kitchenMage (ki-chən-māj): noun
1. Person possessing seemingly magical culinary skills.
2. Website celebrating the everyday magic of food. The simple wizardry of knowing when to sauté vs when to poach. The alchemy of adding salt at the correct time. The mystique of spices and herbs, demystified.
I come to cooking quite naturally. As a child, teetering tiptoed on a chair, I apprenticed to many a baker and cook. In particular, Mimi, my beloved Jewish grandmother, taught me everything she had learned during decades of running a catering kitchen. The most important thing she taught me was that it’s only food. That one simple lesson instilled fearlessness in the kitchen. I was able to move forward and create...well, pretty much anything!
A teacher at heart, I have always helped others — particularly kids — gain the same confidence Mimi taught me. One of my greatest joys is when one of my monstrrrs (our pet name for kids) tells me of a dish they created and I do my best to leave every kid I meet in a kitchen with a personalized cookie recipe.
kitchenMage's corollary to Clarke's Third Law
Any sufficiently practiced skill is indistinguishable from magic.
kitchenMage is written for the home cook. At my home in evenTinierTown, a hamlet perched close to the confluence of the Columbia River and Pacific ocean, I cook almost everything from scratch. After years in the city, I am now far from the luxury of a quick stop at the store; it is a half an hour drive to shop at a small grocery store or the tiny farmer's market that opens for a handful of months a year. It makes one rethink their approach to food...and buy more freezers. On the upside, I met the pig that now resides in the freezer, I can get eggs from half a dozen farms with a few miles and there are no neighbors to kvetch when we tear up the front lawn and replace it with an herb garden. Again.
I seldom dine out and when I do I tend to focus on the meal and my companions rather than the details an actual review would require. Were I to do restaurant reviews they would begin and end with this: Go to The Herbfarm at least once. If you simply eat, you will have a fabulous meal. If you cook, you will leave inspired. (At the other end of the spectrum: Burgerville rocks the drive-through.)
I’m an opinionated eater...well, truth be told, I have strong opinions about most things and a bit of a 'tude at times. I’m also a critical reader and consumer with a keen bullshit detector. I expect they stand hand in hand actually. A teacher said of me at 5, "She doesn't tolerate dolts!" Still don't. I do, however, call them out.
I encourage those same behaviors, no, I expect those same behaviors from my readers. Like cooking, you may not feel that you have those skills now, but you will gain more confidence, and then as Mimi did with me, you will teach those you love.
About the AuthorkitchenMage is the creation of Beth Sheresh, coming after a successful 20 year career in information technology starting in tech support and moving on to writing, training (design to delivery), management, writing, and consulting for businesses from small to Fortune 25. Did I mention that over the years, there has been seemingly endless writing: whitepapers, manuals, corporate stuff of all sorts, and a number of books from the mundane to the slightly insane . (Heck, I even co-authored a bible!) Writer has been my primary professional hat for a couple of decades now.
kitchenMage. is a natural extension of my training and writing expertise. Combine that with my passion for food and poof! kitchenMage was summoned into existence.
What began here has led to many other emanations, including more sites of mine: One on the art of baking bread, another on teaching your children to cook. The second site is the companion to my first cookbook Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids which was published in late 2008. My newest toy is Not Like Normal People, which has nothing at all to do with food; its tagline is: eclectic amusement for the discerning slacker.
Yes, I still occasionally dust off the flour and venture back into the “tech” world, mostly to write. If you want to talk about this subject, please leave money under the rock by the herb garden and send me email.