After graduating and long since, I have also been blessed to travel a lot – mostly for business, but also for pleasure. I have experienced a lot of different cultures and cuisines. I sought out local experiences when my co-workers went to some nondescript chain. I encourage everyone to eat local as much as possible, and you don't even really have to go that far anymore for new adventures - just fire up Yelp or Google and find a local joint that serves something you've never had. Taste it all. Eat the food. Make some notes, mental or actual, physical notes. If you like a dish, find a recipe, watch some YouTube videos, and cook it. TASTE it as you cook. Make adjustments if you think you need to and make notes on the adjustments. Then, go try that thing somewhere else. Make it again. Make adjustments. Repeat. Eventually, master that recipe – whether it’s one, a combination of several, or, finally, your very own recipe. This is how my recipes came about over the past 25+ years.
About Part Thyme Grub Affair
The motivation for finally pulling the cookbook together came when my Dad was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. My Dad was always the smartest, hardest working, dedicated, and non-procrastinating person I knew. His diagnosis made me realize that life was too short to procrastinate any longer, and I knew that I wanted to do something to honor his legacy of service to our family. My friends and family had been urging me to pull my compendium together for quite some time, so I set a target date, started writing, and then found a way to share them - ahead of schedule. I'm a project manager by trade, so I held myself to a pretty strict schedule! CreateMyCookbook made it super easy.
While I was working through the content and creation, I knew that I wanted to find a charitable place to send the profits - it had to be related to Alzheimer's, it had to be local, and it had to be making a difference in people's lives. I discovered AWARE (awaredallas.org) through research and instantly knew that it was the right place. AWARE provides funding and support to outstanding groups in North Texas that offer services, programs, education, and resources to those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, their families and caregivers, and to organizations doing valuable research to find a prevention and cure. To date, sales have fostered the donation of more than $500 to AWARE.
My cookbook is a worldly journey that parallels my life experiences through food, From bomb taco fillings like cochinita pibil, tinga, and deshebrada, to Asian and Indian dishes like bulgogi, rendang, and curries, comfort food, killer vegetarian, sauces, salsas, and seasonings, and of course, a little bit of Texas. The best chilis you will ever have are in this cookbook, ain't gonna lie. There's also a little culinary guidance and a list of pantry ingredients that I feel everyone should keep around, too. My hope is that I am handing folks a starting point for some fabulous meals, some exploration, and perhaps either creating a spark or fanning a flame. I have put a LOT of time and effort into each and every one of them. I am sure they aren’t perfect, but I think they’re quite good. I want folks take these, make them, and then make them their own.
And, that's the goal - share my recipes, have folks create memories through food, and support this wonderful charity.