…every pantry has a story
For the most part, this venture revolves around my passions for cooking, and sharing food. Perhaps someday, it will become a launching pad, and take me at least in one the many directions I find myself wishing I could go. While I’m not a Chef in the classic sense, although there was a time I did consider attending the CIA, or Johnson & Wales. There was also a time I wanted to join the real CIA, turns out neither happened. When it comes to cooking, I have many attributes of a Chef, natural creative talent, ability, passion, and a desire to share good food. I’ve never really dreamt of owning a restaurant, however, the idea of having a little bakery or eatery, I would do in a heartbeat. At the very least producing at least one cookbook is in the works, I would completely dive into the writing aspect of food. Yup, no toe in the water, definitely would cannonball my way to a food column, no doubt.
I really find cooking very therapeutic, an opportunity to release those creative juices that are bottled up inside. Whatever you are cooking is your creation, it doesn’t have to make the rounds in the office, just so your boss, can change three words and claim all the credit. To me a recipe is a guideline, I rarely measure things exactly, mostly just eyeball them, don’t be afraid to make it your own.
I was very blessed to be born into a family with Ohio and Kentucky roots. My family’s cooking style, often creates an amazing blend of Midwestern values, and a tinge of the good ‘ol South, which is often reflected in the way we cook. Going home to the outskirts of Cincinnati every summer, meant a welcome home meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh string beans, sliced tomatoes, and blackberry pie. My Grandma Bailey*, was an amazing cook, and my Grandpa Bailey just as equally amazing a gardener. Those beans we ate had been picked that morning, and the tomatoes were still warm from the August sun when we ate them. Yes of course, the blackberries for the pie were hand picked too.
We all learned by both watching and doing, the first entire meal that I made I was about 10 years old. My creation was oven roasted BBQ ribs, rice and corn. I was so excited to get it all on the table, perhaps too excited, first lesson never rush rice. When my Dad came home from work, I remember asking him, “do you chew rice?” This was a very important question, because whenever we had rice, his dessert would be some leftover rice in a bowl with milk and sugar. So needless to say, the rice ended up being a little chewy that night, luckily it was an understanding audience that night. Everyone, flubs something, along the road whether you make one time, or have cooked it a hundred times, there is always that chance. You just have to look at this way, every cooking disaster has the potential to become a family legacy, which in the long run, can be less embarrassing than some childhood pictures. Food can humble you, or take you to new levels, the important thing is that you try.
It really astounds me, the number of adults, young and old, that either don’t cook, or never learned to cook, who rely on take out, or prepackaged foods. Trust me there is an alarming number of twenty-somethings that can’t cook. Lucky for me I know five that really break that trend, yes my amazing children. Regardless of gender they all cook, it’s totally genetic, and a survival skill they have all mastered. In college, those that can do the cooking, and everyone else pays for the food. Then there is my youngest daughter, amazing bread maker, who would barter with bread, probably for beer. The important thing is they try, do a great job of it, and they don’t stay inside the recipe card either, they know how to get creative.
So that’s just a bit of what I’m about, and what I hope to convey throughout. Working on, making it entertaining, perhaps a little educational, and encouraging too…Hopefully this doesn’t turn into the first pancake, but it is clearly a work in progress.
* The background the page is a picture of a recipe of my Grandma Bailey’s Strawberry Bread it’s amazing.