About Me

About Me

Posted by LeAnn Kurtz on

Cooking School in Cambodia 
I have been fascinated with food my whole life.  I grew up in a household in the 60s and 70s where my mother did all the cooking and she was a master! I didn't realize it at the time, but we were blessed with amazing, wholesome food all around us. We had a 37 acre fruit orchard in the Napa Valley filled with plums, prunes, apples, and pears. Every summer  as little kids, we would pick lugs of fruit to  sell  at our roadside stand. My parents had invested in some cattle with one of the neighbors and we had fresh, grass fed beef from happy California cows. We had a pond on the property stocked with Bass and Bluegill and my Dad would take us out fishing all the time in our little row boat. I learned to clean a fish at the age of 6. We had two creeks, one on each side of the house filled with blackberry bushes where we would pick cans full of juicy blackberries all summer and try not to return too bloody from all the thorns.
Dad and Me fishing circa 1965
My Mom was a wonderful cook. We had tacos every week, at a time when tacos weren't the staple food of Californians. She insisted on fresh, green salad with every meal. I would go to dinner at friends' houses and their mothers would serve up some canned vegetables or frozen peas, or something I wasn't used to and although I was polite, and ate it, I remember thinking how awful it tasted.  When I got older, my parents got chickens. I never realized how different and delicious fresh, grass fed, free range chicken eggs are! The yolks are orange, the fats are healthier, they're full of omega 3s which are fantastic for you and the shells are actually hard to break.
As I have been getting older, I've been much more aware of the importance of quality food, and sustainable agriculture. I'm a bit obsessed with gardening lately. My husband tells me I need a 12 step program for plant nurseries! It seems I can't pass by a plant for sale anywhere without at least stopping to inspect them, and usually buying at least something for my gardens, whether it be food or flowers.
I'm newly semi- retired, and part of the reason I quit working full time is so I can stay home and nurture my gardener's heart growing a great variety of foods, and tending to my back yard chickens, who are Tillie McPeckerson, Twinky Dink and Ginger.  They give me three beautiful eggs every day, which is more than my husband and I can handle, so we end up giving lots away to family and friends.
My Grandson Logan with my three girls.
My other passion in life has been travel. I have been fortunate to travel to 6 continents, and eat a lot of amazing food from other countries! I even snuck in some cooking classes in India and Cambodia.
Watching and helping my Mom in the kitchen taught me most of what I needed to know to start me on a lifelong exploration of food. I have never liked following recipes, and feel I have a natural (or learned, not sure) instinct when it comes to seasoning and mixing flavors. Up until this point, I have not been writing down my recipes, just throwing stuff together every night for dinner.
 I've decided it's time to tie together my homegrown harvests and some very simple, farm to fork recipes, gardening tips and ideas for producing organic, sustainable food. I will be recommending products, books and movies to expand your knowledge base as well. Click on my store to see my beautiful Home and Garden wares, and sign up for my blog!
Join me on my food adventure!
(One more picture of  my grandson...
just because he's adorable and he loves to cook with his Bubby!)

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