About

About Jen

I’ve always had a love for food.  For much of my youth, the dinner table was filled with bowls of rice and platters of fresh fish, chicken, and pork.  I still remember rolling out gooey pastries (“tay”) with my grandmother for Chinese New Year as a little girl.  The mark of freshness was leaving the chicken or fish head on the plate – my dad used to reserve the fish cheeks for me, the most succulent part.  I also remember my aunt’s boss’s wife screaming out of a Chinese restaurant when she saw a chicken head…

My dad is a fantastic cook but I didn’t really become interested in it until college.  I started rolling out pastry dough on an old wooden desk in our apartment (a sanitation nightmare today) and senior year hosted a 25-person dinner party complete with formal invitations, linen and china rentals, and choice of entree/dessert.  I was hooked.

Hubby bought me this domain in 2008.  I had been decorating cakes for several years and I think he got tired of me talking about them.  Since then, my love of cooking has somewhat overtaken cake decorating.  Part of the reason is I am surrounded by the best local producers in Bucks County, PA.  Many of my weekends are spent in the blueberry bushes, or hoarding the farmers’ market tables.  Great food stems from great ingredients.  Baking or cooking, I have a passion for learning and enjoy sharing my many foibles and successes with those around me!

 Perspective on Food

I believe that we have become a society driven by speed and efficiency.  Our food system has therefore become based on convenience and cost-effectiveness – a world where plastic-wrapped cheese, hockey puck hamburger slime, and chemically laden waxed produce is considered “normal”.  Even scratch cooking is at risk with the hundreds of annual recalls from tainted meat, vegetables, and fruit found at the supermarket.  We have done significant damage to our environment, health system, and ourselves through our methods of eating.

A movement called Slow Food aims to save our food system through local, minimally-processed farming.  We can save our carbon footprint and create sustainability in eating by supporting local, spray-free farmers.  The USDA laws on what is local are insufficient (within a state boundaries, when PA is 450 miles across; “pastured” chickens could still live in a coop crapping on each other their entire lives).  I believe in local access within 50 miles, 100 at most.  This has become common practice for much of the West Coast.  Certain areas on the East Coast have been picking up on it in the last few decades (Bucks County as an example; Ithaca, NY as another).  It continues to be a way of life in Europe, but even there slow food is quickly being threatened.

While I have a great appreciation for the art of gourmet cooking, I have the most respect for those that strive to learn and practice using/providing local ingredients.  I can’t wait for the day when eating local is no longer considered novel, but “normal”.

 

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