My first cooking memory was when I was about six years old. My mother woke me up early one morning, brought me out to the kitchen, stood me on a small chair in front of the range, and taught me how to make pancakes. It was my first introduction to the stove, and I have been cooking ever since.
My husband and I have found the kitchen to be the heart of our home: it is where I spend a good deal of my time and cooking is one of the things we enjoy doing together.
The recipes I’ve posted on my blog are things that I have made for my family that we’ve enjoyed. I don’t use them to promote any sort of diet or “food philosophy” other than that food should utilize as few processed ingredients as possible, and should be leisurely enjoyed, sitting down, and shared with those that you love. My recipe posts don’t form the base of any sort of platform, they are just an invitation to step into my kitchen.
That being said there are a few things I do believe in which would explain why some things may seem to be a bit involved (such as homemade butter, homemade bread, and salad dressing –yet to be posted, I’m getting there) and why some of the ingredients may be a bit shocking (such as lard).
~I believe in cooking from scratch as much as possible, using ingredients that have been minimally processed. One of the primary reasons we chose to homestead was to have the opportunity to grow and produce as much of our own food as we could.
~I believe in using whole foods which to me means that I avoid things that are marked “reduced calorie”, “low fat”, contain artificial sweeteners, or have a lengthy ingredient list comprised of things I can’t pronounce or with which I am completely unfamiliar.
~I don’t have a problem using fats in moderation. I frequently flavor with bacon fat and sometimes I use lard that I have rendered myself from free range animals. Butter is almost always on our breakfast table, but I frequently make it myself from the raw cream of local grass fed cows. Coconut oil is a favorite for baking.
~I believe that special occasions should be celebrated and certain things are ok in moderation. While we eat as healthy as possible the majority of the time, I don’t have any problem indulging if the occasion calls for it. A special occasion can be something as big as a birthday or as tiny as a “just because”. I do have to say though that the last time my bag of King Arthur white flour ran out I chose to replace it instead with soft white wheat berries that I mill myself, and the conventional white and brown sugars in my pantry have been replaced with organic cane sugar and rapadura respectively. Other sweeteners we enjoy include molasses, honey, and maple syrup.
If I was to say who has influenced my cooking the most it would be my mother, my grandmothers, and Julia Child. Some of the staples on my kitchen cookbook shelf include: The Joy of Cooking, The Bon Appetit Cookbook, and Nourishing Traditions.
I still consider myself to be a work in progress as far as a home chef is concerned. I love to talk food, and I love to talk recipes ~ I welcome any comments, suggestions, kitchen tricks, or recipes of your own you’d like to share.