Room for one more?

Joined Jan 1, 2010
Hey everyone, I've been reading these forums off and on for a little while, and I finally decided to join up. I'm a grad student in English literature, used to be a professional trumpet player, and now my day job is fixing bikes. I love eating, but I love cooking even more. I'm pretty good at one and just beginning the other, and I'm sure that this site will help me get even better at both. I guess that's all for now - Happy New Year, everybody!

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Sure, there's room for you and everyone else who enjoys discussing and exploring food!

Ah, an English major! I was one myself in my salad days. :rolleyes: (That was in 1970, when you could find 300 people looking for the same job teaching English, and that's not hyperbole. So I switched to special education for physically handicapped and got a job before I could send out the second resume.)

You hit the nail on the head! I'm sure we'll see you here often.

With what dishes or ingredients are you comfortable now? Are there recipes you'd like to try or to master? You're encouraged to browse the entire site. However, home cooks like you and I should consider the professionals' forums as 'read only'.

Enjoy it all. Welcome!
Joined Jan 1, 2010
Thanks for the welcome!

It's similarly rough for people looking for University positions...but my current career prospects are still better than as a classical trumpet player, where as many as 800 people might apply for a single seat (just to get an audition is considered a victory).

My cooking is at the early beginning stage of actual hobbyist cooking (as compared with the "make the tummy full to do work" cooking of the average college student). I can tell when whatever I'm cooking is done, I'm pretty good at judging seasoning, and my knife work is getting noticeably better by the week. I have a few things I can cook pretty well - enough to keep my girlfriend happy with me - but I'm still just learning about things I have yet to learn (last night I spent a few hours in the knives subforum just reading about sharpening). I've read Alton Brown's I'm Just Here For The Food and I'm working on Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and I'm considering a paper on the poetics of cookbooks.

I'm just working to get a grasp on the basics (what's the difference between dicing and mincing? Roasting and baking? How does one butcher a chicken?), and it seems to be going well so far. After the Child's book (or perhaps after the second volume), I'm going to hunt down a book on classical Italian cooking. As a Christmas gift, I promised my girlfriend at least one successful dinner a week, so I'm also using that as a way to push my repertoire a little further.

Basically, I'm all over the place - but that's part of what I love about cooking. In contrast to playing trumpet, where I've been trained to be perfect at all times, or English (where people grow careers out of arguing over things that don't really matter), I can just have fun in the kitchen. Julia Child referred to French cooking in particular as la cuisine soignée, but I find that if I just really pay attention to whatever I'm cooking and really love the experience, any dish I make tends to reward me based on my care and never (so far) punishes me for my rather shallow background. Similarly, it seems like this community is welcoming to everyone, even the most rank amateurs (and I wouldn't dream of posting in the pro forums - I've got nothing to say that anyone there needs to hear).

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