How It All Began

There isn’t much to say after Cathy’s wonderful introduction to Aphrodite’s Hearth; she is, after all, the professional writer in this duo. Unfortunately, I suffer the same affliction shared by most individuals of Italian descent: No matter how thoroughly a subject has been beaten to death, we still feel a moral and ethical obligation to stick in our 2¢ (of course, given inflation and our general love of our own opinion, the result is usually more like $1.50. But I digress).

The idea for Aphrodite’s Hearth began to develop from a conversation Cathy and I were having on Facebook, a conversation that wound its way from curls to voodoo priestesses to lizard blood to city council meetings to hair porn to…writing a cookbook (don’t even try to figure out how the hell that progression evolved, just roll with it). At the same time this conversation was going on, I was creating a Facebook page called “Tiffany’s Italian Kitchen.” Since I spent so much time posting about the food I cooked for my family and since most of my friends either love to cook or love to eat, I figured what was going on in my kitchen deserved its own page.

It was Cathy, bless her heart, who then spotted our mutual love for the consumption and preparation of food—not just any old food, but food that literally sang out from the plate, that beckoned with a promise and an allure as mysterious and irresistible as any enticement from the Goddess of Love and Pleasure herself: the beautiful Aphrodite.

Equally beguiling is the preparation of this kind of food: the mist of spray from a fresh tomato as it is sliced into deep scarlet rounds, the brisk sizzle as crisp white onions hit a pan of hot golden olive oil, the yeasty aroma of crusty burnished loaves of bread as they are pulled from the oven, the warm bubbling scent of sugar and spice in a fresh blackberry cobbler and the delicious cold-hot contrast from a succulent first bite crowned with cold vanilla ice cream.

In other words: food porn. Any experience involving food that arouses the desires as thoroughly and provocatively as any human experience can.

Anyone can learn to cook this food as long as they have the passion. What most people often lack is not the desire, but the basic know-how. Most cooking and recipe resources seem to operate from two extremes: they either assume you are already an expert cook or that you are a complete idiot in the kitchen. There doesn’t seem to be as many resources in the middle: for those who know their way around the basics, but don’t know how to translate their longing to make food sexy and stimulating into tangible results. This blog—with all of its stories, recipes, tips, opinions and celebrations—is for you.

As so eloquently said by the immortal Voltaire: “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”

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