Growing up, my family gathered around the table every night. My mother’s meals were simple, she had a menu with familiar foods that were easy to make and would satisfy and sustain picky eaters (she once claimed she had the least American children ever, because my brother and I refused to eat cheese). Our plates were a balance of proteins, starches and vegetables. Fresh outweighed processed and packaged, but we still got to drink Hi-C juice boxes and indulge in the occasional Ding Dong. (I remember when they were still called King Dons. Do you?) I didn’t realize until I was in my teens that not every family gathered or ate like this every night. I am grateful to my mother for instilling in me that necessity of sharing a meal, bringing people together and reconnecting around the table.

The dining table was central to our family life. It was where my brother and I did our homework, built our mousetraps and conducted experiments. We decorated Christmas cookies and played Monopoly; it was where we mapped out our family trees and, once, had a flour fight. (My little brother and I broke open a bag of all-purpose flour and giggled endlessly as we tossed it at each other, coating ourselves and everything else white. I was surprised that my mother didn’t stop us, but stood aside, watched us and laughed.)

In the summer, we’d visit the local farm stand (aptly named Farm Boy), with tables piled high with the sweetest, fresh corn and juicy tomatoes. In the fall, Farm Boy was where we’d pick out our pumpkins for carving. I didn’t discover farmers markets until much later, but I learned early on, unintentionally, about choosing what was fresh an in season and eating balanced meals.

I have always loved cooking for others.

selfportraiteditedMy interest in and passion for local food blossomed a few years ago when I was lucky enough to work alongside farmers at local farmers markets in Atlanta. I got to the know the people who were responsible for our health, who cared for the earth growing beautiful food. I was lucky enough to visit some farms, picking the best strawberries I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, and witnessing how cows and chickens freely roamed and were cared for on a local ranch.

This blog has been many years in the making. I’m excited to share my farmers market finds and personal recipes with you. Thank you for visiting!