I cook because I love to eat. I garden because I love to cook. I especially like cooking for and sharing with others, which is why I am writing this blog. I hope to share recipes, suggestions, and thoughts on food, as well as stories from my kitchen and garden.
Growing up in Philadelphia, I helped cook with my father from a very young age, and it was not long before I was cooking for my whole family once or twice a week. I learned family classics and discovered new recipes.
While in graduate school on Long Island, living with my future wife Marci in the early 1990’s, I started a garden to provide fresh ingredients and with the hope it would inspire me to explore new foods and create new recipes. When we had our children – Jacob and Ariana – I expanded my garden to provide them with fresh, pesticide-free vegetables. I enlisted their help in the garden to foster an appreciation of sustainable, home-grown food and to get them to expand their palate. I have expanded my garden considerably since then and I use its bounty throughout the year as the inspiration for my cooking. Dinner is often based on what’s available in the garden.
I am a home cook with no formal training, and I especially like recreating dishes I have eaten at restaurants. As a result, the food I cook varies from simple to complex. Many recipes include just a few ingredients and can be put together in a matter of minutes. Others require days of planning, shopping, and cooking. I am particularly interested in appetizers, antipasto, tapas, meze, dim sum, hors d’oeuvres, small plates – whatever you want to call them, and on Saturday nights, I often cook a series of small dishes as Marci and friends sit at the kitchen island with a glass of wine.
A note about the way I cook and my recipes…I rarely measure ingredients and I have few hard and fast rules about how to put a dish together. Thus, you should treat my recipes as a guide, not gospel. Use them as a starting point and modify measurements to your needs and tastes and to the ingredients you have on hand. Most importantly, whether it be gardening or cooking, enjoy the process and the results.
I currently live in Huntington, NY, where in addition to gardening and cooking, I teach high school Biology, Marine Science, and Environmental Science in a local public school district. I can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow me on Instagram at maxskitchenandgarden.