The Nose knows.

Before I was around, my parents dined in some pretty posh DC restaurants. They enjoyed a well-fed life and when I came along, they didn’t want that to change. So from a very young age, I was toted across northern Virginia and DC, sampling from some choice spots.

Those of you who have children in your lives know that they can have appetites that are hard to predict and even harder to satiate. Some balk completely at new foods and continue to resist into adulthood. I was not destined for this path and when I tried to balk at something on the table (wish I knew what it was…mom?), my mom innately knew that it was its appearance that shocked me most, so told me to smell it, using the reasoning that if it smelled good it must taste good, right? Well it must have tasted pretty alright because since that moment, I have been on a exploration that embraces my own culinary heritage as well as tests my recipe-making prowess.

I find inspiration from grandmother Doris, whose eats are relived fondly through the recipe boxes and cookbooks left behind, as well as the rich memories of dining at her table in Indiana. I, myself having been too young to appreciate the splendor that was produced over many Christmases, am constantly motivated by the memories everyone has shared with me over the years. I aspire to honor her deepest desire to feed her family not only nutrient dense foods, but to offer them some richness of feeling. As the wife of an anthropology professor, caring for four children was an art of practicality. While in that household, there wasn’t much “fat” in many ways, trimming the fat at the dinner table was not an option. I am not only my mothers daughter, in this respect, but am also my grandmother’s grand-daughter.

Alright Mozart, go easy on yourself.

In grad school, I learned something about myself, well I learned many, many things about myself, but here’s one of the most important things – like Mozart who heard complete compositions in his head – I carefully craft my own thoughts to such a degree, that when I am writing, I have very little to do beyond basic editing. It means I go days of seemingly not doing anything, to another where the 20 page paper is complete – the first draft becomes the final draft. My husband was the first to refer to that grad school self as “Mozart.” It stuck.