Well, if there was such thing as a food nerd, I guess I would be one. With interesting, even if totally useless, facts that roll off my tongue, such as, "Did you know that strawberries are in the same family as roses?"...I am a complete food nerd. And of course, when my coworkers don't know what I mean when I tell them that I got an immersion blender from my husband for my birthday, it just reinforces that belief.
Foodies speak a different language than "normal" people. We also see travel in a totally different light. Before I know what hotel I want to stay at, I've usually already scoped out the restaurants in any destination city. And let anybody say whatever they want. In the end, I will still remember the satay and salt and pepper scallops that I ate at Wild Ginger in Seattle, while my trip to the aquarium is now just a vague blur of water and things moving in it.
In my search to create all things yummy at home, I have started to seek the advice of others. That, I have found, is the best way to discover the tricks of the trade. With no grandparents on hand to show me how to bake an authentic loaf of crusty bread (and frankly, I don't think mine could've in the first place), where else should a food nerd turn? Well, I could try recipe after useless recipe from amongst the hundreds of baking cookbooks, or I could save my sanity and get a little friendly advice from more experienced bakers/cooks.
Farm Girl (at foodiefarmgirl.blogspot.com) offered a truly enlightening set of tips for baking bread. And Amazon.com provides a ton of insight by the folks who really know the truth: the consumers!
For noodles, try Nina Simonds' Asian Noodles: 75 Dishes to Twirl, Slurp and Savor. I have made the cinnamon beef noodles and the rainbow peanut noodles. Out of the this world. For simple everyday cooking, try Paula Deen's Savannah Country Cookbook. It's not for everybody...if you have to weigh in once a month somewhere, you'd better skip this one. And now, I am waiting for my local library's computer to give my cell phone a call and let me know that I have a book on hold. I have requested Bread Alone: Bold Fresh Loaves from Your Own Hands by Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik. I'll keep you posted after I've tried a recipe (no pun intended).
And to the other food nerds out there, embrace what you love. Go ahead and use terms such as chiffonade, crudites and immersion blender. There are enough of us now to create our own country! Besides, judging by Weezer and the Verizon Wireless guy, along with countless others, it is way cool and sometimes sexy to be a nerd. So, foodies, on your mark, get set, cook!