My humble childhood wasn’t so unlike others where I grew up. Some had more, some had less.
I had working class parents brimming with love.
My father, a mechanic; my mother, a secretary.
Their workdays started before the sun offered us morning and often finished as it bid us farewell.
Daily, my mother would make me a brown bag lunch.
Expectedly, a smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and occasionally something sweet.
I never mentioned it to her but my favorite part of lunch was digging passed the food and blindly fumbling around for a crumpled note at the bottom of the bag.
I would privately open it in my hand and quickly make out the illegible handwriting.
This was an exchange between her and I. My attention for her encouraging words of daily catholic optimism.
I absolutely treasured these notes. They made me feel a little less alone as I went about my lonesome day.
After school, I was left to my own devices until my parents were home from work.
I experimented a lot with food during this time – when there wasn’t Mom’s baked goods or snacks laying around.
Not everything she made tasted great, however, I could always taste the love.
Upon arriving home each night, my mother would go straight to work on our humble dinner, nearly as soon as she walked through the door and greeted the dogs.
It would be a very stressful time for her. I could see how tired she was.
When dinner was finally ready, my mother would self-consciously set the food on the table.
My father would routinely walk in and happily express how good it smelled.
We would sit down and serve ourselves as we passed bowls of food around the table. He would always take a bite, and thank my mother for working so hard on dinner.
These are my parents. Hardworking, family centered, humble, and grateful.
This always stuck with me. It urged me into diving curls first into a career in food.
I always knew there was better food out there; I just had to find it.
I immersed myself in this career so I can discover better food, finer food, for my parents.
This is what urged me to create this website. These are my recipes. This is my homage. These are my brown bag notes to my mother, and I am home.