Welcome to Country Girl Cooks

Country Girl Cooks relies on traditional recipes to bring you pleasure using wholesome, natural ingredients

Laughing and goofing around with Mom, and Sis

Laughing and goofing around with Mom, and Sis

2011 was a momentous year.  I turned 30 years old, an age that I can recall thinking no so many years ago, was old.  And that was the year my Mom died. 

When a parent passes away you feel a sense of loss, grief and sadness.  When a parent who is young, still working even, passes away, the loss and grief are all that much more profound.  And if you’re like me, it’s made me question my life and my life’s purpose.  My Mom was a confidant, mentor in my career and everything good that a mom is.  When she was passed, there was a hole in my heart and my life.  To keep busy I began canning.  Mom died in the middle of tomato canning season.  It’s actually the only year I’ve ever missed in my life.  That was what we did.  We canned tomatoes.  The smell of burning tomato juice on the bottom of the oven can bring both a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes. 

I began canning to make Christmas presents.  I needed to keep busy and I always made gifts rather than bought for friends.  It can be a costly endeavor and frankly, not a lot of my friends baked or preserved.  And standing in front of the stove with Mom’s pots and big wooden spoons, I found her.  I found Mom’s voice and I found her love.  She wasn’t completely gone but our relationship was much different.  And I became obsessed with canning.  My Dad, patient and quiet and struggling in his own grief, didn’t say too much as I filled the cupboards with apple sauce and jams.  As I burnt pots and burners and overfilled the dishwasher.  It became a pressing need to find the next recipe, the next project I was going to put on the stove.

Somewhere along the line I decided I wanted to share this love of cooking.  I could turn my passion, love for my mom and all the traditions that I was holding tight to, into something I could share with other people.  I wanted to share my Mom with the world.  And my heritage.  My grandmothers preserved, pickled and jammed for decades long before I was born and I had the handwritten recipes in a tin.  I began making Beet Relish, Chili Sauce (now called Chili Steak Sauce) and Red Pepper Jelly just to see what I could do with it.  I came up with the name Country Girl Cooks while driving in my car one day.

Country Girl Cooks is a labour of love.  It is a passion and it comes straight from my heart and soul.  It is my Mom and Grandma’s abilities to cook in a jar and it is my relationship with my Mom continuing.  Each time I pick up a wooden spoon or fill up a jar, I see her in my mind as a child.  I use the techniques I learned from years of watching and helping.  Country Girl Cooks is about more than just good food, it’s about a rich tradition that spans generations.

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