The definition. In broad terms: The kitchen is my workshop. This space is the chronicle of those activities and their inspirations.

The cook. I’m Karen. I kept canisters of flour and water in my Fisher-Price kitchen when I was 5, which I would knead together to “bake bread.” That was the beginning. Now, twenty years later, I still am drawn to the meditative stillness that’s found in baking. And in the casual creation of an impromptu meal.

I grew up in small-town West Texas, as close to Mexico as to the nearest US city, and my tastes have been molded by my southwestern roots and a strong wandering gene. I’m currently in Boston, exploring the northeastern food scene and making my own breakfast tacos to stave off Tex-Mex withdrawl.

The philosophy. I was raised watching these things: Mamaw kept a worm garden for her compost until she was 92 years old and made biscuits from scratch every morning. She gave me oatmeal cookies (without raisins) in my great-grandfather’s empty cigar boxes. Grandma canned pears she picked from her trees and pickled the cucumbers she grew. I have inherited her cast iron skillet.

Mimi still juices backyard oranges in the morning and bakes bread twice a week. She sends me gingersnaps in the mail. My mother taught me how to bottlefeed a lamb and raise chickens. She makes prickly pear jelly in the late summer and grows tomatoes until Christmas in Texas.

These handmade, homemade adventures have taught me that food can become a medium for sharing, loving and remembering, that food grows our bodies and forms our communities and binds us in our world. Now I am far from my roots in a tiny Boston apartment without even a balcony for a container garden, but I still believe in the old-fashioned dinner hour. And in damn good food.

Thanks for stopping by!