Yay-food.com started off as a recipe blog in 2007, but I couldn’t keep up with it. For a long time, I’ve been wanting to create a food blog that tracked what I actually cook, day-to-day. For me, cooking is like breathing—easy and natural and I often don’t even notice I’m doing it. I read recipe books for fun, and mentally reverse-engineer restaurant dishes when I run across one I like. I’m mainly a self-taught cook; I learn by watching others, imitating, and trying out my own variants. Aside from an addiction to The Galloping Gourmet when I was a kid in the 1970s, I’ve never much liked to watch cooking shows. They’re too slow. But I’m an avid reader and I search cookbooks for interesting flavor and texture combinations I’d never have thought of on my own. I’m also a restless cook. Most things I make, I will never repeat, even if I think they’re delicious. A few dishes have stuck over the years, but I almost never make them the same way twice. Because I don’t repeat, I don’t tinker towards perfection, which means few of my recipes are at their apex when I write them down. I’ll leave the perfection to you, if you like a recipe.
In the same vein, I can’t be assed to plate dishes properly although I deeply appreciate gorgeous presentation. And I won’t pretend to plate pretty for pictures. What you see here are real photos of real food, not specialized “pro” photos where Elmer’s glue is the stand-in for cereal milk, or where motor oil is the go-to solution for making maple syrup cook good. This is the only way I know to ensure that your results will look like mine when you follow my instructions.
Finally, I cook what I like to eat, the way I like to eat it. This means that my food tends more towards intense than subtle flavors and make use of hot peppers to a degree that many folks can’t tolerate (I do tell you where you can leave those out). I make no pretense to authenticity: don’t look for “real” regional/ethnic cooking recipes here. If, for example, I make borscht, I might make it like my grandmother used to make it. or like my Russian ex-partner told me his grandmother used to make it, or based on a combination of recipes I found in different books from different regions, or totally out of my own head. I’ll never make the same borscht again—the recipe you get here is the one I made on the day I made it, based on the ingredients I felt like including (and that were available). I’ll make one version if I’m buying only from the local Swiss Coop supermarket, and completely another if I’ve just been up to Bamberg to the Russian supermarket there.
I care about cooking as a process, and what I eat is mainly interesting as a product of that process. If you love the process too, maybe you’ll enjoy what I share here.