Monday, June 7, 2010

An Unearthed Past Love

No, this post is not about digging up old flames, not that I have many to dig up, nor is it about cracking open caskets. No, this post is just some background on the birth of this blog.

I found myself entering a cooking contest. Well, let me re-word that, an audition of sorts, really. I saw a commercial for Paula Deen and her collaboration with Philadelphia cream cheese to find the "Real Women of Philadelphia". I was intrigued. I set up an account ASAP and started dreaming up recipes that were under an hour in prep and cooking time and included, of course, the Philly. To enter, you video yourself preparing the recipe and then send it in. It was so much fun. I got really into it. I was creating what I thought were masterpieces, and well, they were. I just wasn't what they were looking for I guess.

Initially I was disappointed when I wasn't asked to be a finalist in Savannah and have the chance to win $25,000 and be featured in 20 web cooking shows. But what I did come away with was an awakened heart. Awakened, reminded, stirred, if you will, of things I loved as a child and that those loves were important to who I am as a person. What I remembered was that around 8 or 9 years old, my passion for cooking was ignited. The spark? PBS cooking shows, actually. I remember watching them with my dad on Saturday mornings and then running to the kitchen to whip up something of my own in the dishwater left behind from my mom's earlier washing. I have very vivid memories of watching this particular BBQ seasoning, my mom had given me to use however I liked, for it was old and void of flavor, floating on the surface of the gray water and swirling with the whim of my trusty wooden spoon in figure 8 motions. It wasn't dishwater and stale BBQ seasoning. No, it was a Martin Yan inspired stir fry or the Frugal Gourmet's quiche recipe forming in the sink of my culinary mind. I would talk to my "camera", which was located directly above the sink. I would stand on my little green stool. I would feel my shirt stick to me from the splashing water. I was in my own world and perfectly happy.

I would tell my parents that what I wanted to be was a chef. They were always supportive. It was in community college that I got a white coat and chef hat. I took the first course in food preparation, or something like that. I had a crazy professor that was always urging us NOT to use black pepper in cream sauces because it looked like rat turds and we would never want to convey the message that our kitchens were in any way filthy. I found that amusing, mainly because he was so emphatic. I learned basic prep, the mother sauces and the best thing ever, how to make chocolate souffle. Really, it's the one thing I remember the most. I remember those perfectly puffed, beautifully chocolate brown souffles wobbling in their delicate state as the teacher proudly walked into the classroom with our masterpieces. Then he did something that I will never forget. He placed a piping hot souffle in front of us, the anticipation was intense as we circled around, took his spoon, tapped the top of it to crack it open and poured in a tablespoon or so of cream. My initial response was that he had ruined it. I took one bite and then adjusted my judgement. The coolness of the cream with the hot, air infused chocolate explosion in my mouth was one of the best things I had ever tasted.

I figured out I wanted to make food, eat food but not be a chef. I was young, kind of a wienie. Nowadays, I think I would have the courage to finish. I was intimidated by the pressure of time and stress of the finals for that class. We had to cook a four course meal in a ridiculous time allotment. Sometimes I regret that I didn't push myself to complete the entire cooking program. I still have my white coat and hat and my passion for food.

So here I am, my dears, challenged by my heart to do what I've always wanted to do...have a cooking show. I wanted it before it was a reality show on the Food Network. I wanted it while Julia Child was still making puff pastry from scratch.
My love for teaching, performing arts (that's a whole 'notha post) and of course food have led me here. Foodie House is going to be an adventure for you and me.

So, in honor of my thirty something enlightenment, I give you an audition that I sent to Paula Deen. You can check out the rest on YouTube.


  1. Lauren! I have goosebumps knowing that this is just the beginning - THE GLORY OF GOD IS MANY FULLY ALIVE!!!!!

  2. Love your video! Can you post the recipe?

  3. sure Amy. No problem. I totally forgot to do that. thanks!


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