For anyone who doesn't know me, or at least not well, this first post will be an introduction of sorts.
This is a picture of almost all of us on my mother's side at my grandparent's 50th anniversary.
These are the Craig boys, with my grandfather.
Here are all the girls, with my grandmother.
I really want a copy of the Craig family picture from the '70s, wide lapels, big side burns, it's awesome.
Although I am an only child, both of my parents are from large farm families of eleven. Family gatherings are big events, with lots of people, laughter and always, a table (or two or three) laden with food. Home made bread, pickles, preserves and a bewildering assortment of pies, cakes, cookies and sweets complete the required courses of meat and potatoes. Anyone who has been a guest at my house will tell you, I've done my best to keep that sense of bounty alive and well.
Gathering together for a meal was always, and still is, a big part of my family's traditions. No matter what else was happening, everybody got together to share a meal. We ate, laughed, exchanged news, gossip and opinions, and occasionally fought and argued but we were always together. Some of my best memories are of being around the table, with my parents, grandparents, any of my twenty aunts and uncles and don't even get me started with the cousins.
It should come as no surprise that I love food. I always have. My mom told me as a kid I would eat anything and I'm still the same. I love everything about food from shopping for ingredients to the final tasting and I love to cook. Don't get me wrong, I hate the day to day grocery shopping, and I certainly am not a chef, but there is a certain satisfaction in finding just the right ingredients for a new recipe, or tweaking an old favourite and then seeing the look on your guests faces when they are truly enjoying what you have prepared.
I'm no longer on the farm and not able to make it to all of the family functions but I still try and capture the same feeling of togetherness when I entertain at home. I live in Toronto where the pace is much different, people order in and go to the grocery store not the hen house, pantry or garden for ingredients but people are people and everybody still enjoys a good meal. This blog is to help de-mystify cooking, anybody who can read can cook, or make preserves or whatever. All it takes is a little patience, a sense of humour (for when it all goes horribly wrong, and it will) and a little work.
It is surprising the number of recipes I have managed to collect in my short twenty nine years (okay, I was born in ' 64, you do the math) and it is hard to decide which recipe to post first; Grandma Fisher's pineapple coconut squares, her mother's Christmas cake recipe, the curried lentil recipe Erin wants, the apple butter for Nicole, the hot pepper jelly for Valerie. That's not even counting the recipes I'm still trying to get; Grandma Craig's mincemeat pie, doughnut or pumpkin pie, Wendy's pear jam, Mom's maple cheesecake or cheese dip . So many choices and I am a lousy typist so bear with me and hopefully I will get to the one you want and you'll enjoy some of the others along the way.
There they are, my mother and father, If your going to blame anyone, blame them LOL
For those of you who don't know me, I can be a little loud, vaguely obnoxious and inadvertently offensive. All information or opinions expressed in this blog are mine, or my experiences so treat them as such. I claim no copyright on any of these recipes and will remove anything posted if it shouldn't be here. I will try to post something new at least once a week and will title recipe posts for those of you who don't care what I think (I know you're out there) so you don't have to look at posts that don't interest you. Proceed with caution and a good sense of humour, you've been warned.
There you have it, a not so brief introduction to me and my blog and yes, I ramble. Sorry.