Life events and experiences make up how a person is formed- their food life is no different. I have had the pleasure of being around really great cooks and enablers for my life. One of my grandmothers, a Newfoundlander, was a great cook and baker, I always remember her dropping of casserole dishes of stew with doughboys or boiled dinner for us and my dad’s favorite cookies- Chocolate chip and cherry. All of it was really for my dad- they were all his favorites, I always stole the doughboys though…. I got to hang out with my Nan on weekends sometimes and we would bake together, she never measured anything! Whatever felt right- it blew my mind.
My other grandmother, also a Newfie, was also creative in the kitchen- she lived a lot further away, but cooked creatively. We got ribs and rice and finger sandwiches- they were the best egg salad sandwiches ever! She made the most memorable birthday cake I’d ever had- a chocolate cake with loonies dispersed throughout. I was 8 or 9 and my job was literally to eat cake and collect the money- I remember my grandfather finding some money in his piece and he handed it over, “I believe this is yours.” I told him he found it, he should keep it- he just chuckled and slid it across the table.
My Mom used to bake when I was a kid, but happily relinquished the baking sheets when she found out my dad was handy at it and I loved it. She’s starting to come full circle and bake a little with the little girl that lives next to them, she always has time for a good cookie, even if she needs to make it.
My Dad was the guy that really got me eating- I never got a normal sandwich when I went to school, I got something in a thermos, liverwurst with crackers, mini-pizza… He started playing with curry before they started showing up everywhere, he’d bake cheesecakes for church auctions, he’d take me to pick apples to make jelly and sauce, we’d go pick strawberries and make jam, we’d go out to eat….
Wrap all of this up, and you have me. A life-long food junkie. During reading period in junior high- I read cookbooks, instead of new clothes or a stereo- I wanted a mixer, my birthday parties were dinner parties I cooked for… After one year of Mount St Vincent University, I dropped out and went to Culinary school- the Culinary Institute of Canada (PEI), with an internship of Clambakes in Nantucket, then went to Pastry school, followed by a job at a Winery in Ontario- where I got enough responsibilities in managing, writing menus/ recipes and, obviously, cooking that being self-employment was in order. Matt (my other half, I hate the term partner or significant other, we’re not married and I’ve been getting flack for calling him my husband lately), who is also a trained Chef, grew up on a farm- his parents were retiring, so we picked up and left Ontario and moved out to NB, closer to home (NS then Ontario). We are morphing as a business, essentially- Matt farms and I bake.
We’ll see what happens next.