Hello and thanks for stopping by! I've had this blog for a little over three years now, but I only just realized that Blogger allows you to have little page tabs dedicated to any topic my heart should desire. Clearly, this confession not only betrays my gross lack of tech-savvy, but should also make us all ooh and ahh in amazement that I manage to blog at all. *bows* On a more serious note, however, I felt it was high time I did a proper "about me" page.
My name is Katy (yes, my google ID is Junsui, which is perhaps confusing because I am not Japanese. I did, however, live there for a year and there is a story behind my blog alias. While working at a high school, I joined the calligraphy club to spend more time with my students and also to learn more Japanese; since all Japanese calligraphy must be signed with a stamp bearing your name--each and every Japanese has one; it's necessary for all official documents--and my name was written in the foreign alphabet, the calligraphy instructor and I came up with a real Japanese name for me: Junsui. Like Kathryn, it means purity.) and I live in Berkeley, CA, where I recently earned a Ph.D. in Russian Literature, and will also, after many, many years of being a student, finally embark on a new and non-academic adventure in the coming months. You'll just have to stay tuned to see where opportunity will take me...I promise that, even if I'm no longer writing a dissertation and thinking about all things Slavic, literature will still figure heavily on this blog. I've always been a reader and I don't expect the new direction my life takes to change this simple truth.
Although I come from a family in which food was always important--and it was always good--I didn't start cooking, truly cooking, until graduate school. I baked muffins and cupcakes for my classes, especially for the days when I had presentations, and I also cooked as a way of relaxing in the evenings. Surprisingly, I found that I liked it, so I started doing it more. By the time I passed my qualifying exams, it seemed only right that I should start a food blog to chronicle my adventures in the kitchen--my adventures both with dining and Dostoevsky (Dostoevsky was the reason I got into Slavic studies to begin with and, even though my work didn't focus on him, you might say he's one of the leading men in my literary life).
And then the Greek, my sidekick and sous chef extraordinaire, came along and, both because of and through him, long Greek words and foods started making their way onto the menu--seriously, even my grandma now makes baklava. So, really, on this blog, you get a mix of Mediterranean flavors, family recipes from the heart of southwestern Pennsylvania, simple Californian cooking and whatever just happens to strike my fancy either on our various travels or in cookbooks and cooking magazines. While baking originally stole my heart, I also like playing with savory flavors. I've recently become interested in Persian cooking, started making my own pasta and am currently foreseeing a glorious future in which I bake a lot of bread. Most importantly, I will never say no to ice cream.
As a final note, the above picture of me was taken on the beautiful island of Milos a few summers ago. I just want to point out two things: Firstly, I do not normally look this glamorous; secondly, I do not normally drink Coca-Cola. Although you would never know it thanks to the fact that I become more photogenic with a fever, in this picture I had just left the small island health center, where the doctor had recommended that I drink Coca-Cola to settle my stomach. The nurse also suggested that I buy a hat. As you can see, I followed their orders to the letter.
P.S. Once upon a time, I was part of the Blogher network. Late last year (2013), I decided to leave it because I didn't really care for the products being advertised on my blog, nor did I feel that ads really made sense for a small blog like mine. In any case, I'm happy to be independent and ad-free again. I buy all of the food and books featured on this blog and my endorsements and expressed interests are wholly mine.
If you want to contact me about a recipe or with any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!