Cheers to you!

Maud Coleman, cir 1903

That is my favorite scriptural reference to bread. I think my Grandma Wiggy (above)  would have approved, at least with the bread part. (she was a pretty strict teetotaler so I’m not so sure about the wine part.) I love that picture of her too. I mean, what a hat! And she was so young. I only knew her as a very old woman. I wonder, now that she’s gone: What life was like for her?  What kind of bread did she bake? Did she ever try blueberry scones and did her batter ever turn grey? What kind of meals did she make for her family? Does anyone know anything about her? Where she came from? Where her parents came from? And what about young Viola-Belle, Grandma Helen’s mother who died in childbirth. She had a German/Prussian heritage and a lot of mouths to feed. What did they have for dinner?

13-year-old Jess with my kaleidoscope quilt

Being weaned on “Little House on the prairie”, books, I wonder about these kinds of things.  I love looking back. It was all Laura Wilders fault, this suburban  cheese making, bread baking, chicken raising, quilting life I now lead. I had too much time to read as a child.  But oddly enough, I never wanted to learn how to cook! I couldn’t do toast! I’m sure my mother tried. But I think she had that “it’s easier to just do it myself” attitude.  I do have a picture of me at about 13, my hair in  pigtails, proudly holding 2 loaves of homemade sourdough bread for the camera. So this bread thing I have goes way back.  This bread baking started as an interest, then a hobby, soon becoming a mild obsession. Bread moved on to biscuits, then cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, muffins, scones, french pastries….and it has not ended yet. Cooking came later. Probably out of need for a balanced diet. As I recall, when we started having children, my hubby and I looked at one another and figured, ‘well, one of us is going to have to learn to cook now.‘ And so I sighed and shouldered the task, going to the library, getting cookbooks, calling my mother. It took a while for my heart to engage in it though. Luckily, hubby was thankful for any food back then, he wasn’t as picky, discerning as we now know him to be.

Dredan Plate quilt

Now that I am in my (ahem) autumn years, I think of all our family members still in their spring time. Daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, young friends.  I think of how the need to eat, to feed our families, daily, sometimes endlessly,  how the desire and need to feed our loved ones brings us together, spanning the generations. We now have a totally different food environment than Maud or Belle had to deal with. In many ways good, some not so much. We have our own challenges, and they had theirs.  Women back then learned to cook from one another, handed down from mother to daughter. Food preservation was critical. Wood stoves, bugs, lack of supplies, failed crops… (yeash!)

We still learn from one another. Thats where this site comes in

As Chef Gusteau once said “Anyone can cook!”

That has never been more true than today.

Especially if I can do it!

 While some of us are still blessed to learn at our mothers side, now we can also reach out  through cyber space, books and  magazines, cable TV.  Sharing with millions of women and men on where to find it, how to cook it, how to do better next time. Is it healthy? Is it organic? Is it local?  Does it matter? We have resources at our finger tips our ancestors never even dreamed of.  You spring chickens have no excuses any more!!  You have the Food Network for crying out loud! All I ever watched was Gilligan’s Island and Bewitched!

So here I wanted an outlet for all the food pictures I keep taking and recipes I want to save.  But that is not quite enough. So here, also, is a place to share our food heritage; that was, that is and that is to come. So this site is also for you!

Here’s to my nieces, my nephews, my own grown and growing children. Here’s to my sister, my brother, my mother, my aunty. Here’s to grandma Helen, Great Grandma ‘Wiggy’, and Great Grandma Viola-Belle. To all my family. To my cooking friends, now and in the future. And to my long-suffering husband, who was there when it all began. I lift my glass to you all.

Goldie and Yenta

PS. Its Summer! Enjoy the fine days.

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