The cooking pages contain information about food including cookbooks, recipes, cooking techniques, cooking equipment, gadgets, manuals, etc.

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My Cooking History

Notes:

  • the following are my best recollections regarding dates
  • on 2009/12/14, I spoke with my mom and she does not remember me doing any cooking at home.
1940 (late)

Back in the mid to late 40s, my folks bought a bunch of rabbits when our chicken/egg/rabbit lady was going out of the rabbit business. Our house still had an ice box so food preservation was usually done by canning. So they made canned Bunny Burgers! See The Reed's Bunny Burgers for the recipe.

I still get a craving every now and then for a Bunny Burger smiley face

1945-1958

At home, I sort of remember watching mom and dad cook! Dad used to make a fried patty with corn, bell pepper and egg which was delicious with syrup and which I still make now and then.

I recall eating several times at a Chinese restaurant (most likely Cantonese) once in a while, probably during the early to mid 1940s because I also remember taped car headlights to prevent headlights from showing up in the air...air raid protection! All I remember were the LARGE fried shrimp with catsup and Chinese mustard (although I do not remember if I ate the mustard)! Of course, I was small so it is definitely possible that the shrimp were not really that LARGE!

Sometime in the late 1950s, I remember watching a girl-friend's mother make a quickie pizza using Bisquick and squeezed canned Italian plum tomatoes. I think I might have made this at home.

1958-1959

My first year of college at Loyola University, Los Angeles, all I did was eat at the cafeteria and heat canned food in the dorm except for Chinese food cooked illegally in the dorm by a Chinese student.

And of course, I ate mom's food when I went home for the weekends.

I also had my first Korean meal when my best friend, Paul Wan-Soon Kim, a Korean senior, took me to a Korean woman's home where she cooked home style meals for Korean students...at that time, there were no Korean markets or groceries in L.A.!!!!

1959-1960

When I moved up to University of California, Berkeley, for my second year of college, at a rooming house, although I did not have even one cookbook, I did the shopping and cooking for Frank Melseimer(?), a fellow graduate of ESHS and a young lady (both students at UCB) and they did the dishes. I cooked chicken breasts, steaks, chops, fish, etc. along with appropriate vegetables and other side dishes. They both seemed satisified with my cooking. I guess that was the real beginning of my cooking interests.

mid 1960s

Probably when I first began cooking Chinese but I am not sure about cookbooks. Among the first Chinese cookbooks I remember and still have, although published in the 1950s or 1960s, were:

  • "The Wok - a Chinese Cook Book" by Gary Lee
  • "Madame Wu's Art of Chinese Cooking" by Sylvia Wu

I mainly shopped at stores in Oakland's China Town where I also bought my first wok which I still have and keep well seasoned and my big aluminum Chinese steamer. In addition to various groceries and teas, I also bought various raw dim sum to steam at home on a regular basis.

I also ate Chinese food at a restaurant in S.F. China town with my compadre, Harold Martin, several times a week after playing music in San Jose. I particularly remember the Tomato Beef.

I also had my first experiences with sushi when, a Japanese man from Hawaii opened a cafe across the street from where I lived and I discovered inari-zushi...big handful sushi...2 for $ .25! I thought this was sushi, so a couple of years later after the cafe had been closed, I got a craving for inari-zushi so I stopped at a Japanese restaurant/sushi-bar and ordered 10 or so pieces to go. When I got home, there were no inari-zushi...just raw fish, squid, octopus, etc...I was disappointed but I ate it all any way!

early 1970s

I had my first frog legs...Chinese style take-out from a restaurant just up the street from where I lived. Fantastic!

mid 1970s

For about 6 months, I cooked Chinese food almost every day. I did whole chickens...boiled, honeyed and air dried. I also kept a pot of looo simmering on the stove.

My wife and I ate Chinese dishes with steamed rice almost every night and lost weight!

1980s-1990s

Ate lunch frequently at Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants with co-workers.

Also ate at Edwin Schumacher's restaurant on a regular basis and once a month for a special fixed menu gourmet meal. I got to know him quite well and he allowed me to do some prep work in his kitchen. I had watched him make a zabaglione, and one night at home, I got a craving for it. I made it from memory, but because my oven was broken, I cooked it in a microwave oven...it came out very good except for the merengue which was like rubber smiley face

late 2000s

After my retirement, I began Asian cooking again and eating at Asian restaurants on a regular basis. Started building up my Asian Cookbook Collection.

2009/01/00

Began cataloging my cookbook collections, Asian and Non‑Asian. This is a continuing project.