I grew up in a house full of cooking. It was not elaborate or over the top but simple, everyday cooking. And I remember being allowed to do whatever I wanted in the kitchen.

Once when I was young, I made a “garden cake”. It was a white frosted cake with cookie shavings for soil, little toothpicks on top for the fence and mini sugar carrots dyed bright orange. It was a perfect little cake that represented the beautiful vegetable gardens growing right outside. I don’t remember if the cake was any good, probably not, but it is this memory and so many others like it that have given me the desire to experiment in the kitchen and just have fun.

I always remember coming home from school and there being dinner on the table, 6 o’clock sharp. My mom would make notes on recipes us kids did and did not like. Lots of her cookbooks read, ”C and M made oatmeal.” But she kept making food and we kept eating it and those are the memories I keep today, all of us eating food, together.

We still hold this tradition today. Whenever our families gather together it is usually surrounded by some type of feast, all of us pitching in and adding our pinch of salt. We can sit at the table for hours chatting, dunking bread, sipping wine and just enjoying each others’ company.

I cook for the same reasons now. So my home can be a place of good food and tasty conversation.


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