About this space:
The last thing the world needs is another lifestyle blog.
So why am I here? Friends and family have asked me to create a space to share my photos, recipes, and knowledge of ingredients. I do not claim to be an expert in anything except, perhaps, being a dilettante. But I do love to explore the world through the lens of food. Ever since I was little and popped a sprig of wood sorrel in my mouth, I have been obsessed with ingredients. Especially those obtained outside the walls of a grocery store.
I was lucky to have parents who went back to the land, not as hippies, but as working people who wanted something more for their children. This was not a hobby for my parents, they toiled and spent time helping local farmers, learning a great deal of knowledge along the way. My parents are now rural to the bone.
Their choice to farm/homestead brought us many gifts: Loaves of bread and dutch ovens of soup simmered on our kitchen stove. Our kitchen stove was fueled by trees that we cut and chopped with our hands. The smoky wood and earthy iron pans flavored the dishes. This experience and these flavors have spoiled me. I can’t just eat anything. I am always chasing these lost flavors.
Another fear about creating a lifestyle blog is the word domesticity. I remember being in the kitchen in my dorm at college, struggling to get the oven to work. My parents had sent me hubbard and butternut squashes from their garden and I wanted to roast one. Finally, the oven roared on and I set to work cutting the squash and scooping the seeds. A friend came by and saw me. She rolled her eyes and said, “God, you are so domestic.” This definition troubled me. But I continued to bake, mix ingredients, and scrub my pans. These days cooking and growing food are seen as acts of resistance. But the word is still sticky to me, domestic.
Now that I live far from the farm, I tend to romanticize that domestic life: being one with the seasons, smelling the rich soil, chopping wood, fields of flowers, and the cloying scent of lanolin in wool. I also have a busy life. I don’t have a big plot of land, but I have some hand me down garden tools, a decent knife, and a kitchen.
It is thrilling to find so many other people who are similarly obsessed with chasing flavors, whether they be recreating the past, or those seeking newness. I see this as a place to share my findings and connect with those similarly obsessed.
I want to channel these pursuits by the plate and by the glass. I want to share how easy it is to find (or grow) ingredients and add a little bit of this and that to make something tasty. Pull up a seat and join me.
About Michele Graham:
Michele grew up on the border of upstate New York and Vermont. She has spent most of her life on the West Coast. She has worked as a paintmaker's apprentice, cheesemonger, caterer, cafe owner, graphic designer, and non-for-profit bookkeeper. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young daughter. She loves food anthropology, classic cocktails, cooking, gardening, photography, painting, taking walks, and enjoying her natural surroundings.
Please let me know if you want to collaborate on a project, need some advice, or just want to chat. Find me here.