My name is Alan Goldstein and this blog is a place for me and my twin sister Abby to spout off about food and stuff. I grew up in New Jersey, in the top part of the peanut about 40 miles from New York. Our folks exposed us to a wide range of food as kids and I was always an adventurous eater. When we were kids we took the monster cross country vacation. We were in San Louis Obispo I think when I ordered the Surf and Turf. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. My Dad accused me of ordering the most expensive thing on the menu all across America but I didn’t even look at the prices. I was just ordering what looked good to me. I think Abby offered to split it with me and we did just that. Pretty cool huh!
I started cooking at a young age, at first helping my mom and grandma making cookies and stuff but later turning on the stove and actually cooking stuff. I would have to say that my culinary influences start with Julia Childs and Graham Kerr. We would watch those shows on PBS with rapt attention and while I am not sure how much I learned as a little kid it definitely made an impression, especially Graham Kerr. He had such a good time and always invited a delighted member of the studio audience up to join him and I remember wanting to have the same kind of effect on people. Later I loved Martin Yan and Jeff Smith and Jacques Pepin and when Food TV hit I was blown away by the creative approach of Alton Brown. If these all seem like TV personalities I guess that I am part of the TV generation.
From a literary point of view my three big influences are JRR Tolkien, Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Robbins. I love the way Tolkien paints pictures with words and sometimes uses them in unusual ways. I reread The Lord of the Rings fairly regularly and some of the passages still amaze me 25 years after I first read them as a young teen. Hunter S. Thompson was the pioneer of Gonzo Journalism, which is the art of throwing yourself into a story and reporting from the inside rather than as a dispassionate observer. Of course Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas was my first taste but I have read most of his work and love it. Tom Robbins revealed to me the realm of mystery and wonder. Another Roadside Attraction was at once unorthodox and at the same time he created characters that you cared about and rooted for. The wild twists and turns in his work always impressed me.
I hope you enjoy the blog and find it entertaining and informative.