I wrote the other day about pumpkin cookies and my old house in Clinton, Iowa. I think everyone has a nostalgic view of their childhood, or even just aspects of it. I received a message about my last blog and this reader enjoyed it and shared it with others. Then she went shopping for ingredients, and apparently crystallized ginger is hard to find in Iowa. Blogs are rarely blogs these days. Many of my old blogging friends have given up and moved on. I hardly recognize many of my favorites still out there, as you have to scroll through miles of ads, photo after photo and finally, somewhere at the bottom is the recipe you wanted to begin with. Like everything, it's all monetized. I am not going to lie and say I am not interested in making money, but I refuse to let the easy reading, get to the recipe, and a few pictures get mottled up by click bait. Even many of my Facebook friends don't post about their kids and vacations, it's what they're selling. The deals, the groups of happy friends you too can have if you just have this product....and then instagram, lordy. Don't get me started on the influencers. But that's the way these days, and kudos for those that jumped in. And admittedly I buy sometimes too. But I am a writer at heart, a cook/baker for the love of food, and this blog is personal to me, so much more than money. I have a lot to say, but even if all you want is the recipe, it's pretty easy to get to!
Today, as the remnants of a hurricane blow through, it seemed the perfect time to bake some amazing pumpkin bread, Brother Boniface Pumpkin Bread to be exact, and to maybe write again. Time really does change everything, and my cooking has changed plenty in the last 5 years as I became an empty nester. And now, a grandmother. What an awesome job title! I still bake thousands of cookies, and I do try and post here so folks can see, but instagram is easier for me, and since I rarely make cookies for someone I don't know, I don't feel bad they have to scroll through baby pics and golf outings.
I have decided a few new avenues for blogging as I move forward. First, I am going to revisit the 50 chefs for 50 years, since I am still in my 50's! I was going to try and power through 50 in one year, but college volleyball, work, Oklahoma football, and so many things got in the way. I did post 15, and many more are in draft folders, so it'll be fun to knock this out! Here is the list thus far...it makes for great reading!
50 Chefs For 50 Years
#1 My Mom and Steak in a Bag and Ambrosia Pie This is a classic midwestern menu, and we loved every bite!
#2 Chuck Williams of Williams Sonoma and Cheese Soufflé I wrote this in my 16th year at Williams Sonoma, and Chuck was still alive at 98. The following year my store closed and Chuck passed. It was an honor to be a part of his vision.
#3 Dinah Shore and Crab Cakes with Jalepeño Tartar Sauce These are great, and I make them often. Dinah would be proud of my new addiction to golf! A few links are broken in her blog, so if you don't know who she is, it's worth looking her up. She had some amazing men in her life, George Montgomery, Frank Sinatra and Burt Reynolds. Her cookbook was California cuisine way before its time.
#4 Deborah Madison and Summer Squash Tatines. The expert on vegetarian cuisine.
#5 & #6 Eli and Max Sussman and the Very BEST Autumn Dinner. Side note, I gave this book to my son, and took it back a year later. It's really that good.
#7 Ina Garten Chopped Cape Cod Salad I chose this because I had already made everything else! You have to read the blog about visiting LA for the cookbook signing. It is hilarious!!
#8 & #9 Julee Russo and Sheila Lukins The New Basics Chicken Puttanesca My most used book!
#10 Paul Prudhomme and Mirliton Pirogues I love a blog on an American cuisine that has a pronunciation guide!
#11 Giada's Pumpkin Spice Cookies. I know, you were expecting something Italian....that's the idea here, well rounded chefs.
#12 Richard Sax and the The Farmer's Market Veggie Soup. He will make a second appearance!!
#14 Gilligan's Island Coconut Cream Pie Yep. I am a child of the 70's.
#15 Dom DeLouise and Orange Cookies. Don't judge, read it.
So off we go, 35 left, and I won't waste a minute. Stay tuned.....