About Grandpa Joe
Simply put, I am a retired grandfather who loves to shop, to cook, and to see the smiles on everyone's faces when they sit around the table and enjoy good food! I am convinced I inherited these traits from my paternal grandmother. She certainly took great pleasure when her family and guests left the table with empty plates everywhere. My parents did, too!
By training, I am an engineer. I received my BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University in the early 60s. Until my retirement in 2000, I worked in the chemical, oil, and gas industry in Cleveland, Dallas, and Chicago. Retirement has provided me the opportunity to reconnect with my alma mater, and to pursue my favorite hobbies – woodworking, genealogy, and of course, cooking.
My formal culinary training consists of a single, wonderful, half-day class in French bread-making. On the other hand, I have had many years of formal education and on-the-job training in science, and in particular, chemistry. And what is cooking, really? It's the process of heating ingredients until something good happens and they become edible, or more appealingly edible. In my world, that's chemistry (and some physics) at work!
Over the years, I have collected hundreds of recipes and have tried all but a few of them. More recently, with more time to research and experiment, I have developed strong opinions about healthy eating and on how to make simple foods taste good. Over time, I will add the best recipes in my collection to this blog site, and through forthcoming blogs, I will share my findings and opinions about good eating.
I hope you will try some of these recipes and share your reactions with me and other readers. I am also looking forward to your comments on my blogs.
About Grandpa Joe's Pizza
A few years ago, my wife (affectionately known these days as Grandma Karen) suggested we build an outdoor wood-fired oven. She knew it had been a long-term dream of mine and she also knew I would jump at the opportunity.
A wood fired oven easily reaches 1,000 degrees or more – perfect for cooking pizzas! As the oven cools, over several hours, it becomes ideal for roasting meats and vegetables, baking bread, and finishing (appropriately) baked desserts.
We love to entertain and making wood-fired oven pizzas has become the focus of many of our social events. Everyone gets to create their own pizza and enjoy a personalized touch of Italy!
At work slicing braciole. I am very proud of the chef's coat. It was a parting gift from the MSU College of Engineering when I finished my two terms on the Alumni Advisory Board. The left (my right) script reads Chef Engineer, MSU 1964. The right script reads Grandpa Joe's Pizza!