Near the Foot of the Rockies, Always Near a Stove. — Summer Vacation in Utah 2017!Chicken / August 28, 2017
Even though I’ve been back home in North Carolina for awhile, (I was in Utah during July and August!) I can still smell the desert in my nose. The dry, herbal and clay-like aroma of Utah in the summer stays in my soul. It is a place where I grew up. Where I made my parents proud and also made them worry. Where I did things I want to forget, and things I can’t seem to remember. Where I first drove a car. Cried over a boy. Went to prom. Had stitches and was crowned Miss Utah State University. (Someday I will tell you more!)
I return now that I’m older to think about how fast the time goes. And to embrace my family with passion. Because family, and food, and love is everything.
When I first arrive in my hometown of Logan, Utah, after a long, cramped plane ride, I go to the grocery store. I can’t wait to get my hands on a pan, a knife and some food so I can cook for my tribe and get to the business of being HOME.
I love being inspired by the smallest things, like seeing apple butter and knowing it will make a fantastic sauce for chicken. Or grab a crimson pear knowing that it will sing with happiness if I poach it and top it with cheese and some maple glaze. I buy artisan and commercial brands. Fresh and canned. The point is to nourish with love.
I was able to spend enough time during this visit to be home when both of my sisters had birthdays. It’s been a long time since that happened. I was able to have my niece Nicole and her husband Seth show me their new home nearly ready for love. We talk about the double oven; the battle over getting it. And hugged long and hard. I got to meet my new grand niece Quinn, see my superstar niece Maryn on stage, eat at my favorite haunts, and cook twice with Jaren…my niece’s Claire’s new adorable husband. And I got to hug Ollie and watch him learn so fast it made me dizzy.
But then there was the food. The food that embraced each memory. That tinged each event with love and color. Every plate something I worked hard to create and share. And it’s all here for you.