Recently, while on my daily walk, I was daydreaming about goodies that I could create and then devour, when my thoughts turned to things that inspire me. Or maybe I should say who inspires me in my daily life and what inspires to make (and eat) delicious sweet treats. I felt pretty lucky to realize that the things that inspire me are not things at all – they are the people I know or have known along the way. People that have made me grateful, fulfilled, a lover of food, a nurse, a mother, and a wife.
You see, my greatest joy in life is, without a doubt, my family and friends – the people who have shaped me and taught me so much about the wonder that life holds. Some of my earliest, and certainly many of my fondest memories revolve around food. Christmas dinners, Pope Fests, my mom teaching me how to bake, my dad teaching me how to make pasta sauce, my grandfather’s love of cannoli, my aunt’s incredible cakes, a heated argument revolving around whether twine or wire is best used to roast a pig, my grandmother in her kitchen in Chicago, dining out with my aunts and cousins for “back to school” shopping (that lasted well into my 20’s), wine tasting in Napa on my honeymoon, eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the back of my old van on teenage summer nights, and of course countless dinners out with my husband mark nearly every momentous occasion in our lives, I could go on for pages..
In addition to being a hard worker, my mom is an amazing cook and baker. She has taught me many lessons (both in and out of the kitchen), but when I think of her cooking, my greatest inspiration from her is that one must use real ingredients to get real flavor – butter, oil, bacon, salt, sugar – make the best dishes. My dad can hold his own in the kitchen as well, but now-a-days he likes to say that a great cook requires an enthusiastic audience, a role he readily fills. My brother’s story could be a blog post on its own. You can read more about his work here. And, if you happen to live in or near Kansas City (or perhaps you are just passing through), make it a priority to check out his shop! My great, great-aunt and uncle published cookbook and had a televised cooking school. You can read more about them here. My amazing hubby has taken on making most dinners in our house, and let me tell you, his cooking is second to none. He is self-taught, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. You know you are living with a great cook when you complain because he is taking so long to make dinner. (Man I can be a brat!) Now, we are working hard to incorporate cooking and the love we have for food into our son’s daily life – hopefully he will enjoy it as much as we do. And, if that weren’t enough, my aunts, uncles, and cousins are all pretty fantastic cooks as well! Lucky, right?
My career has inspired me to embrace life. I know that sounds cheesy, but it is so true. As a nurse, I have had the great privilege to serve many, many people in my years in healthcare. I have learned so many lessons about how I want to live (and not live) from working with all sorts of people, some as colleagues, others patients. Life is an incredible journey, and our health can be so tenuous. I guess I’ve learned to be grateful for the days that I am given, and never, ever complain about a birthday. Sure, getting older is hard, but its much preferred to the alternative.
Other inspiration comes from my favorite blogs, of course! These are blogs that I check out at least weekly. I love to see their new creations and read their fun posts. I would definitely recommend checking out Kristan at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, Shelly from Cookies and Cups, and Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction. Their pictures, food, and stories always keep me coming back for more, so if you are looking for some new blogs to follow, please check them out! (They have no idea that I am posting this, and I am not affiliated with these blogs in any way.)
So that’s who and what inspires me – thanks for taking the time to read a personal post!
Who or what inspires you to do what you do?