I’m Lorin. I live in Duluth, MN with my wife and three cats. I spent 17 years before the pandemic as a cook/chef in local restaurants in Madison, WI, Eau Claire, WI and Duluth, MN. I currently am enjoying some downtime while I figure out what my next career move is.
I have always enjoyed cooking and recipes. I was probably seven or eight years old when I decided I was going to cook my way through every book on my parents cookbook shelf. Being old hippies, that collection was mostly 1970’s whole foods/ health foods cookbooks with over 100 pages, multiple recipes per page, and mostly no pictures. An ambitious project for anyone, let alone a kid. I slogged away at it for close to a decade and made it ⅔ of the way through one book before I decided that project was dead. It was slow going- we lived in the country and I’d ofter have to wait a couple of weeks for a trip to the town with the food co-op to get the ingredients I needed. Or I’d have to wait months for the appropriate vegetable to be in season from the garden. We were a vegetarian household so I skipped entire chapters (a lesson in flexibility I should probably try to remember today).
Fast forward three decades and I still like to work my way through things “in order”. Whether it’s my unrealistic daydream landscaping projects where all the plants have latin names starting with Ab.., or my ongoing project to listen to all the songs from each week of the Billboard top 100, starting with the very first one in 1958 (It’s taken me about three years to get through not quite two years worth… )
The interest in food hasn’t gone away either. I cooked professionally for close to 20 years, and still came home and mase food in the evenings or on my days off. And there’s still usually some sort of system behind what I decide to cook, whether I’ve started working my way through yet another cookbook, or taken my database of nearly 6000 foods and used a random number generator to make my own “black box” challenge, a la Iron Chef.
In 2019 I came across the Wikipedia page List of Foods. Given my interests and brain chemistry, here was an obvious new project. Of course I had to start at the top of the list, which happens to be legumes, hence the name of this blog. A couple years into this project I’ve worked my way through the bean soups list, and am currently on a sidetrack from the baked beans list, exploring various versions of pork and beans around the world. Wikipedia obviously doesn’t provide recipes (most of the time) so I’ve been researching and creating my own recipes. I try to use at least 10-12 recipes from other sources to create my version. I keep ingredients that show up in many recipes and ignore ones that only show up in a couple and take the most common cooking methods and average quantities, in hopes that I will create a reasonably authentic version of something I may have never even heard of before.