that death is too good for those who don’t.
    2. I have a 5ft tall, 3 ft wide bookcase in my kitchen completely filled with cookery books, and there are more in a pile in the study. When we’re invited to friends’ houses for dinner, I invariably end up doing the cooking. My favourite part of any holiday is wandering round a new supermarket / farmers’ market / artisan bread store or whatever, sniffing. So, yeah, a bit.
    3. No, but I’m VERY easily distracted by wit, charm, and Debbie Gibson-themed cocktails.
    4. Definitely not, probably, and ha ha NO – I like to think I have improved a little since then but I’m a bit like Marmite – people either love me or hate me (not sure Marmite translates for a US audience – please substitute some other foodstuff that divides people smartly into those who want to smear it all over themselves and others and lick it off, and those who run from the room screaming if a jar is produced).
    5. I’m not that sort of girl. But next time you’re in London, I’ll happily buy you a martini.
    Love your work.
    SJ

    • Martoonie says:

      Re: (1) – ok maybe not death. But I do have to be physically restrained from correcting chalk boards outside restaurants which say things like “try our pizza’s”. Try our pizza’s what? An apostrophe does not mean “look out, here comes an s!”.
      Ok I’ll shut up now.

    • SJ,

      I’ve never met anyone who likened themselves to Marmite before. I suppose I have been warned.

      I happen to love seeking out a McDonald’s in every country I visit. My friends thought it odd that the official “food person” in the group was begging to be taken to one as soon as we got to Marrakech. But it did make me happy to discover the existence of McArabias.

      I would be delighted if you would buy me a martini the next time I’m in London because, if I remember correctly, the cost of a good one is prohibitively expensive. Are you a marchioness, by any chance?

      Michael

      P.S. I know what you mean about punctuation. Unfortunately, one of the most offending places I have found such appalling errors is on my own site. (But I assure you they are merely typos. Promise.)

      • Martoonie says:

        Personally, I am a happy girl if I spot Walkers Cheese & Onion Crisps (the English equivalent of Lays but without the innuendo) in a foreign locale. There are times when a panache de quelquechose tres complique et cher simply loses its appeal and you want something straightforward and – preferably – packed to the eyeballs with saturated fats. Not that truffled popcorn doesn’t have its place, but sometimes a cheese and pickle sandwich on white sliced bread (or, indeed, something with “Mc” in the name, although it hasn’t happened to me yet) is what your heart desires, and there’s no shame in it. I have in my time transported pork scratchings (don’t ask) to Bermuda, Marmite (there it is again) to France and haggis (really, don’t ask) to Cairo to satisfy the cravings of displaced Brits pining for their homeland. You can’t fight these things.

        A marchioness? Well, this being the internet, I could of course say yes and you would be none the wiser, but sadly it is not so. I do have a friend whose father was a Baron if that helps (not sure where she stands on buying martinis for visiting Americans, but I can enquire).

        SJ

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