I'm a Newfoundlander, born and bred and, as the song goes, I'll be one 'til I die! No matter where I go in this big amazing world, and I hope to see as much of it as I possibly can, I'm always going to be a Newfoundland gal, no doubt about it.
I grew up in an era when you ate what was placed in front of you or you simply didn't eat. Exotic fruits and vegetables were rare and only available depending on what was in season. Things like broccoli and zucchini were virtually unheard of, at least in our home. Add to that my mother's hatred for cooking and resulting lack of imagination in that regard, I decided when I was about 12 years old that I had best learn how to cook or I was going to starve! (Sorry mom....)
In all fairness to my mom I have to point out that there were a few things that she made that I did like...Nanny's Meatloaf with 'Secret Sauce', (which is one of my husband's absolute favorites), and beef stroganoff are two. Other than roasted turkey dinner, I can't think of much else though. (Again...sorry mom.)
My grandmother, on the other hand, was a fantastic cook. She was every bit a society lady in a time when people left their calling card if they wanted to come see you for afternoon tea, but boy, could she cook! One thing that clearly sticks out in my mind was Nanny's pork chops with mushrooms and gravy. It wasn't until I was a teenager that she told me that the chops were actually lamb, not pork. Irregardless, they were delicious!
Nanny had a beta sigma phi cook book that I would thumb through and it opened up a whole new world for me. I had to know what all those wonderful things were and what they tasted like and where I could get them. Cooking became my passion right then and there! I watched shows like 'The Galloping Gourmet' and 'The Frugal Gourmet'. And then, I discovered The Foodnetwork! A chorus of angels sang in my head....I wanted to learn it all!
I have a background in nursing and did some extra credit courses in nutrition along the way. My initial interest was in cooking things fresh and with minimal additives, avoiding things like MSG and red dye #40 like they were the plague! Health issues of various family members made me consider meals with dietary restrictions such as low fat, low or no salt, no sugar, low potassium, high protein...the list goes on and on. I had to figure out how to healthy-up the food I wanted to eat so that they could still be enjoyed by everyone else.
For most of the past 25 years, I have been a single parent and, as such, I had the added challenge of cooking delicous, healthied-up meals on a budget. While it's true that most of the things that are healthiest for us at the grocery store also tend to be the most expensive, armed with a little knowledge, a few good tips and a little planning, eating healthy doesn't have to break the bank!
Even though sticking to a budget isn't as necessary these days as it use to be, it's now a matter of principle for me. Why pay more than I need to for anything? Running a household is very much akin to running a small business and keeping overhead costs down just makes good business sense!
All of that has resulted in an awareness of ingredients, a determination not to sacrifice flavour, a knack for preparing restaurant worthy meals, (according to my family and friends anyway), on a shoe string budget that meets multiple dietary needs and restrictions. This is how my philoso....sorry....cookology came to be!
I met my husband just over a year ago, proof that you should never give up on love. His love and encouragement were monumentally instrumental in the development of this blog. I love creating new dishes, it's my stress buster, and my hope is to inspire others to cook easy, healthied-up, inexpensive AND delicious meals for their loved ones too! I've learned a lot on my path and this blog is my way of sharing it with you!
Kim Power Barnes
Nanny's Beta Sigma Phi cookbook - My Bible - copyright 1969
Kim Power Barnes
Food Blogger, Wife, Mother