Zo

Posted by francis keyser Thursday, June 10, 2010
"It's cooking for me!" That's what I say anytime Francis brings up Cooking for Zo in conversation. That's because, as you may have guessed, I'm the muse for this lovely site; I just sit around and look pretty, inspiring Francis to cook delicious things for me. Because we all know that I like to eat, always have.

That's not to say that I can't pull my own weight in the kitchen. I have lots of warm memories of being dough-faced in my great-grandmother's kitchen (in fact, one winter I was baking Christmas cookies with her, and she staged a photograph in her sugared-and-sprinkled galley after dabbing my four-year-old nose in flour. Ultimate genetic manifestation of her Vaudevillian father). There is a softness in my heart for memories of making popcorn and chocolate sodas overnight with my Nana, her soda-jerk ways flooding back to her as she added an extra scoop of ice cream. I have sweet memories centered in my parents' kitchen as well: helping my creative cook of a mom in every preparation of lunch and dinner, helping my dad by arranging the cheese on his omelet, his single culinary mastery. And all those years of Dinnertime, that sacred event when everyone sat down together as a family, the culmination of all that bustling in the kitchen. Oh yes, I like to cook.

But I'm a baker at heart. Francis can tell you that. I remember when I was small, my mom went through this huge cake decorating phase. She was always the cake-baker when it came to family events, everyone else picked up a too-sweet sheet cake from the store. During those years, I had laid eyes on every cake a little girl could wish for: a German chocolate kitty, a guitar with strings of licorice, a bunny with toasted-coconut paws, and a giant chocolate chip cookie "cake." From those Christmas cookies with Grandma Ann to my mom's imaginative cakes, my sweet tooth grew into something that I loved to do.

That's part of why Francis and I work so well together. He cooks, I bake. And I'll tell you what, he cooks up some pretty amazing things using the most incredible method: his imagination, backed by a lifetime of messing around in the kitchen.

Go ahead and try a recipe. It's so good, I promise!

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