A few things you should know about me.
I live just south of San Francisco in a little beach town known for its fog. I grew up in the Bay Area, and, being a fourth-generation Californian, can get rather passionate about this area.
I grew up in a family where crafting, creativity, independence, and fun were highly valued and taught. Cooking and baking were something my mom taught herself after she was married, and therefore enjoyed learning the rest of her life. She passed that joy of learning along to her children.
I believe strongly in letting children learn alongside their parents. My mom not only let us cook with her, but at one point left Sunday dinners solely up to my sisters and myself. This was when we were about 10-13. It was a huge thrill to pick out the menu from our kids cookbooks, complete a dinner for 6 (usually including dessert), and receive the accolades when everyone ate it.
I also grew up with a family vegetable garden in the backyard, and each year each of us would get to pick out a vegetable we'd take care of. Although usually we picked "normal" veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, one year my youngest sister (there were four of us) decided on brussels sprouts because they looked cool. The agreement was that we ate whatever we grew, so my mom reluctantly agreed, and proceeded to find the tastiest recipe she could when those brussels sprouts were ready. I've been a fan of the mini-cabbage ever since. I truly believe that giving kids ownership of something makes allows them to not only appreciate it, but learn the skills of caring for a plant and finding recipes and cooking it.
I believe in getting your hands dirty. I'm not against gadgets, but sometimes your hands are your best and most effective tools.
You will see in my posts that they almost always go back to what my mom and dad taught me as a kid, and I cherish that everyday.
Now, a few details. I cook on a gas stove and in a gas oven. After growing up on electric, I absolutely prefer gas.
My mom and dad both needlepointed, and even finished a few projects together. Pre-kids, of course. My southpaw dad taught me to needlepoint, so I learned left-handed even though I'm a righty. My mom taught me to sew; my first project was an elastic-waisted bell skirt that I proudly wore and twirled in as often as I could. My sisters are just as creative as I am, but we all are passionate about different things. But we also love to craft together, and do everything from sewing to papercrafting to cooking to linocut to painting to...whatever catches our eye!