This book is in some sense a cooking diary of an amateur cook with no training as he stumbled through life, acquiring a cooking partner along the way. The recipes in this cookbook are in chronological order, recording for posterity the evolution of the dr bob cooking team in the kitchen and at the drawing board. An unhealthy amount of desserts crept their way in during the developmental stages due to the team's weakness for one of the least recognized drugs of western civilization: sugar. However, due to the increasing CC (cuisine correctness) of the aging team members (boomers dominating), the actual frequency of execution of these kinds of recipes in real time steadily diminished. This was accompanied by an increasing awareness of the unsustainability of the lifestyle on which these recipes are based, and massive guilt regarding the present inequities of the modern world. Which nonetheless did not interfere with our enjoyment of the act of creation and consumption, though making its mark on the recording of the event here.
The one key theme in many of these recipes is the flexibility one should have in following them. Usually the specifics are really only guidelines which can be modified depending on the ingredients on hand. In the beginning, recipes were indispensible for us to create in the kitchen, but after faking it for so long due to lack of planning for ingredients, we gradually became quite imaginative on our own. A given recipe records how the team made a certain dish at least once, or perhaps a few times, but often when re-visiting our recipes, we make changes on the fly (some unintentional due to carelessness, others due to lack of ingredients). Seems like another addition might work? Try it and find out. Except in baking, where some food chemistry is important to prevent disasters, the first rule is: there are no rules. Even if there really are, the freedom to experiment and discover far outweighs the risks. Loosen up. We were so tight in our youth. Creating new stuff was hard to imagine. But as you grow, so too does your experience and ability IF YOU WANT IT. Anyone who says they cannot cook is really saying they don't want to cook.
Food is one of the primary necessities of life. It is healthy to prepare your own, not just for physical health, but also mental health. Our modern society is way out of balance, and getting back in touch with what we eat is worth considering. After all, why is Italy such a big tourist destination? The food and the relaxed attitude about life has to be a big contributing factor. Food (and family) plays an important role in the Italian social scene, indeed in the Mediterranean culture that embraces widely different peoples. Whose cuisine is clearly more healthy on the whole than whatever we have going in the USA. So enough proselytizing (preaching?). We don't know a lot. But we eat well. It doesn't take much. We hope you enjoy our little food stories and try a few recipes. We want to inspire others like us, since we certainly don't expect any real cooks to be reading this stuff. Cracking a few smiles along the way wouldn't hurt either.