I wonder how to make this? Can I do this at home? Can I do this at all? Am I crazy to try this?  These are the four questions I ask myself almost every day. Perhaps I have eaten something delicious at a restaurant; maybe I stumbled upon an interesting ingredient at the market; quite possibly I have been obsessing about something I have tasted along the way to where I am today. In any case, the answer to the first three questions is usually, "yes," and to the fourth, the answer is, "maybe." The good news is that the fun is in the process of creating something new that yields undeniable rewards when it works, and an important place on the learning curve when it doesn't.

My name is Judy Fonda. For most of my life, I was a law professor. When I retired the first question people asked me was, "Aren't you worried about filling your time?" For me, that was never an issue. I have loved to cook since I procrastinated in the kitchen during law school, but really immersed myself behind the stove after my first trip to Europe in the early 70s. It was on this trip that I discovered the Michelin Guide and its restaurants, and was inspired to cook my way through Julia Child's "Mastering The Art of French Cooking" Volumes I and II upon my return home. When I saw the movie "Julie and Julia" I felt a particular kinship to the writer in the movie.  Just as boeuf Bourguignon was an important event in that person's story, cooking it was one of my first attempts at recreating a "Julia"  moment.  From there it was off to the races.  French onion soup with homemade stock. French bread baked in a tile lined oven. Souffles and so on.  My daughter was even born on Julia's birthday (though to be honest I am pretty sure that was just a coincidence).

Recently, I have become more deeply involved in the DIY side of things, making everything I can think of from scratch, from butter and cheese to cured meats, fish and sausages and even bagels and English muffins.

In my opinion, if you can taste and read, you can cook. True that your skills and flexibility with maneuvering within and around recipes will improve with time and practice, but with an interest in cooking and a little patience there are almost no limits to what you can accomplish.

Questions? Comments?  Feedback?

You can reach me at makeitorbakeitcooking@gmail.com