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I WAS retired oilfield trash since 1999, who has lived in Houston TX for the last 25 years, though I'm originally from California. I'm Texan by choice, not by chance! I am now working in Algeria 6 months a year, so I guess that gives new meaning to the term SEMI-retired. I grew up in restaurants and worked in them for 13 years while getting through high school and college, working as everything from dishwasher to chef, including just about everything in between. At odd intervals I also waited tables and tended bar, which gave me lots of incentive to stay in school and get my engineering degree. During the 33 years since, I have only cooked for pleasure, and it HAS given me a great deal of pleasure. It's been my passion. I love to cook, actually more than I love to eat. I read cookbooks like most people read novels. My wife and I both enjoy cooking, though she isn't quite as adventurous as I am. I keep pushing her in that direction, and she's slowly getting there. We rarely go out to eat, because there are very few restaurants that can serve food as good as we can make at home. When we do go out, it's normally because we are having an emergency junk-food attack. My pet food peeves are (I won't get into other areas): are people who post recipes that they have obviously NEVER fixed; obvious because the recipe can't be made because of bad instructions, or that are obvious because it tastes horrible. I also detest people who don't indicate that a recipe is untried, even when it is a good recipe. Caveat emptor!