When I published my first post on Comfort du Jour in April, I didn’t know what it would become or what it would mean to me. It took a global pandemic to help me finally grasp that the phrase “life is short” is more than a catchphrase; it’s a reality. What I did know is that I love cooking, creating and entertaining, and I wanted to share my passion with other like-minded people. I knew I was never going to have a restaurant, and just as well, because I love my free evenings and weekends. I will never win Next Food Network Star (though I considered auditioning a few times), also just as well, given that most of the winners don’t actually get to cook as much as they talk about food other chefs are making.
Comfort du Jour has been a blessing for me because I’m doing what I love and sharing it with you, but on my own terms and at my own pace. Your support has encouraged me to keep going. It’s empowering to know that what I do in my kitchen has power to make you happy. Having this blog has challenged me to tackle my food “bucket list,” including these:
I’m 100 posts in, and still have so much to say, though it isn’t always easy for me.
At times, I struggle to make the things that happen in my kitchen interesting to you. My recipes are so familiar to me that it’s hard to believe anyone else would be inspired by them. On the flip side, I sometimes find myself veering way off course and having too much to say, which is usually a sign I am aiming too low—by talking about the food rather than the story.
A good example of the latter was my July 3 post on Vanilla. I had planned to count down the top flavors used in American cooking through the years, to identify what America tastes like, being the world’s melting pot and all. I didn’t expect to become mesmerized by the story of the slave boy who revolutionized the hand-pollination of the rare and fragile vanilla flower, forever changing the course of food history worldwide. Now, it’s all I think about when I use the ingredient that would have been available only to the wealthiest of people, had it not been for Edmond Albius.
This has been a theme for me in cooking, as well as in life—that what I’m making (or doing) is far less important than the “why”: food tells a story, and if we’re willing to listen, we will learn a great deal more than a recipe. The story is what I love most, and this blog has helped me identify that.
I’ve shared plenty about my early inspiration by my maternal grandmother, who taught me how to properly sear meat, build a cream sauce, make gravy and turn bread scraps into pudding. So far, I have barely mentioned my time in a catering kitchen, where I was challenged to elevate my knowledge in ways that shaped me into the home cook I am today. Those stories are coming. As I said, so much more to say.
On the other side of Halloween, I’ll be retelling the tales behind my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, along with instruction for some of the basic things we make at home to reduce our dependence on expensive store-bought ingredients.
Here’s to the next 100! Thank you. 😊