I started baking and cooking on my own as a young teenager in my family kitchen in Indiana. I’d get inspired by an idea in a cookbook or magazine or I’d dream up my own concoctions and wacky flavors in my head. I would pull out every ingredient in the cupboard and every dish in the cabinets and just wreak havoc on our kitchen, often with the help of a good friend. My earliest invention was “the pancake chip” – thin smears of pancake batter on a hot griddle, served crispy. It never caught on.
By the end of each cooking adventure, when the kitchen was thoroughly coated in flour and sugar and my secret ingredients, my Mom would walk in, hold back her apparent annoyance, smirk, and say “a messy cook, is a good cook.” I couldn’t agree more. And she still thinks I’m a very good (messy) cook.
My partner in crime is my 170 lb Newfoundland named Miles. I got Miles when he was a two months old and a chubby fluff ball. He is the greatest dog and a constant source of joy and balance in my life.