My mother has no sense

Sep 2, 2001

My mother has no sense of smell or taste, but to eat her Swiss steak or chocolate chip cookies, you wouldn’t know how those missing senses have affected her. And she loves chocolate for the silky texture on her tongue. Still, the Zuiker kitchen pantry wasn’t widely stocked with ingredients; I didn’t encounter my first clove of garlic until I was in college. Sure, I’d eaten buttery garlic bread at Pizza Villa’s Wednesday spaghetti nights in DeKalb, but I had no idea how enlivening sauteed garlic could be.

Later, when Northern Ohio Live Magazine hired me to be the associate editor for food and dining, I decided to learn as much as I could about cooking and dining.

One night, Erin and I attended the inaugural dinner of a new dining club in Greater Cleveland. This was a $250-a-plate cigar smoker dinner, with a cigar and a wine to match every course, and the evening was simply heady. We began to appreciate how wine, cigar smoke and perfectly prepared filet mignon can explode together on the palate. (Of course, the next morning, with clothes reeking of cigar smoke, we adjusted our impressions of rolled tobacco.)

Now, with bountiful farmer’s markets around us, and time at home to watch the Food Network — Erin and I watched our first episode of the Iron Chef, the cook-off show form Japan that pits master chefs against each other — I’m thoroughly embracing the realm of the kitchen. Last week I made baba ghanouj, but I didn’t quite like the roasted eggplant paste. I’ll stick with hoummous. Erin bought me an ice cream maker from the auction site, and tonight I’ll make vanilla ice cream.

Here are some websites to visit when you need a recipe:

  • RecipeSource This is what was the Searchable Online Archive of Recipes out of Berkeley, and it has thousands and thousands of recipes.
  • recipezaar A nice site where users post recipes. I like the fact that nutritional information is included with each recipe.
  • Food Network The site of the Foot Network, where you can get recipes for the dishes that the chefs prepare on the tv.

Anton Zuiker

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