I've been lurking for quite a while and have made a few posts already, but a proper introduction is in order. I really appreciate the wealth of information here and the selfless manner in which folks share their expertise.
My story probably pretty common. I'm a home cook who has always enjoyed cooking, but was often put off by simply following recipes, finding the process unsatisfying if not outright boring at times. I experienced a small personal renaissance when I inherited my Grandfather's old cookbooks among other things. Books about hows and whys, not "follow these instructions". Diving into his old 1963 (English) printing of Larrouse Gastronomique really opened my eyes. I'm slowly expanding my small library and H. McGee, J. Childs, D.P. Larousse and this site are helping to continue the journey. Recipes are often now just starting points; I find it much more satisfying to look at the pantry shelves and create something on the spot than to follow Mrs. Rombauer's instructions to a tee.
For what it's worth, my first three jobs years ago were at establishments that produced food (I hesitate to call them restaurants), so I have a small glimpse into and a real appreciation and respect for how hard you professional cooks, chefs, etc. work at your craft.
I'm an engineer by nature and trade and naturally gravitate towards wanting to know the fundamentals of a subject rather than focusing on wrote memorization or pure direction following. This also means I need to apologize in advance for the overly detailed, long winded posts I'm sure to place on this site from time to time.
I feel my culinary knowledge has grown significantly compared to a few years ago, but of course I have huge, massive, GAPING holes and a great deal to learn. I expect I'll never stop learning.
Thanks for your patience!