Hello and welcome to Phoo-d.com! My name is Annie, aka Phoo-d. I am a West Coast girl who improbably ended up living in the corn fields of South Dakota. I am a writer, photographer, avid home cook, and all around wanderlust- always seeking out interesting people, places, and food. This website chronicles my adventures from delicious to duds, accessible to anyone with an address and a creative spirit. You can contact me directly at: phoo-d AT phoo-d DOT com.
Joining me on all adventures, explosions, and scenic byways are:
Mr. B – Self-proclaimed “Consulting Chef” Mr. B is actively involved in all eating, drinking, and traveling. His depth of knowledge surrounding wine, spirits, and beer, rivals my knowledge of food. Plus he does most of the dishes. Did I luck out or what?!
Anna – An energetic happy-go-lucky 1 year old who loves avocados and curry. She is fast on her way to developing an opinion on everything, including food!
Oscar is a Small Munsterlander, full of energy, goofy faces, and a tail that never quits. He is the only dog I’ve met who thinks a carrot peel is great fun and he can hear my spoon hit the bottom of a yogurt container from 3 miles away.
How I Got This Way
I grew up on the wooded waters near Seattle, Washington. Our family home sat on several acres overlooking the Pacific ocean. To keep you from creating the wrong mental image, let me be sure to tell you that the house was a cozy 1,000 square feet and our only heat came from a single wood stove. So just chase any Malibu mansion images far far away! As far back as I can remember my family grew our own food. We had a big vegetable garden, apple trees, and even a pear tree, thanks in very large part to my father’s love of gardening. In addition to fresh produce, my father’s avid interest in hunting and fishing meant that fresh seafood and game was never far from our table. Some of my favorite food memories as a child involve sun ripened blackberries, fresh dungenous crab, and picking baskets full of apples each fall.
As I moved around the country to attend college, studying international business and politics, I cooked for myself whenever possible and learned a lot more about organic and natural foods. Through a decade of corporate jobs following graduate school (which included a lot of travel) I was exposed to a wonderful amount of regional cuisines and higher end restaurant creations.
While living in sunny San Diego I met a tall Midwestern boy who could discuss everything from literature, to Latin American politics, to emerging rock bands, and who completely captured my heart. There was only one tiny problem: 1,000+ miles between my house and his. Two years and many frequent flier miles later I found myself married to Mr. B and moving to South Dakota, leaving behind beaches and a traffic-filled commute for cornfields and wide empty roads.
Once the reality of my move set in I realized that my food routines were in for a big change. Goodbye little Italian pizza joint, farewell fish tacos, so long local brewery. No longer able to order takeout from any number of non-chain restaurants or buy freshly caught fish any day of the week, I began to seek out new sources and recipes. This led to the evolution of my cooking adventures and ultimately to the creation of Phoo-d.com.
Growing out of my background and current location, my food philosophy could be described as follows:
I use fresh, local, minimally processed ingredients whenever possible. Overall I have found the quality to be higher, the health benefits to be huge, and the relationships with local growers to be very enjoyable. However, living where we do, locally sourcing food (or even just finding an unusual item in the grocery store) can be a challenge so I quite often end up finding speciality items online or when I’m traveling outside of the immediate area.
I choose foods that are organic, free of preservatives/ unnecessary additives, and avoid corn syrup and hydrogenated oils whenever possible and reasonable. In general I think that the avoidance of ingesting trace pesticides and chemicals in my food is always a better choice, however I’m not willing to take this to an extreme level. Price and/or limited availability are still factors in my purchasing decisions. I value homemade/homegrown foods and enjoy the creativity and quality that are possible through making and growing food myself.
A little bit of high quality, high flavor food, is more enjoyable than a lot of low quality and boring food.
So, that’s how I got here. I promise to never be preachy or espouse the virtues of one food philosophy or location over another – it’s just where I’m coming from when I write about the food we enjoy. And at the end of it all, I believe that since food is a basic and common element of human survival, if you can find joy in the daily act of preparing and eating food, then you will live a very happy life. Cheers!