It all started with the idea to write a cook book with Val's recipes inside. After getting some positive feedback from a New England Publisher, I was bolstered. However, since I did not have a contract and therefore, a deadline hanging over my head, I lacked discipline. This along with the sad fact that I could only get a little writing in if I woke up at 4:00am to be creative before my little ones got out of bed and took over my whole day. My old friend and writing mentor, Ted told me to get a job at the new local paper where his sister was then working. I wrote to Craig Salters, the editor, who welcomed my idea and kindly gave me creative freedom. Unfortunately, as he put it, "The job doesn't pay anything and twice that on holidays."
Since it was my first writing "job", I jumped at the opportunity. The rest is history, as they say. I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labor as much as I did thinking of the stories and the recipes or the other way around. Thank you to Ted for making me go for it and to Craig Salter for giving me the chance to write for a real live newspaper and to everyone else who has encouraged me along the way.
I grew up in a house of food snobbery, although I didn't know it at the time and it wasn't at all intentional on my mother's part. What is considered today a"foodie" diet-and part of the slow food movement-was a way of life, and in fact, survival for us back in the 70's and 80's at 540 Old meeting House Road in Hatchville, part of East Falmouth, MA. My mother, Val, still has her organic garden full of fresh fruits and vegetables and, although she doesn't grow as many varieties as in earlier years, she has an abundant crop. Creativity and a need to save money combined with a knack for learning the "old way" of doing things was the inspiration behind her cooking. Back in elementary school, I was jealous of the kids who ate bologna on Wonder Bread while I was "stuck" with homemade jam and peanut butter on freshlymade bread. Val was always trying new dishes to serve at dinner using what she had on hand. Pretty much everything I have learned about cooking and life I learned from her.
Val's Cape Cod Kitchen Recipes for comfort and pleasure Published August 31, 2010