This is my Mother, Karen. I grew up inspired by her ability to cook from memory. Her units of measurement included a-pinch-of-this and a-dash-of-that. Our kitchen had a tall stool right next to the stove. I’d often perch myself on that stool and watch has she’d effortless whip up dinner. I have a distinctive memory in which I asked her, “How do you know how much to add?” Apparently she hadn’t really given this much thought before because she smiled and shrugged her shoulders saying, “I just taste as I go.”
She taught me that if you cook what you love, you’ll enjoy cooking. When it comes to adding flavor through herbs and spices, your cooking style should be very personal. For example, if you don’t like marjoram…use less or omit it all together. Cooking is really more about the process than the finished product. As I’ve grown older and found my own personal style and preferences, I’ve come to truly appreciate her insights. For me, recipes are a starting point. They are a suggestion. I would invite you to view my recipes/suggestions with that very same lense. My goal it to share with you my personal style – that doesn’t mean it has to be yours. Please, personalize it so the you love to cook it.
Having a family of my own has added an entire other layer to my cooking. I feel obligated to create food that makes my family happy and healthy. We cook from scratch around here. That is, with an exception of my kids addiction to boxed Mac-n-cheese. But let’s be honest…it’s good stuff. So, I guess I should say, for the most part we cook from scratch. I’ve even started learning to can and preserve some of our favorite ingredients.
Over the years, food has become the perfect excuse for our family and friends to come together and celebrate. If discovered a community of family and friends that greatly enjoy each other and who make my life better for it. We come up with just about any excuse to get together, really. Every spring we hold our Annual Girl Scout Cookie and Adult Beverage Pairing party. There’s always the more traditional holidays; St. Patricks, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas. Then there is Yule, End of the Summer, Beginning of the Summer, Birthdays and Graduations. Any celebration we can create that has good food and good people. Why not?
We’ve built a community through food. A community filled with great conversations and laughter. A community that loves to share stories, recipes, and drinks. We plot and plan more about the food than anything. Greetings always incude something about food. Whether it’s an enthusiastic, “Look what I brought!” to the potluck or “What’s for dinner?” I hope to invite you into our little community through this blog. I hope that these stories and gatherings inspire you to create your own community and celebrate life.
When all is said and done, everyone has said their good nights and the house is cleaned up, I love to sit down with one last drink and take it all in. It feels incredibly fulfilling to be able to bring together a community filled with love, like ours, with one simple thing…food.