My name is Kathleen. I also answer to Kit, Krat, and momma.
Riesling wine is my vice, collecting dusty old cookbooks is my pleasure and I wish I had been Jane Austen’s cousin in another life.
My background is accounting (yes, a bean counter). However, I would rather grow them, than count them. That’s where this blog comes in. It’s about modern, healthy, wholesome dishes inspired by backyard gardens and historic recipes.
I was born in the middle of the U.S.; the Mississippi River was to the East and the Rocky Mountains to the West, my midwest comfort zone.
Several years ago, my husband suggested southern California. Wait…what? Ooooh, when you grow up land-locked, living coastal is quite different. But, the weather is gorgeous, I love the year-round growing season, and my new SoCal friends are showing me what California wineries have to brag about.
I have an obsession with antique cookbooks and old china.
The husband suggests I’m a hoarder but I don’t like labels. Here’s the thing. My great grandmother owned a boardinghouse in St. Louis about 100 years ago. My grandmother and her sisters cooked at that boarding house, tended a humongo garden, and raised chickens in the back. While the thought of yesteryear may sound historically romantic, my grandmother would emphatically say it was a lot of work.
In 1926, my grandmother fell in love with a boarder named Abe. He suggested she come cook only for him, which was his way of proposing, and without my great-grandmother’s approval, they eloped. With no money, they spent their honeymoon night on the bank of the Mississippi River. Not exactly a history I want to repeat, but I do love those old recipes.
Over the years, I have collected a few (few being a relative term) antique cookbooks and some (again, relative) old china. I love the garden-to-table philosophy. Bygone cooks used seasonal, local fruits and vegetables from their own gardens. Households were quite culinarily self-sufficient. The health benefits were that everyone knew where their food was sourced, most foods were organic, and dishes were made with minimally processed ingredients. Garden to table cooking. We think “clean eating” is a novel idea but I think it’s actually been around awhile.
I prefer recipes that are feel-good healthy.
Ingredients come from my backyard, local farmers market or the perimeter aisles at the grocery store (dairy, butcher, produce). Few recipes will include ingredients from a box. An exception is fancy pants pasta (you know, farfalle, biciclette, conchiglie). Those take a long time to make and, well, I’m lazy. My preference is spending a reasonable amount of cooking so that we can get to the eating part!
I hope you enjoy the recipes. Please share your history and recipes because I would love to hear them!
P.S. For the historic culinary buffs, pie birds (as in Pie Bird Cook) are a kitchen tool cooks have used since Victorian times. They are placed inside pies before cooking to prevent the filling from boiling up and out of the crust.