I love my Savior.
I love my husband and my son.
I love to read, and study, and learn new things.
I love old movies - especially musicals.
I hate lima beans, green peppers, okra, raisins, and waiting in line for just about anything.
I love having 4 distinct seasons in the year - but my favorite is the newness of Spring after a long Winter.
I love strong coffee in the morning, and mellow tea in the evening.
I LOVE food. There. I said it. Now everyone knows why I'll never be stick thin. :)
Some of my earliest memories are centered around food. Cherry Chip Birthday Cakes, and Christmas dinners with the tables loaded with food. The smell of celery and onions sauteing in butter in preparation for the Thanksgiving Stuffing. Food traditions for every Holiday and Season. Standing on the chair and helping my Mom cook. Making my first cookies on my own. Making that first meal by myself. Grocery shopping with my Mom. Watching my Grandma cook without a cookbook or recipe card in sight. As a teen, late night snacks with my brothers.
All of these are good memories, and have helped shape who I am, and my love for food and cooking.
I was fortunate (and even blessed) to have been raised on a "hobby farm". We had our own cows, chickens & eggs, pork, and a garden the size of my entire yard now. We also had fruit trees, although those never stood a chance, since we mowed them down every winter while riding snowmobiles! (Mom cried.)
I grew up with a Mom who made her own bread. She also made cookies, and cakes, pies, pudding and fudge from scratch. I don't think too many people have memories of coming home to drying homemade egg noodles draped over every chair and railing in the house.
We had a Freezer Room. Yes, a whole room where one side was the largest chest freezer known to man, and the other side was shelves for canned food. Even at a very young age, I can remember having a sense of satisfaction looking at the shelves lined with jars of fruits, vegetables, pickles, and meats. I didn't know what it was to buy canned tomatoes or peaches.
We also had a Canning Kitchen. Yes, a kitchen in the basement (conveniently next to the Freezer Room!) dedicated to canning and freezing. We canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, applesauce, jams and jellies, pickled beets, harvard beets, dill pickles, sweet pickles, saurkraut, tomatoes, chicken, beef, and then we canned more tomatoes.
In the midst of the canning, we froze beans, strawberry and peach freezer jam, freezer pickles, corn, peas, chicken and beef, and pork.
As a child and teen, along with my brothers I spent many hot summer afternoons down by the creek and along our fence line picking wild blackberries. Filling our Shedds Peanut Butter Buckets full to the brim and bringing them back to Mom, so that she could make our favorite blackberry jam! I've never tasted anything better than one of my Mom's award winning potato rolls, warm from the oven, and smothered in butter and blackberry jam.
We also spent many hot summer days in the garden. Today, I am passionate about my garden, but then...yeah, not so much. I HATED weeding. I hated Lima Beans even more (still do), so I always wanted to weed the Limas, and I would mistakenly pull bean sprouts instead of weeds. (oops) I'm not sure if Mom ever caught on, but it was about that time that she made an agreement with me. I didn't have to work in the garden, if I would take over the responsibility for meals so that she could work in the garden. So, at around 12-13, I started cooking for my family - and a true love and passion for cooking was born.
Fast forward to today. My love for cooking has only continued to grow, but along with that has grown a passion for nutrition. Not only do I want food to look beautiful, and taste incredible, I also want to know that what I am making and feeding to my family is nourishing them, and not potentially harming them in some way. I believe that a lot of what is being taught and accepted as fact about nutrition today is just plain wrong, and that like so many other gifts from God, we have corrupted and abused and broken what He meant for our good and for our pleasure. In my own little corner, I am trying to redeem our food supply, and get back to a place where what we eat for pleasure is also what we eat for our good health. This is who I am.