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Erway also notes that cooking helps her attain a "satisfying zen-out period." The blog grew organically out of a desire to creat an idea exchange for on-the-go urbanites; to share secrets of preserving food, easy recipes and shopping tips.
The object, of course, is to be able to buy fresh, organic produce and then use it all before it goes bad. This is hard to do if you are only cooking for one or two people (Erway has a live-out boyfriend and a roommate, so frequently cooks for two, but just as often cooks for one, she confided). So the little tricks come in handy.
The idea of course is to live well. One can easily get addicted to depriving oneself of good food, eating junk because you have convinced yourself it's the only thing you have time for. Or else, ordering expensive take-out and suddenly running out of money. With Catharine's Not Eating Out in New York blog you can learn how to make a whole new dish out of the leftovers of the dish you made the previous evening, such as her wondrous recipe for Curry Chicken Leftover Salad made from-you guessed it-the previous night's curry chicken.
Other ideas are to make hummus from the leftover chick peas you got originally as a salad garnish, or pesto from the leftover basil you got for a mozarella and tomato spread. Shopping wisely is important, knowing which days which produce is the freshest.
The disarmingly attractive and demure Ms. Erway is half-Chinese, but her mother (the Chinese half) didn't merely teach her an array of homeland cuisine; rather, she instilled her with a sense of culinary adventure at a very young age. The family scoured the city for exotic eateries and mom was an adventurous cook, making corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick's Day, for example, though no one in the family is Irish. "I like just about everything," she noted.
When asked why food was so important to her, then, it's not surprising Catharine whipped out a quote from Confuscious, "The way a man cuts his meat is the way he lives." Her philosophy of food is all-encompassing and generous, and her spirited blog reflect this.
The blog is going strong with Erway fielding advertising offers and for now, just easing into a steady rhtyhm of writing about cooking, cooking, working and eating. Do you write about cooking to eat or eat to write about cooking? I ask her. She just smiles that enigmatic smile which means, in that zen way, that there is no answer.