Why do I blog? I think a lot about what drew me to start Kitchen Lit and it boils down to a few moments over the many years that changed my course in life. You never know what moments are going to turn your life in a new direction, but don’t be afraid to take a leap as it may be what you were missing all along. My culinary adventures over my life lead me to create Kitchen Lit and I am so glad I did.
As a little kid I grew up baking with both my Nana and my Mom normally making chocolate chip cookies, snicerkdoodles or chocolate fudge. Some of my favorite memories are ones from baking when I was a kid.
This one always sticks with me: my Nana and I were making chocolate chip cookies, and she went to open a new bag of flour and it wouldn’t open. So, she pulled really hard, and it ripped opened going everywhere. The kitchen and both of us were completely covered in the flour. It took us forever to clean up as we couldn’t stop laughing.
I was always around when people were cooking but just never picked up a ton of skills from it as a kid. I was much more interested in the baking than the cooking. In middle school I took home economics and learned a few new recipes including the chocolate drop cookies that I still make today. I went on to join what was then called Future Homemakers of America (now FCCLA) and was a member throughout middle and high school – holding different offices in the club over the years.
After graduating high school, I went to Johnson & Wales University (a well-known culinary school) in Providence for international business. Towards the end of my freshman year, I moved off campus and had to learn how to cook. I knew the basics of how to boil water but not much else. I can’t remember what the first cookbook I got was but I used it a lot in those first years. During this time, I also took my first cooking class, and I really loved the experience. My cooking skills were extremely basic – it seemed like I always dated guys who were excellent cooks. I loved having someone cook me a nice meal.
Once I finished college, I spent a summer in Dallas and cooked a little more, then I came back to Georgia for a little bit before I moved to the Washington, D.C. area. Once I moved into my new apartment, I wanted to cook more so I started collecting cookbooks and cooking on a regular basis. As my 20’s went by I became more and more comfortable in the kitchen trying new recipes and techniques and became a decent home cook. Although, I still told guys that I didn’t cook – I guess I didn’t want to be the only one cooking in the relationship.
Nashville & Beyond
I was burnout on living in the DC Metro area and moved to Nashville six months after my 30th birthday and that’s where I really got into cooking. Baking and cooking became a way to relax for me and I started experimenting more and more. I had some great successes and of course some major fails – setting the oil on fire in the wok was scary but luckily, I was able to put it out quickly.
And then there was the peanut butter fudge incident – I got distracted by being on the phone and forgot to put in the evaporated milk – well it came out hard as a rock to the point even throwing it on brick it wouldn’t break. At least I put parchment paper on my pan, or I would have had to throw it away too.
As I continued to grow my cookbook collection and my skills, I started taking more cooking classes trying to learn as much as I could. I took even bigger risks and taught myself how to make pasta from scratch – even made some spinach pasta – it was delicious. I had moved to the Northeast and loved being able to go to the apple orchard to get fresh apples, my favorites are the macoun apples. One year I even made my own apple butter, it was so good.
Over the years I began thinking about starting my blog, but I didn’t take the risk as I was dealing with a toxic relationship and couldn’t handle anything else on my plate. Although, I did continue to cook and bake to help myself relax.
Starting Kitchen Lit
Finally in the beginning of 2020 a few weeks before the covid lockdowns started I got out of my toxic relationship. I was able to take some time to heal and figure out what I really wanted in my life. I kept coming back to starting this blog – so I took the risk and did it. Is it easy to just start a blog? No, but it is so worth the reward.
I love what I have created and being able to try new cookbooks and cooking classes to share with all of you. It’s incredible what you can learn through cookbooks. I’ve taught myself how to do some many things from cooking mussels, making fresh pasta, homemade bread, cooking lamb and so much more. I hope that Kitchen Lit helps you find the cookbooks that you will love and give you your own culinary adventures.