Welcome and benvenuti

June 19, 2010

Hi. I’m Kathleen, a 44 year-old ex Italian-circus-sideshow performer. (We’ll get to that.) These days, I live in rural Oregon with 4 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 Italian husband. I’m an aspiring writer who likes to make people laugh; at me/with me — it’s all good, as long as we’re laughing.

I love good wine, good friends, and good food. The wine and friends part was natural. Food was not. Hence the blog title  — Kicking and Screaming into the Kitchen.  That Italian husband I mentioned — it was love (umm… lust) at first sight. My love of the kitchen and cooking, however, was a long and bumpy road toward domesticity. Sure, there was some lust involved there too (I was in Italy, for chrissake — the Food, ohhh the FOOD!), but it took some time and a hell of a lot of effort to get from Lust to Love.

My intention with this blog is to take you there. Maybe you already love Italy and Italian-inspired food and just want to see what a similar soul has to blog about it. Maybe you’re weary of pouring a  jar of sauce over boiled American noodles, shaking a little canned “parmesan” on top, and calling it Italian food. Maybe you just want a friend in the kitchen — someone who’s willing to share her triumphs and her travesties, someone who is interested in sharing yours. Or maybe I begged and pleaded for you to read this, just so there’d be one — at least ONE person who would. (Thank you!)

I’m not a professional chef, and I don’t promise any answers. I do, however, aspire to inspire questions. Curiosity may be the root of all evil, but maybe, just maybe, it is also the root of all joy.

Joy. Now that seems as good a place as any to start. Remember that part about laughing — whether with me or at me? Well, here’s your chance. A couple of years ago, I took a class on stand up comedy (www.accidentalcomic.com). To officially graduate, we had to perform at a local theater. Apologies are in order — the first minute or so is missing —  we were comedians, not cinematographers — and I clumsily chopped bits out of the rest so it would meet YouTube’s 10  minute limit. Caution: hues of blue may make it inappropriate for young viewers. Here’s the condensed version of the missing intro:

I don’t get up on stages to entertain people much these days, but I used to. In my 20’s, I went off to Europe looking for adventure and Accidentally Joined a Circus. My favorite job was riding an Elephant.  My worst job was performing in a chorus line with Las Vegas rejects, wearing enough rhinestones and feathers to shame Liberace…


Next up: What better way to get to know each other than having a drink together? Stay tuned for the recipe for limoncello — lee-mon-chey-lo — southern Italy’s beloved lemon liqueur.  It’s sweet — so if you don’t like sugar in your alcohol, a glass of big red will do. But if you want to give it a whirl, get yourself a handful of good lemons, sugar, your choice of everclear or vodka, and meet me back here in a week. We’ll laugh a little, live a little, and zest up a batch of sunshine in a bottle.

Ciao ciao ~

3 Responses to “Welcome and benvenuti”

  1. Kathleen, your book is a gem, a tome for the lovelorn, dusty traveler who in this life yearns for more of everything: more love, more adventure, more food!

    I’ve enjoyed your diligence in our Writers of the Round Table group–it has paid off in a flaming tribute to you, Stefano, Italian cooking –and love of elephants. It’s been a privilege.

  2. Kathleen, I can’t wait to see your book published and am so happy you’re blogging. Love the photo. I like my men short, dark, and hairy myself.

  3. Liz Chalcroft Says:

    What an interesting love – hate relationship with cooking. I hope you learned to love rather that hate cooking. It taste so much better with enjoyment I am looking forward to learning about something to do with lemons besides lemon pie.

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