The name Quookie actually started out being an idea for an online market place for baked goods, but after researching the legalities involved, I decided to leave the concept to others more equipped than I—specifically when it came to monies. But the name stuck with me, so I continued to renew the domain name for a few years. At some point along the way, I designed a blog for my sisters and I to collectively share life’s random bits and pieces, and maybe once in a while, shed a tear or two. But the timing was off and we were never really able to get it off the ground. But I just couldn’t let it go. I continued to renew the domain name in hopes of reviving the idea when everyone had the time to devote to it. I would not say that I finally gave up, but I did decide that this quirky name deserved a voice; someone to nurture it, and see where the quookie crumbled.
My mom used to run what my father referred to as “Flo’s Diner” with five young daughters with a host of allergies and peculiar taste buds. To say we were picky is something of an understatement. I was allergic to tomatoes and orange juice among other things and did not like any condiments, cheese, or sour tastes. To get me to try anything new was all but impossible. This was of course with the exception of sweets. My mom made phenomenal desserts each night that we could all get behind. I tried my best to survive on sweets. Eventually, she started working full-time and I was forced to start baking for myself. Thank goodness I had such a great mentor and my baking skills are solid. My mom is now in her eighties and probably does not bake dessert every night, but I bet my dad would love her to!
Lucky for me, I grew up and started to realize that nutritionally my plate was a bit unbalanced. And with the help of a few key people, I discovered there were flavors out there that danced on my tongue and left me hungry for more (beyond cakes and biscuits). Spice and heat woke up my taste buds; with Thai and Indian cuisine at the forefront of this revolution. So while I still retained a few picky habits, overall, I started to relish eating a balanced diet.
But loving to eat does not translate to cooking; especially if you are the youngest and used to being taken care of. So I left home with little cooking skills. And I spend the next fifteen years preparing meals, but not creating them. When I wanted to lose myself in my food, I ate out. Fast forward to the last few years and I found myself living in a rural community with only a few gems in the way of fine dining, and even less in the way of convenient dining. I missed my Friday-night curry and my mid-week Chinese takeway. I longed for perfectly prepared salmon and melt-in-your-mouth peppercorn’ed beef fillet. And the velvety sauces perfectly seasoned marrying with fresh herbs…it was more than I could take!
I was desperate, and hungry. I realized that the only way I was going to eat the foods I craved was to start making them myself. And thus started my love of cooking. It was not a love-at-first-sight type of thing, but I think my interest in gastronomic endeavors will end up lasting a lifetime. And with a little luck, maybe I can inspire my children to love food, cooking, and baking as well.