USA's epicenter of haute cuisine: Oklahoma. There are plenty of folks here who love to cook great food. While very few Michelin stars are sprinkled in the beautiful Okalahoma skies, OKC and Tulsa have some great restaurants.
Each day offers the promise of "the best", but... in the past... A langorous evening on a boat in Japan, where the chefs sent their trained cormorant birds to dive for fish, which were freshly delivered by those airborne Labradors. Quickly grilled, those fish were astounding.
My current drink of choice:
Milk is my favorite. But I enjoy slurping the juice from canned tomatoes, and the salty ecstasy of sipping the excess H2O from canned tuna. Squeezed lime juice with honey is a breakfast staple.
I really wish I could:
I really wish that the Doughboy within me could spend more time in a warm cozy kitchen, without doubling in size. And it's somewhat discomforting when people finger-punch my belly in an effort to deflate me to see if they can get a second rise out of me. A Doughboy has personal dignity, even if I may be full of gas.
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
Baked beans, slaw, brisket. At church potlucks I always make up a few gallons of really good gravy to go with the 20 pounds of mashed taters that I brought. Many Okies, as they watch me make it, can't believe that soy sauce ane fish sauce have any role in gravy, but the final proof is in the slurp, the raised eyes, and the satisfied smile.
My favorite comfort food:
Chicken 'n Dumplings, then Potsticker Dumplings, Pimento cheese, Mabodofu, MacNcheese, Miso soup, Braunschweiger, Fresh warm homemade tofu. And a damn good greasy cheeseburger.
My top 5 favorite restaurants:
Our Homes. God bless those who bring the joy of Chow into their homes and share it with friends and family.
My most tattered cookbooks:
The "Bookmark" key on my CPU. My thirty linear feet of bookshelved cookbooks are still there, and often carressed, but have been superceded by a few keystrokes. Early influences were Julia's "Way to Cook" and Irma Rombauer's "Joy of Cooking". The Goldberg's "Supermarket Handbook" got the hippie in me attuned to the sources of ingredients and the politics of the food supply. "Deaf Smith Cookbook" and the "Moosewood" series further fueled this burgeoning adolescent cook. "The Tassajara Bread Book" almost tamed the rebel within me. Ken Hom calmly introduced me to the way to cook Chinese. Shizuo Tsuji made it easy and wonderful to recreate the dishes that I had enjoyed in my years in Japan. My Matriarchal Aunt Mae in Mississippi spent time with me, sharing her recipes, her techniques, and her love of a life spent well in cooking. Now deceased, her cole slaw lives on and courses through my veins.