Cooking and enjoying good food is among my very first memories. My mother was the consummate country chef. She didn’t merely cook food she transformed it. She took what meager supplies she had on hand, added them to what she could garner from our country home-place, and served up scrumptious meals. Her enthusiasm for making something good to eat was unwavering and contagious and never failed to elicit thankful compliments from all those who were fortunate enough to eat at her table.
My cooking experience was acquired from a very early start, about the age of 3, when I donned my own apron, especially made for me from material that had strawberries on a pale blue background the color of the Georgia sky. I loved to stand on my knees in my highchair at the kitchen counter and help Mama string beans, shell peas or stir some kind of batter, or stir gravy thickening in a cast iron Dutch oven much too heavy for me to wield accidentally off the stove. By the age of six, I knew how to make piecrust and was a frustration to my Daddy for doing so. He was astounded first by my pie, then again after learning I’d picked all the green apples off a small apple tree he was trying to baby along. I’d picked every apple, from the tree finally producing some fruit after many barren years, to make my first apple pie.
We were country children, always expected to contribute to our family’s life by sharing in the work it took to have a family life. When both our parents worked at jobs, as most did, my older sister and I were expected to have our “supper” ready when they returned home from their jobs each late afternoon. She was 11 and I was 6. By the time I was a teenager, I was hooked on cooking and all that went with it.
I am not classically trained, but I’m trained on the classics. After many years of managing food preparation, cooking, shopping, meal planning, entertaining, commercial cooking, and enjoying food prepared by some of the finest chefs in the world, I’m ready to kick back and contribute what I can to making all the aforementioned components of eating a greater joy for everyone who cares to participate. All those things I had in mind as I got started here will happen, not as quickly as I want it to, not perfectly composed, but it will come together; all in due time.