Being a born and bred New Yorker with lots of varied ethnic food influences growing up, you can find me enjoying anything from Bloodwurst to Chicken Jahlfrezi to PBJs with fresh-ground honey roasted peanut butter and yummy homemade strawberry jam, and don't forget my friend Anna's mother's Pomodoro Sauce (via Bari, Italy). When it comes to eating and cooking, many native New Yorkers seem to be of whatever background that is on their plate at the moment. I notice that a good number of Zaarites list "pet peeves" here. Many list whiny people as their peeve. Hey...I live in NYC where almost EVERYONE whines and complains, so I don't notice anymore. What burns my biscuits is seeing recipes that call for some really funky ingredients like Kraft (cough cough) Parmesan cheese in the green can and chicken from a can. I had never even heard of chicken in CAN(???) until last year. Get the best quality ingredients you purse will allow. That includes spices. Those jars of spices that sell for 99 cents are no bargain if you can afford something better. Do yourself a favor and if possible, go and explore any ethnic food markets in your area. They have the most wonderful spices and herbs and they are usually priced well. And you'll find so many other goodies you'd never have even known about. (I know this isn't possible for everyone, but then there's always the internet) Sorry, I am the product of an "ingredient snob" father and I just can't help having inherited that gene to a certain extent. And again, I'm a New Yawka...we are SLIGHTLY opinionated. You're reading about the person who drives (I kid you not) 3 hours upstate and 3 hours back just to get THE sausage I need for my Thanksgiving stuffing. So call me fanatical. I am a rather good baker and for a short time I had my own dessert biz...until I found out how hard it can be to work for yourself. So I went back to working as an Art Editor in publishing.