It’s a cook’s maxim one of my chefs drilled into all our heads in school. He’d wander around the classroom, smacking long metal spoons down onto metal worktables and shout things like, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean!” and, my favorite, “Fat carries flavor!”

So what does it mean? Well, fat literally does carry flavor. A lot of strong flavors are oil-soluble compounds, so fats will pick up the flavor and spread it around. Most fats have their own, pretty pleasant flavors, too. And fats help other foods caramelize, which is all kinds of tasty. So one thing I use the phrase for is to help me accept that fat really is a good thing culinarily. (I grew up in the 80s. Fat was anathema in my parents’ house.)

By extension, it helps me accept that my body fat is a good thing. My fat is part of me, part of my body and my personality and my self — it carries my “flavor”. And I can use my fat — not just my personality, but my philosophy — out into the world.

So. This is my Fat Acceptance blog, probably with a side of Health At Every Size. I’ll talk here about food, eating while fat, living as a fat person. Since I’m currently planning my wedding, I’ll probably be talking about being a fat bride. I’ll probably talk about the restaurant industry, and food television.

I’ll also talk about the problems I see in the FA and HAES movements, because I am a cranky, cranky person, and nobody has yet been able to stop me talking about the problems I see.

And I’m sure I’ll talk about other random stuff, as it occurs to me. Feminism, LGB rights, trans rights, anti-racism, whatever.

I’ll tell you up front: I am a foul-mouthed person. I cuss a lot. I am not nice. If you want nice, there are a whole list of FA blogs you can read that are nice. You don’t have to be nice in my comments, either. What I won’t put up with is bigotry and bullshit. I will delete comments without warning, or disemvowel them if someone has already responded by the time I get to it. Everybody has a right to their opinions, no matter how foul, but I don’t have to let anybody voice them here. So no racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-religion, anti-atheism, ableism, or whatever else. Go do it in your own space.