How I became the Gringo Gourmet
I remember cooking “nest eggs” in a six-inch skillet on a gas heater in our living room when I was five or six years old. I graduated to a real stove when I got tall enough.
My cooking style has evolved from the down home country dishes to more exotic fare as I have grown and seen more of the world. I have posted photos and descriptions of many of my dishes on Facebook for a couple of years. There, I’ve gained an international group of friends and enjoy reading their comments.
Several people have asked me if I’m writing a cookbook. I don’t think I’m ready for that yet, but it might happen someday. Instead, thanks to my daughter Emily’s creativity and hard work, I have a blog. Here, I’ll share some experiences, some cooking tips I’ve picked up and sometimes actually share the recipes. My preference is to list ingredients and turn you loose on making the dishes your own. You can contact me on the blog if you want more details on a particular dish.
I am currently learning and experimenting with native foods from the southwest. I’ve tried many traditional foods that sustained the native people. I’ve enjoyed dishes that evolved from native foods and Spanish influences in Mexico. And, I’m having a great time learning more about using native plants in new ways from author friends in Arizona.
I’ve been doing cooking demonstrations using prickly pear cactus for three or four years. My audience has been members of the El Paso Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico (NPSNM), the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club, local garden clubs and organizations. I’ve had the honor of doing workshops for the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society, the NPSNM annual meeting and the Santa Fe Chapter of the NPSNM.
I’ve evolved from making traditional recipes to trying more modern approaches to cooking with cactus. I now bill myself as the “Gringo Gourmet” and call my cooking demonstrations “Not Your Mama’s Nopalitos.” Nopalito is the Spanish word for diced prickly pear cactus.
This blog will include dishes I make from native foods including, cactus, mesquite beans, purslane and other plants that nature put where I live. Some of my postings will be of dishes created by friends across the southwest; others will be original recipes.
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