My love of cooking and baking and food in general dates back to my childhood. My mom was a fantastic cook and there are lots of photos of my brother and I working with her in the kitchen.
When I went away to university I was excited to try new recipes and experiment with foods I hadn’t tried before. As I got older, I started reading food magazines, meal planning, and cooking for my friends and roommates.
When I moved into my own “first house” in March of 2012 I was eager to turn my house into a home. Visions of dinner parties, baking bread, bringing treats to work, and growing my own produce danced in my head. I dreamed of creating a domestic paradise – in addition to working two regular jobs, tutoring, taking an online class, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, of course!
Life was moving along smoothly until a fateful day in the grocery store that would change the course of my summer. There was a long line, there was a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication about canning, and there was no way my summer was going to be untouched. I got the magazine, I came home, I read it cover to cover, I attached sticky notes to all the pages with things I wanted to make (there were a lot of sticky notes), and I got excited about canning.
The magazine that changed the course of my summer
Coincidentally, just after this happened, my dad (who lives about a 5 minute drive from my house) went away for a week. He has a big garden, including raspberries, and they just happened to be ripe. I went over every day that week and picked berries. I would come home, wash them, put them on cookie sheets, freeze them, and then put them into storage for the winter.
After a few days (and a rapidly filling freezer), I decided I would try making some raspberry jam. Easy. Safe. Basically free.
And that was the start of it! Less than two months later, my pantry is close to overflowing with preserves, vegetables, and fruits, all safely stored away for the winter.
After much urging from my friends, I have decided to create this blog to document what I made, what recipes I used, how things turned out, and what I make in the future. Some will be canning, some will be baking, some will be regular old cooking. Really anything that strikes my fancy is fair game for Cottage Fare!