More than a "foodie," I actually consider myself a food freak. Friends and family, or for that matter anyone who has a conversation with me for more than 10 minutes, find our conversation inevitably begins to include something on the subject. I also can't remember a time this hasn't been true. One of my Great Aunt Caroline's often repeated stories was the time I was on a train with her, feeling oh-so-grown-up at the ripe old age of about 8. There were some men sitting together on the train reading the newspaper and I unabashedly approached and asked them if they were reading recipes. But it isn't just cooking and eating that sparks my passion. I like planning, organizing and shopping for a food event. I love the table setting, placard and menu decoration and party favor selection. I love the array of glasses, plates and napkins and whatever esoteric and obscure flatware or serving vessel is needed. I love coming up with a theme for a meal. I love reading cookbooks, cooking magazines and chef biographies. I even love reading fiction or non-fiction with a food or restaurant backdrop. I watch cooking shows and often go to cooking demonstrations. I purchased a DVD of Ratatouille the day it was available. I love food in art; the portrait fantasies of Guiuseppe Arcimboldi make me happy. I love following trends and what is happening in the bigger world of cuisine. I enjoy going to restaurants not only for the fun of an afternoon or evening out but for inspiration. And when I take a trip, I always go to a local market even if I don't have a kitchen at my disposal. Something I read many years ago and which left an indelible memory was an article detailing Pauline Rothschild's mornings spent foraging her estate in search of table decorations for the evenings meal. And then there was a quote in the New York Observer by the unflappable socialite Nan Kempner: "I'm never bored. If I ever am, I just start planning menus." These women were talking to me! It doesn't matter that I don't have an estate. I can pick up leaves and pinecones anywhere. In essence, I love all aspects of the celebration involved with the most basic of human need, pleasure and our connection with the natural world in which we live. This zeal is what I hope to share here. It's not just the little treats like cookies but the whole fabulous world of eating and how it constantly engages and entertains me. I hope it is contagious.