Fast Recipes Feature: MDPub

MDPubMichael Davis has taken a love for cooking and building from scratch to a world-wide audience.  His MDPub site brings together some of his favorite projects, with step-by-step instructions for those that are interested in following in his footsteps.  Projects to be found range from homemade honey-wheat bread to building one’s own turbojet engine from scratch.  We interviewed Michael about his hobbies and home cooking.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I like to build things. That simple sentence pretty much sums me up. I like to stay busy making things. My day job involves making things, and all my hobbies revolve around making, creating and inventing useful things. I like to stay busy. I’m not one to veg out in front of the TV, so pretty much every one of my waking moments is spent working on something. I love to spend time in my workshop, tinkering and building things. I also love to spend time in my kitchen, cooking and experimenting. Even updating my web site with my latest projects or recipes is just another way of building something.

I’m a big believer in self-sufficiency, and have been from an early age. Why buy something if you can make it yourself? Why pay someone else to do something if you can do it for yourself? So it’s no surprise I like to cook. Usually I’d much rather make a meal for myself than buy prepared food or go to a restaurant. Even as a child, I always wanted to know how to cook for myself. I would hang out in the kitchen with my mother, father, grandmother, aunts, or whoever was cooking, and help any way I could, and just absorb cooking knowledge. By the time I was a teenager I was doing a lot of cooking. Being the oldest child and usually the first one home from school in the afternoon, I’d sometimes start preparing dinner for the family, and have it done, or at least well along by the time my parents got home from work.

Both my parents cooked, and I learned a lot from watching both of them. When I went out on my own, it was just natural for me to do my own cooking. Being able to cook made me quite popular in college. Most of my fellow students had no cooking skills and had to subsist on Ramen Noodles, fast food, and such. Cooking and sharing my meals with them made me a lot of friends. Cooking also saved me lots of money during my “starving student” days. I learned the valuable lesson that raw foods are a lot less expensive than prepared foods, even the low-grade junk most of my fellow students ate.

What was the inspiration behind creating mdpub.com?

I wanted to give people access to some of my projects. I originally just wanted to publish my alternative energy projects and my telescope projects, so people who might be interested in emulating them would have access to the information. I also wanted to post my travel photos where all my friends and family could see them. Adding a cooking and recipes section to the web site was sort of an afterthought. I was surprised at how popular the cooking section became. Everybody has to eat, so I guess that explains the popularity. Now I stay busy updating and adding to the cooking section, as time permits.

How does cooking fit in with your other hobbies?

It fits in very well. Basically, I like to experiment and build or create things. All my hobbies involve experimenting with different ways of building or creating something. Cooking is a process of creation. You start out with a lot of raw materials, and end up with a finished product. Cooking allows me to be as creative as I want to be. I can keep it simple, or get as fancy and elaborate with a dish or meal as my mood demands. Either way, I get the satisfaction of having created something that didn’t exist before. Plus I get to eat it. Bonus!

What kind of recipes can readers find on your site?

They will find some of my own recipes that I cook for myself and my friends on a regular basis. Simple, good food. Some might even call it comfort food. It’s not everything I cook. I just don’t seem to have the time to add as many recipes to the site as I’d like, so the site is still a work in progress. I am quite proud of some of the recipes there. My chili, meatloaf, waffles and honey wheat bread recipes in particular get rave reviews from people who have tasted them, and lots of positive feedback from people who have tried making the recipes themselves.

What are your favorite things to cook/bake?

Bread. I absolutely love bread. Bread recipes were the first recipes I added to my web site. I love to experiment with varying my bread recipes and creating new types of bread. Sometimes it turns out to only be fit for feeding the birds in my back yard. Usually though, it turns out to be something amazingly good. For me, there is nothing better in the world than the taste of a piece of hot, fresh bread, straight from the oven, slathered with butter. I love the way the house smells with a couple of loaves of bread in the oven. Best air freshener in the world. I never get tired of it.

If you could summarize the projects you present on your site into one quote, what would it be?

You can do it yourself, and probably do it better and cheaper than you can buy it. “It” can be almost anything, including good food.
 

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