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About the Mobile Home Gourmet Cook

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My name is Dennis. I really do live in a mobile home in a trailer park, and I've been enjoying coach living for more than 30 years.

Because I live in a trailer park I joke about myself as white trash. I know I don't fit the stereotype. I have a bachelor's degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and a master's degree in counseling psychology. I've written five books and published three. I think of the title as meaning, "here's a trailer park guy cooking food." Self-depricating, maybe, but my neighbors here in the park enjoy the humor and they support me.

When I started supplying shows to a local TV station I adopted the name Mobile Home Gourmet (because the station preferred I didn't use the word trash). The URL remains the same, as does the little camper trailer. (I actually live in a double-wide mobile home.) I registered a second URL, MobileHomeGourmet, that points to this web site

I like to tell people I learned to cook out of self defense. My Italian-American mother was not a dangerous cook. She had some recipes for which she was popular. She did, however, fail to excel in the art of cooking. Her meals were mediocre, but relatively nutritious. Oddly, for being a medical secretary, it is amazing how little she knew about microorganisms. Being a Catholic family, Friday was always meatless (pasta, fish, that sort of thing) and Saturday was for the rebound. For Saturday dinner we often ate a large steak, each. My mother bought her steaks on sale and froze them. On Saturday morning, no matter the temperature or humidity, the steaks came out of the freezer and sat on the kitchen counter all day to defrost. On the warmest summer days they were fully defrosted by 10:00 A.M. and therefore they had the entire remainder of the day to fester in their own bacteria. On many Sundays I would be doubled over in pain with cramps and diarrhea. I finally gave up eating beef altogether, thinking I was allergic to it.

As for me, I taught myself to cook. I wasn't born with a wooden spoon in my mouth. I like Italian food, but many different foods interest me. I cook according to recipes because I enjoy the confidence of knowing I can prepare a dish again, exactly as it was before. Whether I am creating my own recipe or adjusting one for my own personal tastes, the recipe is always written and stored. Every recipe in this web site was written by me.

You won't find many spicy foods here. Having never been introduced to hot spicy foods during my formative years, I never acquired a taste for things like hot chili peppers or wasabi. I don't have much of a sweet tooth either. I prefer savory dishes. I've been trying to expand my knowledge of desserts; so you will find them in the Recipe Archive. And dinner guest often reach for the salt shaker on my table because I cook with only a little salt.

Cooking is an art. Like any art, it needs to be practiced often and with increasing challenge if skills are to develop. It takes practice. I've been cooking for more than 40 years, and I'd like to think I am only halfway to my goal of being an excellent cook. I am not a professional chef. I never attended a culinary school (although I have studied under some chefs). I don't own a restaurant. Such accomplishments might be fun to fantasize about, but my credentials consist of accolades from dinner guests, many of whom encouraged me to share my recipes with others. That, therefore, is the mission of this website: To share my food ideas with others.