About: Recipes and the Cookbook

I have been in a love affair with food and cooking my whole life.

My mother taught me to cook so effortlessly and smoothly that I don’t really remember learning – it’s as if one day I just woke up knowing how to make a meringue that would rise beautifully and how much cold water to add to pie dough to make it bind but still retain its flaky goodness.

I loved my Easy Bake Oven

I transitioned seamlessly from an Easy Bake oven at 8 to a decent repertoire of cookies, cakes and pies by the time I was about 12.

Pico de Gallo brings a pop of color and flavor
Pico de Gallo brings a pop of color and flavor

My early start with desserts and baking gave way over time to my real love, which is anything savory or spicy. I’ll pass up a creme brûlée for a wedge of Brie any time, and prefer Pico de Gallo to chocolate.

Cooking for enjoyment is an extremely creative endeavor. As painters play with brush sizes, paint colors and different strokes, adjusting approaches from one painting to the next, so do cooks play with ingredients and techniques. We adjust recipes to add flair, emphasize a certain taste or texture, match them with other dishes for a cohesive menu, or update them for special occasions. We tempt friends and family by making their favorites in a new way or adding ingredients they love to new dishes.

It’s the experimentation that is the most fun for me in the kitchen.

Mom's cookbook notes detail possible additions to this timbale recipe
Mom’s cookbook notes detail possible additions to this timbale recipe

I learned from my mother to follow a new recipe exactly as written the first time, and then after learning how it is supposed to taste, to play with it and see what evolves. Mom was great about capturing additions and changes to recipes in the margins of her 400+ cookbooks, and it still delights me to open one of her old favorites and see her comments. Like her, all good cooks play with recipes to find their own best version. Then forever after, no one calls the dish by its original name; it becomes “Kim’s Gumbo” or “Theresa’s Key Lime Pie” or “that wonderful goat cheese dip you made for the party last year”. (Click for the recipe.)

Mom noted the improvements she made to this recipe and how it was received by my Dad; the last words in her notes are “It’s pretty and Frank loves it”.

I spend a significant amount of time on weekends in the kitchen here at Glover Gardens (our home), literally playing with food.  Most of the dishes in my repertoire have been adapted from recipes or inspired by restaurant offerings that were already terrific, but the additions and changes make them mine.

So that’s the theme of the cookbook I’m writing and this blog where I’ll post recipes for testing and input – for each recipe, I hope you’ll make it my way, then make it yours. And have a great time sharing it with others, the way I do.

I’d love to see my concoctions continue their evolution in your kitchen, and can’t wait to hear what you do with them as you play and experiment with new twists on them.

Baked Goat Cheese Salad
Baked Goat Cheese Salad in the dining room at Glover Gardens

You can read more about how I’ve been inspired by food and love and life’s surprises in my little collection of memoirs.  Click here.  And by the way, I’d like to know what inspires you.  Please feel free to leave a comment here or on any of the posts to start our conversation.

Copyright 2015, Glover Gardens Cookbook


41 thoughts on “About: Recipes and the Cookbook

  1. What a wonderful ‘about me’. I love to cook, but I’m afraid my current kitchen is too tiny for real baking. But I’m glad you found me. I’m curious what you’re cooking now! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lani! Last night, it was the famous blackened fish recipe from Paul Prudhomme’s 1984 landmark cookbook. Tonight, it will be a modified version of Jane Butel’s Chicken Avocado Fettucini. The Grill-Meister smoked several chickens for me today, so I am in “high cotton”, as we say in the American South. I’ve just taken another tour of your blog and find your meta-multicultural background and outlook so interesting

    1. Thank you so much for your awesome praise. I am touched and validated by the fact that you liked my Round Top story, especially since you are from Texas. You have a lovely blog, too. I’d like to stretch my wings by acquiring the crafty skills you demonstrate and plan to visit often. Where are you from in TX?

      1. You are very kind. I am from Canton, Texas. Home of First Monday Trades Days. Once a month my hometown is famous. A lot of times when I plan my trips home I plan them so I may go to First monday. It’s a fabulous fleamarket and you can find anything there. If you go though you should plan for a couple of days and plan well in advance. Its crazy how a small town of 6,000 people can suddenly accomodate 200,000 or more. lol

      2. Wow, what serendipity that I am getting to have this conversation with you! I didn’t know about the First Monday Trade Days, but now that I’ve looked it up, I MUST go. Flea markets and farmers’ markets have a siren song that I just can’t resist. I feel a First Monday Trade Day / CraftyBoutiquebyTam-inspired post coming. Thank you.

      3. Oh WOW! That is so awesome. I love Flea Markets myself. I really love telling people about that one. Its been around since the later 1800’s. Over a 155 years I beleive. It is so much fun!! When you go I hope you have as amazing of a time as I do when I go. How fun!! I will look forward to reading your post about it!!! =)

  2. Hello, and thank you so very much for visiting my blog and dropping a like!!!! I, too, am a food lover! Also, I hail from Texas, where, from just the little I’ve read about you and your blog, I gather you are living currently. And, I see that your son is music major…I LOVE music (many kinds at that), and when writing my poetry, I often turn to music for inspiration, letting the song come alive and be “translated” into the written word (especially instrumental songs). Thanks again for the like and I hope you can be a regular over at my blog!

    1. Hello Vercey, it’s very nice to (virtually) meet you. Yes, I hail from Texas as well, and there is much to love here. I really like your free verse and poetry and have subscribed to your blog. Reading your About page, I completely agree that Eric Johnson is a musical treasure! And with your comment that music can be a marvelous inspiration. I find that nature is, too. I hope you’ll come back often to the Glover Gardens Cookbook and check out my son’s new pieces – his music is all instrumental and I find it to be super-inspiring (not surprisingly).

      This could be the start of a beautiful (virtual) friendship. 🙂

  3. My dear Kim, what a great idea! Am so very proud of you, can’t wait to try your recipes, have had a few cooking lessons of my own from your Mom and you of coursr

  4. I am so proud of what you are doing in your life. Your mom would have encouraged you to do exactly what you are doing and would be the first to try your recipes. My congrats to you and your new blog.

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