I don't know about you, but I LOVE to eat! Food is something we all have a working relationship with. Some of us lean toward love-love, some suffer through a love-hate phase. Most of us find ourselves sliding blissfully back & forth in the buttery in-between.
Recently discovered a new cuisine you can't get enough of? Love-love!
Tired of thinking of new things to cook every. single. night? Love-hate.
As someone who has been cooking for more than 20 years, I know all-too-well the exquisite joy/pain that food can bring.
My personal relationship with food has been a journey of connections, cultures & creativity that has led me to revel in the complexities of what we consume from farm to table, but also to thoughtfully overcome what I used to despise about cooking.
True to the old adage, "You are what you eat," we often find ourselves simmering in our own personal melting pot of food experiences, swimming alongside the comfort food we grew up on, the delicacies we delightfully discovered through new experiences, and the hidden foods we haven't yet had the joy of trying.
My personal bond with cooking came from spending time with those I admire, most undeniably the women in my life.
Every time I make bread, my hands instinctively pull the dough just like my grandma taught me years ago while making scones together.
My stepmom was a working mom, so her teachings centered around making food that tasted great but was also timesaving. I married young & my mother-in-law wasted no time taking me under her wing of comfort-food.
If I'm preparing a big pot of chili, it simply must have cornbread with honey butter on the side in honor of my beautiful mom, pictured below.
At 30, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, an underlying symptom of my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I worked with a talented dietician and the head of Gastroenterology at the renowned Mayo Clinic Arizona to reassess my dietary needs & my future with food.
Despite their help, I struggled to gain excitement from eating. I had no appetite. Food became my folly. I dedicated my time to researching the biology of eating, experimenting in the kitchen & delving into cultural dishes outside of my norm. By the grace of God, my broken bonds with food were mended.
In our early 30's, Matt and I became foster parents and were quickly introduced to the struggles that many foster children experience with food. Having very little food available in their birth homes made trying new foods in our home really scary and frustrating for everyone. Little by little, we replaced the processed foods they were used to & felt safe with to the fresh foods they grew to absolutely love.
Food took on a complex new of meaning for all of us. We presented it to the kids as a sport with a goal of healthy eating and growing up strong. It wasn't always easy finding new ways to get our kids to try something new, but it was always worth it! Allowing them to be involved in each step encouraged them to take ownership in what they ate & feel empowered to try new things.
Involving them in the garden was a huge success. Their mealtime wins became our family victories. We kept track of the new foods they tried and celebrated each one. Meal by meal, it became ok to be surprised. After a few months, we were able to branch into new foods like dragon fruit, sushi, & seafood! We were blessed to finally adopt our sons, who have both developed a penchant for cooking & an insatiable appetite for trying new things.
We recently bought a farm in West Virginia and have found ourselves rocked in the delicious cradle of Appalachian comfort food with hometown restaurants abound! Inspired by the strong local WV heritage, pride in ingredients & time-honored traditions, my own love of cooking & baking has only grown. You may find evidence in my 200+ cookbooks, staggered boxes of recipe cards & thousands of saved Pinterest recipes. If you're in my inner circle, you probably know my love languages are food, gifts & quality time. I am an avid forager and lover of mycology (knowledge that I am proudly passing on to my kids.)
Understanding that what we put into our bodies starts from the soil entering our fruits and vegetables right up to the poultry and meat we consume has led me to grow and forage as much of our food as possible and to source what I can't from local farmers & ranchers. Anyone can grow a garden; I started in planter pots as most people new to gardening do. I'm excited to share more about gardening with you, as it has brought me immense joy and I'm sure it can for you, too.
I've learned so much throughout my journey and I can't wait to share the tips & tricks that others have graciously shared with me. Not only do I want to share my knowledge with you, but I want you to share yours with all of us, too! The Dainty Blossom Community was created to welcome a cohort of kind, encouraging & open-minded people.
Consider the recipes you find here a blank coloring page. Let them invite you to fill in the gaps with what you have on hand. Don't hesitate to substitute ingredients to your preferences. Add extra things... Go Wild! Food is meant to be fun.
Consider DBC Community a soft landing for your failures & a pedestal for your successes! We want you to feel inspired to create your own renditions of our classic & modern takes on everyone's food favorites.
We CELEBRATE the idea of you making the recipes we share "your own". Please don't hesitate to ask questions or make suggestions in the comment section. Remember to keep all comments constructive, supportive & kind!
Stay Blessed, Dainty Blossom Fam!
-Heather (Longtime Fan of Good Food) ♥
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