Welcome to The Feast Within! My name is Gabi and I come from a family of fabulous cooks. I’ve been cooking as a hobby for most of my life and even earned a living for a while baking and decorating cakes for a French style patisserie/cafe.
My maternal Gran was a ranch wife who cooked delicious, hearty meals for her hard working family. She also cooked occasionally at a small diner in the next town. Word would get out that she was cooking that day and people would start coming in from all over for the chance to eat her cooking.
Gran had great hands for kneading bread and we grandchildren would gather around fascinated at the alchemy of turning flour, yeast and water into golden loaves of bread. We would all fight over the heels and beg for bread before it was cool. Hot homemade bread with fresh butter dripping from it was one of my first obsessions with food.
My Mum carried on the good cooking tradition. I don’t remember ever turning down anything she cooked- (except for her now infamous liver chili- cooked once during a health kick experiment. Yikes!) My sisters, aunts and cousins are all exceptional cooks as well.
My own gastronomic journey began with making mud-pies from juniper berries, dirt and water from the little ditch that ran along the edge of the front yard. I had my own little “bakery” going out there and would sometimes nick an egg from the hen-house to “improve the texture” of my goods. (I guiltily blush- thank goodness Gran didn’t catch me!)
Then one year for a present I received my own little Easybake oven (oh the joy, oh the rapture!) I made up my own cake recipes- some were good and some were disasters. At age 10, I went on to teach my little sister to fry eggs and grill cheese and make “Magic Sandwiches” (lettuce, mayo and white bread) these I pretended could taste like anything you imagined was in there too. Ham was my favorite imaginary filling. That year I ambitiously made my own birthday cake -it fell and I (inventively I thought at the time) filled the cake top with candy-including bubble gum. Eek! I made up little hamburgers and “wiener wrap” hot-dogs for my party too. It was my first solo hostessing event. Oh my poor, poor friends.
When I was about 14, I began to cook a lot of dinners in earnest. My Mum worked outside the home, so I devoured her Larousse Gastronomique French Encyclopedia of Cooking looking for recipes. I baked some croissants and made a Coq Au Vin and I was immediately hooked. I’m sure I now own well over 400 cookbooks -(including one of my family’s recipes that my mom put together about 20 years ago and all its various reformations.) I never get enough- I devour them like novels.
Food and good cooking are part of loving life as far as I’m concerned. I feel the same way about gardening and other creative pursuits from writing and painting to pottery, wood turning, knitting and even soap making.
I am lucky enough to share my life with my husband Rick (my one-true-love) who shares my passion for living. He cooks, makes wine, is a gifted woodworker/artist, a madly passionate RC airplane builder and pilot and is an all around gem. There is also a “cat who walks by himself” in our house- his name is Kipling- (aka the jungle cat.) We all live in a much loved little (built in 1916) bungalow in Salt Lake City, Utah.
We have a great life and I wanted to share in the community of wonderful cooks and food writers who have given me so much enjoyment as I have read (and continue to read) their blogs. So that’s why I ’m here.
Thank you to everyone who posts his or her daily adventures and ongoing explorations- you inspire me. I hope I can give a little back as I go along.