Friday, September 28, 2012

Welcome to A Harmony of Flavors Blog

Welcome to A Harmony of Flavors Blog

My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. My ethnic background is Slovakian on my mother's side and Yugoslavian (now in the province of Vojvodina in Serbia) on my father's side. All my grandparents came from Europe to the United States to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Many people have asked me what “A Harmony of Flavors” means.  Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible and the taste so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing that the experience would never end?  Then you have experienced a truly "harmonious" meal.

I began my cooking career in Guatemala, in 1970. I moved there as a naive 20-year-old, and set out to learn everything I could about cooking in a foreign land - from scratch. This process was complicated by the fact that I could not speak or read the language. This experience set a remarkable pattern for the rest of my life, as I learned to prepare healthy simple meals and snacks at home, from scratch, on a tight budget. I had no oven for many of the 12 years I spent there. An electric fry pan became my "oven." Placing a small rack into the pan, I used it to bake cakes, pies, and even bread!

I love food. I love new recipes. I love to create new recipe combinations and try them.

I hope to inspire you to follow me! My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.

What do I want this Blog to represent?

If the Blog represents my personality, then its purpose is to bring together a group of people with a desire to enhance their cooking with new skills and ideas. I certainly do not think for one moment that any one person holds all of the secrets of cooking. It is a community of individuals that combined, sharing their ideas and tips, enhance the cooking experience for us all.
Two of my sisters and me, laughing together after a meal
This is best expressed by a phrase I recently saw “A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide that you get to know. There are many guides to choose from; each develops an audience. There is a camaraderie that forms between the people who run weblogs and their followers, somewhat like an electronic-extended family”. 

I remember the times that my sisters and I would sit around and discuss recipes and why they did or did not work. It was fun to hear about new ideas or tips to make our cooking more enjoyable. I have had the same experiences with a group of friends chatting with a glass of wine in one hand and sharing ideas.
Since it is not possible to get everyone in the same room to have this remarkable sharing experience I am trying to create the next best forum: A Harmony of Flavors Blog. Please contact me so we can start learning from each other.