This blog is about my journey with food.
I have been a baker since I was first able to follow the instructions on the back of a box of Raga Muffins (which, at that time, was my breakfast muffin of choice). I was very good at making boxed mixes. I also was good at pumpkin pie.
Fast forward a decade or so to college. I gradually reduced my meal plan semester by semester until my junior year, when I began cooking for myself. "Cooking" consisted of stir frying, burgers on the George Foreman grill, and ordering from a place called Wingo's on days when I had to ice my knees down after swim practice. Although I was buying a few cookbooks and tentatively trying recipes, I was still a very picky eater and not willing go far outside my comfort zone. Burgers and fries were a dietary staple.
Fast forward a few more years. After getting married, I suddenly found that I had to cook on a regular basis (I had previously been living at home, where the kitchen seemed to be my mom's responsibility). My husband likes to cook (and knows how - he lived in a fraternity house where preparing dinner was a shared responsibility), but since he was working full-time and I was in school, I felt that it was my job. "Cooking" at this point consisted of my Rachel Ray cookbooks, Trader Joe's frozen meals, and whatever we could come up with on the spur of the moment. Meals were rarely planned very far in advance, and if they were, I frequently forgot to defrost the meat in time, so we needed to improvise anyway.
I started reading food blogs we were looking for our first house, but real cooking did not begin until we moved in. I had decided that we needed more vegetables in our lives and began combing the internet for good recipes. I began to keep a large file of new recipes to try. In order to accommodate them, we began planning our menu for the week in advance of food shopping. When spring hit, I became addicted to our local farmer's market. My passion for vegetables grew, but also my desire that they be fresh, locally-sourced and sometimes even organic. This has grown into a desire for food made from scratch, as often as possible, with locally-sourced ingredients.
While we try to hold to this philosophy, we do not eat this way exclusively (only last week, weakened by illness, I sought comfort in a McDonald's value meal while my husband brought home a box of Yodels). But we are trying, step by step, to improve our nutrition and our culinary prowess as well as our sustainability. Hopefully, we'll reach our goal yet. After all, my journey with food started twenty years ago with a box of muffin mix, an egg and a wooden spoon. Given another twenty years, who knows? We might be vegetarian farmers yet!