Thursday, December 31, 2009

About Hippo Flambé

photo taken by Sebastian when he was 4

Hi and welcome to Hippo Flambé. My name is Robin Berger and I am originally from the Upper West Side of Manhattan transplanted to Vermont in 1994. I began this blog really as an exploration of my love of food and sharing what I create in the kitchen. I hope to inspire others to cook more for themselves, even if it is only by making them want to try one of the dishes I share.  I just completed a year working as an Americorps Vista working to improve access to healthy food at the VNA Family Room.  I was the  "Healthy Food Coordinator" and my main accomplishment was implementing the CACFP (Child Adult Care Food Program) with the preschool there.  I get to help encourage 17 children to enjoy healthy food by preparing it in an appetizing way.

My children, Sebastian born in May of 2002 and Julian born in March of 2005, are often my harshest food critics, although they are also lavish with praise when they enjoy something I prepare.  I met my husband, Lewis, while on a trip to England after graduating from high school. Happily for our marriage he has been willing to try new things and even grudgingly admit when a childhood food aversion is proven to be wrong. I am sad to report I stopped hearing his accent within the first year of marriage.

Sometimes I feel that a food blog is the height of hubris, "What makes me so special that you should cook what I make or read what I say?" I don't really have an answer, but I do know my passion for food and cooking causes friends to seek out my advice in the kitchen. I spend so much of my time thinking about, reading about and playing with food that my friends treat me as a resource. For myself, even if this blog is hubris it has proven itself to be incredibly handy as a place to store my recipes and as a journal of my boys as they grow up. When Lewis needs to prepare dinner he often refers to the recipes as they are our tried and trues, written down.

I grew up with a mom who cooked dinner every night, although never because she loved cooking. My mom always loved good food and was more than happy to have me assist her with browning the meat, loading the dishwasher or any other tasks that she could find for me. My mother was not a great cook but she was not a bad cook either. Even though she never loved to cook my own love of cooking still began with my her.

In general I try not to use processed food, although we each have our own definition of what is processed. For example I do not believe white sugar is the enemy, at least in moderation, and use it without guilt in my kitchen, although we have less of a sweet tooth than many people I know.

I always love the few comments I get on my blog and am hoping to receive more (yes, that is a hint). If you have a question about a recipe it is best to leave it in a comment as I am sure more than one person is wondering something similar. If you have any questions on canning safety you can leave it in a comment or e-mail me. I am something of a canning geek and I enjoy helping people stay safe while enjoying canning. If you have tried a recipe please report back, even if you did not like the end result. Your experiences would be helpful to other readers. I'll respond to any questions you may post (in between preparing food and chasing down my children). No matter what you have to say please know that I appreciate you taking the time to write me a note.

If you wish to contact me you can send me an e-mail, my address is: robin "at" hippoflambe "dot" com

Thank you for visiting Hippo Flambé.