About Shock & Gnaw

A reoccuring trend in my life is that I go through self-discovery way later than everyone else around me. It’s genuinely the pits because by the time I realize that I want to make a Big Life Choice, that boat has sailed – or is a hell of a lot harder to get on.

I didn’t realize that I love food and cooking till’ I was like 25 years old, which was insanely dense of me. I read food blogs in high school for fun. When my father would make these really shitty burritos for dinner I would get genuinely enraged (dinner is scared!). I looked forward to mealtimes with an embarrassing intensity. I was always on the lookout for new restaurants, new cuisines, new flavors.

But I didn’t realize I loved food.

But now I know. Being in the kitchen brings me pleasure, and I feel like many people could find that pleasure too.

Cooking should never feel like chore, and it seems that for many it does. The thought of someone coming home at night and heating up a Lean Cuisine or making a peanut butter sandwich for dinner makes me sad. I think a lot of this that has to do with kitchen insecurity. The pressure to dutifully follow a recipe kills the joy of cooking. Cooking should feel organic, flexible, and creative. To get to that point you just need to know the building blocks of how some basic recipes work and a little bit of good technique.

So here in this space I am going to choose a basic meal (or meal competent) and break it down to its’ most core elements, so if something calls for “collard greens” and you only have some frozen spinach you don’t need to abandon ship – you got this.

I believe in fresh ingredients and real food. Eating should remind us of the insane abundance we live in. Cooking and eating food that I take the time to make myself and instill with a sense of joy and, dare I say – playfulness, instills in me a sense of gratitude. Which, from what I’ve read, is the new buzzword for happiness.

“You learn to cook so that you don’t have to be a slave to recipes. You get what’s in season and you know what to do with it.” – Julie Child




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