Monthly Archives: September 2005
I was reminded of how many things we accumulate in the kitchen over the years while we were unpacking and cleaning all of the kitchen gadgets we got since we moved to Mexico about two and a half years ago. We had a large cardboard box full of all sorts of things, and I realized that we probably have about 10 times that in storage back in Canada.
Do we really need all of that stuff, or do we just become addicted to purchasing all of those neat kitchen gadgets? Over the coming weeks I will give my opinion on what are the things I find useful in the kitchen, and about what things I should never have bought. I have a weakness for kitchen knives of all size, and over the years I have oscillated between using 10 different ones to prepare a dish to using a single one to do everything. This does not stop me from purchasing new knives all the time, as we all must have our vicesâ€¦
For now I have just washed everything and stuffed them in a few drawers in the kitchen, and next weekend I will go through everything and decide what I will keep and what will go in storage or be given away. Iâ€™ll make a handy list of basic kitchen essentials for those starting out with a new kitchen, or who want to do some fall cleaning. This will also help me in finding out if we are missing something important when we start using the kitchen heavily.
We are finally somewhat settled in the new condo. Last Friday, with the wonderful help of Jorge and Margarita, we managed to clean the place up properly and wash all of the dishes, cutlery, glasses, pots and pans, and all the things we have for the kitchen, and then somewhat found some room for everything in its reduced space.
Tomorrow night a little bar and a small furniture for the aquarium should be delivered and the last things still sitting around on the counters should be stored away. We should be able to start posting regularly in the coming days. This took a lot longer than planned, but we are now ready. Normita is out of town on business until tomorrow so her introductory post will still be delayed for a few days. I am here and frantically preparing some nice posts and tasty recipes and they will be up regularly starting soon.
We do not plan to have a regular posting schedule at first, but I aim to post at least a short entry daily, and when the mechanics of production will be well oiled we will try to have a regular schedule for the posts.
Have fun visiting us, and I will be back shortlyâ€¦
Phew… It’s been a very long month so far. We were planning to launch this new site at the end of August, about two weeks after we had moved to our new condo, but circumstances prevented us from doing so. We have been dealing with architects and trades people for the last month and the kitchen is yet to be ready for prime-time. Since it is a tad difficult to do a food-related site without having a working kitchen, we postponed the launch until we were ready. The last workers left on Tuesday, and last night we unpacked the kitchen supplies and spices, and stored them in the newly-built larder. Some of the dishes and implements of food preparation are piled up on the dining room table awaiting a good wash so that they can be properly stored tonight. It looks like we should be ready to start cooking by the weekend, and so we will be able to start blogging about it soon. I will now take some time to introduce myself and what I plan for this site, and Normita will chime-in, introducing herself, in the coming days whenever her busy schedule permits. I have been deeply involved with food since my childhood. I remember, when I was 4-5 years old, sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen while she was cooking, and helping her in making cookies and other treats. Our family was from a small village on the Laurentian Mountains north of MontrÃ©al, QuÃ©bec, and, as with any good French family, food was an important part of our lives. I lived in MontrÃ©al with my parents and every weekend we would take the trip ‘up-north’ to my grandparent’s house and stay with them. You could get in the house, via the kitchen, at any hour of the day or night, and there would be something cooking on the stove or in the oven, and some industrial quantities of freshly prepared food in the refrigerator. I remember, when I was in my late teens, stopping at their place in the middle of the night after the clubs closed, and there was always a freshly baked ham in the refrigerator or some thick stew or soup slowly simmering on the stove. We would dig-in without waking up anyone and fill ourselves with great food before going out again for more revelry. After my early childhood in my grandmother’s kitchen, my interest for cooking became more formal. In my early teens my mother was taking cooking lessons from one of the best French chefs in MontrÃ©al, and when she was returning home I would pore over her lessons and prepare the newly-learned recipes with her. By the time I was at university I was taking regular night classes in various forms of cooking, including many years of traditional Chinese cooking. From then on cooking and later wine became my passions and I have been involved professionally as a food consultant and wine buyer since the mid-eighties as one of my many business endeavors. I lived in QuÃ©bec through my early twenties until I graduated from university, I then moved to Northern Ontario where I worked in private practice. I was involved with 3 careers through the eighties, first as a dentist, second as a food and wine consultant, and third as a computer consultant. By the early nineties I abandoned the first career completely to dedicate myself primarily to the computer business. I have been involved with numerous IT startups since then, and also consulting on IT and the food/wine business. All of this while traveling the world for both pleasure and business. Last spring I was hired to develop and maintain a line of software for a web-based company, as well as overseeing the development of their newly re-launched websites. While we were undergoing the move to our new location we were planning to launch some discussion places to talk about the products that the sites were promoting. While looking for regular writers, Bob, our CEO, came up with the wonderful idea that our first one should be about food and that I should be the main contributor. Even though the sites are not really food-related, it would be a great idea for me to do something I really like and also to generate some traffic to the sites. Off we went with the concept and with the help of Kurt, our webmaster and dear friend of mine, the concept evolved into a site that will be about food, wine, fine living, hedonism, traveling, and whatever contributes to the joys of life. It will be mainly based on my experiences and those of my lovely wife Normita, as well as of some friends who will contribute whenever they have something relevant to say. This first post is a bit long-winded, as I thought that I should introduce myself a bit before starting to seriously contribute to the subject at hand. I want to keep things informal, and have people contribute in a format that will be both entertaining and educational. I will try to regularly post some recipes that I have both tested, and eaten recently, and will follow the day-to-day rhythm of what we do here in the kitchen and in our lives. Normita will introduce herself in the coming days, but let me first tell you a little bit about us. About 7-8 years ago we met on the Internet and we exchanged emails for many months before we first met. Normita is the warmest and loveliest person I have ever met, and we complete ourselves entirely. We do not feel whole without each other, and our love has been growing by leaps and bounds over the years. In those days I was back living in QuÃ©bec, and she was living in her native Mexico City. After we first met, we spent the next couple of years traveling back-and-forth between QuÃ©bec and MÃ©xico, and we soon realized that at this rate we would spend enough money to buy our own airline. We finally decided to get married in the middle of the year 2000 and in November of that year we tied the knot at Hacienda de Cocoyoc, a wonderful place about an hour south of Mexico City. We then lived in QuÃ©bec, at the edge of a wonderful lake, for some years, but the long winters and the isolation finally got the best of us, and we decided over two years ago to come live in Mexico City. We rented a furnished condo for a few years, but decided to move to a quieter area of the city last spring and it took us many months to find such an area, and then to find a decent place. Once we moved, one month ago today, we have been struggling to make this place comfortable, and a place where we can share our love of life with our friends and family. We are getting close to this goal now. We both want to welcome you to our new place, and we hope that you will like what you will find here. At first, until the kitchen is finally operational, I will talk about cooking in more general terms, and also share our experiences in building a new small kitchen from scratch. We hope that you will find it useful, and that you will enjoy your stay with us. Lucito