Hi, I am an almost-thirty-year-old who has rather recently developed a passion for cooking and baking. My husband is a cook and his passion and inspiration are simply contagious! Cooking is one of the most important ways we spend our time together. I have never attended a culinary school or even a hobby cooking class, but I read A LOT and I pay close attention to people talking about food. :-)
I also love gardening; I love to grow my own food and I also strive to choose sustainably- and humanely-raised meat and dairy products 100% of the time. I stress about the best way to prepare meat; not because I've paid a lot of money for it but because I am always acutely aware that an animal sacrificed his life for me and my family to eat. Whether I'm cooking or baking, I am mostly guided by my Italian heritage (only half my blood, but feels like it should be all of it!) I love cooking and baking because it makes me feel good to prepare food for other people, and because food is at center of every culture. My favorite books right now are Chef Bo Friberg's Professional Pastry Chef (got an older edition, best $13 I ever spent and every pastry I make starts from this book!) and The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (this is the one that gives me wings to experiment and make my own flavor combinations). I also really enjoyed reading The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook; it gave me a new appreciation for dairy!! There are a ton others that I love, too!
I've already posted a question about short dough (under an old thread), so if anyone can help me out I'd be hugely appreciative! That would be an awesome welcome.