I learned to cook first from my mother, a maker of perfect pie-crusts and a redoubtable make-doer who could turn pinto beans and cornbread into the most delicious meal of the week. I had a second education in food when I put myself through college working in a broad spectrum of restaurant kitchens, from short-order cook in Austin’s dubiously famous all-night greasy-spoon diner Star Seeds to sautee chef at some very upscale places indeed.
Out of college, I left kitchen work behind for a while, and during the odd times when I’ve had well-paying jobs, eating out and splurging on fancy groceries have always been the luxuries I appreciated most. When I quit my job last spring to do more of the writing and film work I love, good food was the only thing Ireally missed. Horrified by the propect of a steady diet of beans and Ramen, I set about reconstructing my former culinary standards on my current budget. It’s a work in progress.