06 August 2006

Welcome

I thought I’d get started by telling you a little about myself and what to expect in this blog.

This blog is mostly about food. It will include restaurant reviews, recipes, as well as other posts related to food – food movies, food on television, food magazines, food in music – you get the idea.

A lot of the major influences in my life relate to food. I grew up on a farm. When I was a kid (1950s and 60s), food preparation was handled by my Mom and to some extent my sister. Guys didn’t cook. But I did get involved, with my Dad and brothers, in food production. Our farm was a commercial grain operation in southern Minnesota. We produced mostly corn and soybeans. Dad also tried a few specialty crops (canning peas, for example). We also raised chickens and sold eggs for many years. And we always had a big garden.

When I moved away from home to attend college (University of Minnesota), I lived two years in a dorm. But when I moved into an apartment, I had to begin food preparation for myself. I never thought about it as a kid, but my standards for quality ingredients and flavor were determined by the good home cooking of my Mom. I couldn’t accept a lower standard just because I was on my own. So that’s when I started to learn to cook. (My first apartment roommate said he gained weight on my cooking.)

Food also is important to me professionally. I work for a food company, Land O’Lakes. You won’t get a lot of Land O’Lakes propaganda on this blog. But it’s a good company to work for and it has a reputation for quality products, and I am fairly defensive of the company.

Finally, food has been an important part of my family life as an adult. My wife is a very good cook. We don’t really compete in the kitchen. But we both have strong opinions about what constitute good cooking; fortunately we agree most of the time. When we go on vacation, we enjoy discovering new restaurants and local food specialties.

And my kids (both adults now) grew up to be good cooks too. My son worked his way through college at a local ice cream parlor, then a local whole foods co-op, and then at Al’s Breakfast, a small joint in Dinkytown at the University of Minnesota campus. He still works at Al’s as he prepares to become a paramedic. My daughter lives in Chicago. She is a fan of good cooking, too. And her fiancé is a cook at foodlife.

So I guess that’s about it. I hope you enjoy KriksPicks.

Steve

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