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One-Line Bio

I am a geek girl that LOVES to cook!


Who am I?

Hi! My name is Kitarra. This probably leads to the questions of what the heck is a Kitarra? That's a complex answer. In short, it's the name that I have been using on line since I started at the age of 10 on VAX systems. The longer answer is very long indeed and involves unicorns and child-like flights of fancy. Another words, something to talk about of a nice hot cup of tea and a few cookies.

Why Cooking Debauchery?

The idea for the site name started with a comment a friend made. I had initially wanted to call the site Feral Domestic mostly because of the fact that while I cook...I am not at all domestic in any other way. But that got shot down pretty quickly. So I started to shot for other names. Talking it over with friends I asked what made them think of me. The first answer came back = "But that isn't publishable." Another suggestion was "The Eighth Sin" but I thought it was a little too pretentious and it didn't have the play on words that Feral Domestic had. But that got me thinking about sin and piracy (a trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean didn't hurt either). Which naturally lead to debauchery. And while the claim is a little over inflated I have lead more than a few people astray with either my cooking or my recipes. And it goes well with my basic philosophy of things. There is no harm in occasionally giving way to temptation. That's why it's there! It is the encouragement of others to follow that philosophy that earns me the title of debaucher. And besides. It's nifty to say. Cooking Debauchery. And it has so many decidedly delectable connotations.

What do I do for a living?

I am a professional computer geek. I am a Senior Consultant for a professional services company. Though I like to think of myself as the cuckoo of the IT world. I come in to a place, I put as system into place and then I abandon it to the local IT people to take care of. All in all I greatly enjoy my job. I love technology and I love playing with it.

Why am I putting up a cooking blog?

See... it all started in May of 2005. I went on vacation to Spokane to visit some friends. On the way back, I stopped in Seattle so that I could spend a day at Pike Place Market. While there I took some pictures. They were awful. Blurry and poorly composed...not even good enough with the help of Photoshop. Total waste. This frustrated me. I hate being bad at thing. So I vowed to become a better photographer. To start with, I started taking pictures of food. Food doesn't move and doesn't yell at you if you take an hour to compose a shot. It doesn't need water or bathroom breaks and you don't need to dress it up or know its size. To track my progress I started posting the photos and recipes in my Live Journal. Which kinda got around. My family started talking about the pictures and the food and pretty soon, people were asking me for the link to my site. The idea of giving them my personal journal was a wee bit uncomfortable. So after much deliberation, I decided to create a separate journal. Here it is.

How did I get interested in cooking?

When I was little, I had a large family. For holiday and special occasions, the women would gather in a kitchen and cook together. I don't have any specific memories of this but I do have a mental collage of happy faces and happier smells. Life never seemed happier than when all of the women were gathered in the kitchen. And though I was very small I was never discouraged from "helping." Those memories carried me through many years of fighting with my mother about food and eventually to the kitchens of her Italian restaurant. I guess I have always been curious about cooking. My first solo experiment was from a children’s cookbook. I was 9 I think. And I don't remember it being terrible. From then on I fell in love with baking. Baking was easy. The cooking came much later after I was already comfortable making the dishes at the family restaurant. Now I just fine cooking relaxing. A creative outlet, it allows me turn off my analytical mind and just participate in the art of cooking. I look upon every dish as a canvas and each spice as a color in my palate. And though I have a huge collection of cookbooks I prefer to create recipes on my own or let the recipes of others inspire me.

What are my favorite ingredients?

Garlic! I could not live or cook without garlic. And to accompany garlic, lemon juice. I am convinced that there is almost NOTHING on this earth that can't be improved with either garlic or lemon juice and sometimes a combination of both. Vanilla is another HUGE stable of my kitchen. I buy it in large quantities and use tons of it. For both savory and sweet dishes. Fresh herbs are another favorite, especially cilantro. Other staples of my kitchen include corn, smoked chicken sausage, coconut milk, chicken stock, and of course my incredible collection of spices.

What are my favorite spices?

Without a doubt my favorite spice is cinnamon. Though it doesn't go in everything. I love 5 spice powder, salt, cardamom, cayenne, coriander, and cumin. I include one or more of the above in almost everything I cook. Cayenne and Aleppo pepper are favorites because I believe that everything can use a little bit of heat to accentuate the other flavors.


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