Hello there! My name is Laura and I live in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts with my husband, Jeff. We’ve lived in Pittsfield—a small city set in these rolling hills—since 2009, after moving around the country from Virginia to Illinois to Missouri to Pennsylvania.
In the Berkshires, we find ourselves surrounded by incredible farms and farmers, community supported agriculture, weekly farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, organic food markets, and a community with a “shop local” mentality.
We both work in theater and our schedules are pretty hectic, especially during the very busy summer months when the Berkshires are abuzz with cultural and outdoor activities and vacationers and second homeowners descend upon our bucolic towns en masse. From May through October, we have little time for cooking and enjoying the food produced right here in the Berkshires.
I have always loved food. I used to cook a lot, but baked very little, save the occasional quick bread or batch of chocolate chip cookies. I own many cookbooks and often save recipes I read online or in magazines. We ate a relatively healthy diet – or so I thought. For at least a decade, I’ve been focused on “healthy” cooking and have been a dedicated fan of Cooking Light in more recent years. I also often find myself reading articles on food and its impact on health.
In 2013, I began reading more and more about “real” food and about the science and industry behind food production in the U.S. I’m not much for food trends (I didn’t cook with kale until 2014), but the data and research was hard to ignore. And then I watched the documentary Food, Inc. (which I had avoided watching for a couple years) and everything changed. I was really shocked (though I suppose, not surprised) by what I was seeing, especially when it came to the treatment of animals used for food production, but also by the proliferation of GMOs and the incredible number of food “products” that contain them. That was all I needed to set out on a mission to remove as much processed food from our home and to learn to cook and bake as many items from scratch as I can find time in my schedule to do.
We don’t follow a specific diet – we are not dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan. However, you will find I use I wide variety of recipes, some of which happen to be Paleo or gluten-free or vegetarian.
In this blog, I will share with you my discoveries and successes (and failures, too) in the kitchen, and I hope you will be inspired to make some of these real food changes in your own home.