Let me introduce myself. I’m Jami, writer and marketer by day and busy mom of four and wanna-be kitchen maven by night. And I love butter.
I’m definitely not a professional chef or baker, but I do have a great relationship with my kitchen! My love for cooking began right around ten years old. We would go to the store together and purchase all of the necessary ingredients from recipes I chose, and then she’d set me free, giving me the chance to try anything I wanted. As I started my cooking adventures, I would follow the ingredients list and the suggested methods perfectly to a T. Eventually, I really fell in love with going off the ingredient trail and blazing my own. Sometimes my creations were huge hits, but sometimes, they were so bad that our family dog, Honey, wouldn’t even eat them. (We’ll get to that in a few minutes.)
As with all new things, I remember my cooking firsts. The first meal I chose was Beef Bourguignon. Oh, Jami, you’re thinking, how cliche of you!… just wait for it. My story is so not like Julie and Julia. My story happened before blogging was even a thing. I simply scanned through the photos and saw the one.
It took me about two hours to make. Don’t laugh. Let’s face it, if it were in existence today, I would never be invited as a contestant on MasterChef Jr. Washing and chopping the veggies took what felt like five years, and handling beef for the first time was really gross. But I did it! in fact, my family was so impressed that right then and there my dad stood up from the table a declared a new rule. “Those who cook, don’t have to clean up.” I remember the death glare from my brother, too. You would have wanted to just light the kitchen on fire and call it a loss if you saw the mess I made.
Then there’s the thing that my dog, Honey, wouldn’t eat. If you know anything about Labrador Retrievers, they seem to have iron stomachs and will eat everything. But even she refused my first baking attempt. I slaved over that banana bread and made it with love, just like my grandma. I followed my Nana’s Banana bread recipe with such precision, set it carefully in the oven, and let the smell of warm bread waft through the house. When I checked on it at the thirty-minute mark, all seemed well. Forty minutes later, the timer dinged. I pulled it out with my butter patiently waiting to be slathered on a thick slice, only to find my banana bread hard. as. a. rock.
Let it be known that I saw my mom cooking biscuits for years, using club soda. Naturally, when a recipe called for an ingredient, I assumed it meant just what it said: soda. Not to digress, but Grandma, if you’re reading this, take the time to say what kind of soda you mean, okay? Club soda, baking soda, soda soda?
If I only knew then what I know now that baking is actually science, maybe I would have understood my mistake. But instead, I took it to heart and cried a river. My mom was so gracious and said, “It’s okay, sweetie. It’s just a little dense.”
In my defeat, I sobbed, “like me!” I never wanted to bake again. (Until the very next day.)
Silly tales aside, I’m excited to be sharing my experiences with you, and I look forward to bringing you recipes from my kitchen! For me, cooking is a life-giving joy beyond the literal sense. It is about the experience of bringing people together. It’s about relaxation and good conversation.
I’ll cook if you’ll clean. Just kidding, let’s cook together, and share some great stories along the way.