I’m a self-taught home cook just enjoying myself in my tiny apartment kitchen. I’ve been cooking for more than 15 years; I grew up watching my grandparents cook, but from the other side of the breakfast bar. Although I didn’t begin teaching myself with any real intent until I was starting a family of my own, I still emulate what I remember from my childhood often (I keep a tub of Country Crock in the fridge at all times to make the broiled toast I grew up on). I learned how to make an omelet in freshman year Home Ec, but I credit the majority of my most sound knowledge to Good Eats.
I still count on Alton to this day. not anymore.
I almost always cook off-the-cuff. Some of the best things I’ve ever made I completely freestyled. I’ve never been fond of using recipes, but I’ve become a huge fan of helping my online community recreate meals they’ve connected with so I’ve grown to love developing them.
I rarely cook with myself in mind, as I’m a shamefully picky eater. I have the average 3-year-old’s palette, to keep it all the way real. I’m the person that always orders the chicken tenders plate. I was determined to not let my own kids turn out like I did, and made sure I encouraged them to try new things at least once and sometimes things that didn’t hit right the first time again in a new way.
While I do love being in the kitchen, it’s more who I cook for than the cooking itself. I get to express my love through calories, and the bonus is that my friends and family have much more expansive tastes than me so I get to flex my muscles cooking things I’d never try for just myself.
Being an annoyingly picky eater myself is probably why I have such a low tolerance for people that can’t seem to see a plate of food they don’t like without saying they don’t like it. If I can manage to keep my opinions to myself when scrolling even though 90% of the food I’m looking at I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, so can everyone else. “If you can’t somethin’ nice don’t say nothin’ at all.”
I receive messages every day from folks letting me know that I’ve had a hand in them being in the kitchen, either for the first time or back in a long time. I love when someone shares that I’ve inspired them to branch out and try cooking new things and this journey has been mutually beneficial: I’ve improved all sorts of techniques and dishes that I thought I’d already mastered before, in an effort to make sure I’m providing y’all with quality information. This isn’t to say I don’t still mess up – my grits boiled over just this morning – but I think a major reason why we’ve connected as we have is that I’m pretty transparent. I’ll quickly tell you to “do as I say, not as I do.”
And about me on a more personal level: I was born in Compton, California, but raised and still live in Eastern North Carolina; I own an obscenely large collection of Funko Pop! vinyl figures; I’m a Virgo (ascending: Leo; moon: Scorpio; midheaven: Taurus) and I wanted to be Ellen Louise Ripley when I was young. I’m married and I love him but fuck the patriarchy do not use my relationship or how you assume gender roles are distributed in my home to prop up any ideals of what makes a ‘good woman’ or wife or whatever. I’ll cuss you out before I block you.
I’m an able-bodied heterosexual CISgendered woman. I’m half-Black, half-Indigenous Mexican, and light-skinned. I recognize the privileges I am afforded because of all of the aforementioned and try to be mindful of the space I’m taking up. There is so little of it in the (culinary) world and most of the BIPOC already there look like I do.
Just in case the shirt I’m wearing in that photo up there didn’t give it away: I’m Left AF. Like communism and shit. I’m also an Agnostic-Atheist. Scroll down and take a look at my footer if you haven’t already. ✊