Why Anne Cooks


Hi. I’m Anne. I cook a lot. I never meant to cook a lot. In fact, I recall very proudly telling some frumpy old ladies whom I worked with — who believed it was a woman’s job to cook to please her man — that I don’t cook. Ha!  After all, my generation is much more enlightened. My grandmother told me once that if I ever find myself at 5:00 without a plan for dinner and my husband is due to walk through the door at any minute, that I should get a pot of water boiling on the stove. That would buy me some time while I figured out what to cook. A brilliant deception, indeed. To which I replied, “but Grandma, I don’t even leave the office until after 6:00, so by the time I get home, Mike will have already cooked dinner for us.”

So what happened? Frankly this whole thing started when we started getting a lot of kale and other mysterious greens from a CSA share box.1 We had friends who hosted a pick-up location, so instead of having forgotten shares go to waste, we got to collect the scraps — which were mostly tiny squashes, herbs, and greens.  And that’s an awesome way to get free food, but OMG how much parsley can a person eat in a week??

The next big push for cooking happened a few months later when we decided to pursue a vegetarian diet. As people who usually slapped a chicken breast and a side of canned green beans on a plate and called it dinner, this was a big change for us. I was pretty lost and spent a lot of time doing google images searches for weird root vegetables and squashes so I could figure out what to do with them. Is this thing even edible or is it just for decoration? What in the hell am I doing?2

Once I got over the initial hump of “how do I make a meal without meat as the centerpiece” I found my whole world of food opened up. Weird huh? We restricted our diet and it became much more vibrant. Bonus! And that’s when I started to write down recipes and lessons that I learned as I went. I figured a blog was a good format for storing things like this. So here we are, a few years and several recipes down the road — and some people actually read this thing. :)

Exciting New Foods: My husband and I have been traveling in Central America, which means exposure to new dishes, vegetables, and spices. This also means we’re moving a lot, so I’m using a different kitchen at a different altitude, with a different stove, different pots etc all the time. Every meal that turns out well is a victory indeed. If you haven’t tried cooking in someone else’s kitchen in a while, be prepared for it to turn out less amazing than you had predicted. But do go cook in someone else’s kitchen. I believe with every ounce of my being that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Friends who cook together, stay together… or at least get to eat well in the mean time.

1. A CSA box is a share bought from a farm within a Community Supported Agriculture program. You can learn more about how CSAs work here.
2. I have since created a memory game from common CSA vegetables to help families (and myself) learn how to identify those mysterious foods. You can find it here on TheGameCrafter.com In the process, I have learned the difference between a parsnip and a turnip. And I even learned how to spell rutabaga. How do ya like me now?

4 thoughts on “Why Anne Cooks

  1. Hi Anne!
    I was just checking your blog to see what you guys were up to. I was curious about your vegan diet and how you’ve adjusted to it – we’re off as ‘nomads’ in a couple months and look forward to our own life (and the changes we’ll have to make) on the road. Have never eaten kale but hey, who knows? A couple of years ago I never ate tofu and now I rarely eat meat anymore, have substituted with tofu-chicken, tofu-sausages, and even tofu-bacon.
    Happy travels!
    Frank (bbqboy)


    1. Well hello there Frank! We’ve adjusted to vegetarian living just fine. In fact, not having meat in the kitchen makes things a whole lot easier. I kind of love that. If you ever decide to try kale, you may be surprised at how much easier it is to prepare and incorporate into foods than tofu is. Enjoy your travels! I’m looking forward to reading about all of your new adventures via the twitterverse. Be sure to keep us all posted!


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