About Me

This is Me!

I grew up with a spoon in my mouth. I talked with one in there too. Ketchup on steak, Kool-Aid, and Western French dressing were necessities in my early years. Growing up in a small town in Illinois required a love of Wally's hamburgers, A and W sauce buns, and Monical's pizza. Throw in a few church dinners, some good Italian friends, and one has the making of a gourmet. Right? And me; a good Jewish girl!

Luckily, my parents cast me adrift to see the world when I was in my teens. I quickly discovered the best way to explore was with "that spoon" in my mouth. As I moved West to higher altitudes, cooking seemed the best way to continue my exploration; and experimenting on family guinea pigs has never stopped. Of course, it was a bit of a challenge when they left for college; so my daughter suggested a blog. With infinite wisdom, I of course said yes; not having a clue to what "blog" even meant. Now with a son spreading wings in Shanghai and the "suggestor" on the East coast, I must say it was a good idea, indeed! So here I am. Still cookin' through life, one bite at a time! With that spoon in my mouth!

If you'd like to reach me, feel free to email at abbe@odenwalder.net. I love to talk about anything! If you need help documenting your recipes give me a call. I also enjoy developing and testing recipes and am a great food and restaurant evaluator if you want to invite me to your next opening!

A Few Facts About Me:

1. I don't own a crockpot. Or a spiralizer. Or an instant pot. However I think I'd like an air fryer. I like French fries.

2. I do not like raw oysters.

3. I've never had a cooking lesson, however I did work in a lot of restaurants in my younger years. From pancake houses where I had to fill syrup jars and little old ladies tipped me a quarter and thanked me profusely, to a Frank Lloyd Wright house with a restaurant in Kankakee, to a prime rib house in Fort Collins where I worked front of the house and back of the house, well...I've seen a few kitchens!

4. My favorite color is blue. Or green. Or hot pink. Well, I like a lot of colors.

5. I have two dogs. One is a rescued havanese that is totally blind. The other is a Skye terrier who isn't. I would own cats and goats and chickens if I could.

6. I hate taking photos.

7. My favorite ethnic food is Vietnamese. My second favorite is real Chinese. Manservant's is Mexican. But I'm not sure that is considered ethnic anymore!

8. I like wine, with a Pinot being my favorite. I love cocktails, as long as Manservant is serving! And I love champagne because usually that means it is a special occasion. I've had the opportunity to drink a lot of good wines. Thanks Dad.

9. I don't eat meat. I grew up eating a lot of meat because my grandfather was a butcher. I think I'm meated out!  In 2011  I saw a movie about cows. I can't even tell you the name of the movie, but I stopped eating meat immediately. I wish sugar had two big beautiful eyes. I do eat chicken. Manservant is praying I don't give up cluck clucks.

10. I cook for people who like to eat. If you don't like to eat you will never be a good cook. I know. I find it hard to believe but there are people who don't like to eat. Boring.

11. I assume when you cook my recipes that you know the basics. If you are confused with anything just write me. I love to talk about food almost as much as I love to eat it.

12. For the record, Manservant named himself.

13. So did Alex Odie San China Boy. Zoe is just Zoe. Yes, they are twins. From A to Z. And no, we did not think of that when we named them. It was pointed out to us after the fact!

14. I own a lot of cookbooks. Probably over 400. But I stopped counting. I love all books. I read a lot.  Would love to write a book one day. Cookbook or other. But I guess then I'll have to use full sentences.

15. Really? You want more?