Well to start this has been one tough year! I have gone through a lot of change in my personal life that has lead to a change in all things that I thought were established or happy. In this year personal relationships have fallen apart, professional dreams have been questioned and life lessons have been learned everyday I wake up. Through all this turmoil, one thing in my life has stayed constant and maybe has been strengthed in this past year; that is my love for the kitchen. There have been many days in the past year that I have turned to my recipe book and my stove as a type of  "kitchen therapy." This "kitchen time" gives me the opportunity to loose myself in something I love; allowing me to concentrate on making the most perfect buttercream icing or creamy ice cream. Through this process I learned that when all else was "out of my hands" those same hands could make something beautiful, tasty and praised by others.  It really made me reflect on how I became the baker/cook that I was. Looking back on my family and what I know of their experiences, I realized that for the women in my family this "kitchen therapy" is not that uncommon. When times get tough, we knead dough, bake beautiful cakes and nourish ourselves and the ones that we love with food made with our own hands. I guess to us "Love Begins in the Kitchen..."

Since I was very young, I was always surrounded by amazing women in my family who brought everyone together by whipping up something in the kitchen! Each had their own recipe and technique or expertise but the result was always the same; family bonding and happy times. I remember from the time when I was very young, sitting in one of my Grandma's kitchens watching my mother, aunts and grandmas hustle around the kitchen in a kind of hypnotic routine laughing, talking and cooking away. I was a little girl but I was soaking it all in! And the times that I was allowed to help will stand in my mind forever. I was one of the "big girls"- part of the female strength that was the foundation of family. As I grew up, these events continued and I became more of a part of the action contributing some favorite recipes of my own into the mix; while still learning the old favorites.

To this day, I still celebrate holidays and special events with the recipes from my childhood.  And especially with the two cookies that I have named my blog for: Bonbons and Biscotti.  These two cookies embody my Grandmothers.  Each of these cookies was my personal favorite that they would each make.

My Grandma Ethel's signature cookie was her Cherry Bonbon. Since I was young, I loved all things cherry and she knew this more than anyone. She was domestic in all ways but I have never heard her more praised than for her baking skills. A lot of her baking was done more out of necessity than leisure, but she was very proud of her skill the in the kitchen and her baked good showed this.
Grandma Ethel

My Grandma Madelyn's signature cookie was the northern Italian Biscotti recipe that was passed down to her from her mother.  Not the typical biscotti of today, this is a small anise scented cookie that goes great with coffee. A nurse by trade (when most women were stay-at-home Moms) my Gram had a family, a house and still had time to bake these cookies, which have become a family tradition.

At this time I also have to pay homage to my mother who has been my biggest support and the most influential baker and woman in my life. She is known in my small town as a "maker of all things delicious."  Since a young age, I have learned all things kitchen related by spending long hours sitting at the kitchen table watching, then helping as we talked and sang show tunes till the baking of the day was complete. Her recipes are too diverse to pick just one favorite, so you will see many as this blog continues.


Over the years, I have carried all these "kitchen moments" in my heart. In this blog, I want to individually celebrate each of  the women  in my family who have made me the foodie that I am today; laying down the strong roots of food, family and heritage. I hope to share some of their recipes, stories and personalities as well as how they have inspired me to become the passionate and devoted women I am both in the kitchen and out........


Donna V. said...

I'm late to this post, but I want you to know that you are a wonderful product of these three women. Best of luck with your blog! By the way, I copied the hot pepper jelly recipe!
Donna V.

Anonymous said...

Where did my new favorite blog go? I'm in withdrawal!

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