I am the type of person who will use having company over for dinner as an excuse to try something new. I know this goes against the golden rule of entertaining but more often than not this has worked out. Fortunately, my culinary adventures have not scared away any willing guests or brought forth family protests. I am not an expert on food and cooking but I consider myself a lifelong learner and passionate participant. Over the years I have accrued a certain level of knowledge from being constantly curious about new foods, ideas, people and places that will expand my skills and knowledge as a cook. Food blogs have opened my eyes into a larger world: an extensive community of all things food related for me to indulge my habit.
I am married to a man who is a sole-proprietor architect/artisan baker, and consider myself tuned in to the rewards and challenges of managing a one-person show. I made several career changes throughout my life: cook, dancer, elementary school teacher and mom. All of these endeavors centered on working through the trials, errors, intrigue and rewards to develop work and discovering one’s passion in life. I have many interests: gardening, cooking, photography, education, the environment, just to name a few. If I could connect them all into one profession I would.; perhaps, through blogging.
As I participate in various events around the Hudson River Valley, it becomes clear that everyone has a story to tell about their work and passions. These stories are personal, sometimes inspiring, and call upon me to want to learn about the people and places in the Farm to Table movement in the NY Hudson River Valley.
More About Me
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in a large family. I had a great childhood, playing, hiking, sailing, skiing, and pretty much doing anything one can do outside. Sunday was family day; the only full day my father had off from work. For the most part we usually spent the day together, outside enjoying the natural gifts of the Bay Area. When I was not outside hiking the Marin Headlands, I was in the dance studio, studying ballet, modern dance, and jazz dance. Dance was my first love and the reason I moved to New York.
The New York metropolitan area is my home and has been for the past 38 years. As California is my foundation, New York is where I became independent. I came to NY on a mission to become a dancer and accomplished that dream for a few years after college. For a couple of years I was a member of a repertory modern dance company. The challenging part about being a performing artist is getting paid, therefore I supported myself as a cook in a gourmet food store and as an aide at a Social Science Resource Center. This was not a lifestyle that was easily sustainable for an extended period of time.
It was in New York where I was able to develop my cooking skills, tastes and interests. A whole new world of food opened up to me. The Silver Palette was at its height. Zabars and Balducci’s were inspiring gourmet shops to spring up in every neighborhood. I traveled the streets tasting new cuisines and discovering new ingredients. I was not a dancer interested in starving myself. Food was my fuel and pleasure, and cooking was my income. Whether there actually was a new food movement going on in NYC at the time, I could not say, (when is there not a new food movement going on in New York?) It was new to me and I was eating it up.
It was in New York where I met my husband Joe, ironically through a California childhood friend of mine, and have been married since the mid 80’s. We have a family with three remarkable sons. They are my blessings who keep me strong and laughing. Feeding this athletic clan was focused on “bang for the buck.” We ate a lot of pasta, loaded with vegetables and a protein to sustain them through the rigors of swim practice and school. As in my childhood, dinner time is one of several ways we come together for family time. It was not always easy to do, as everyone’s schedules did not always jive, but when it did the dinner table was where we would meet, talk, eat, relax and enjoy each other’s company. As the children grew older they became more interested in what they were eating and wanted to learn about food and cooking. I was thrilled to have a more engaged audience that allowed me to expand my repertoire. Now, two of our sons are out of the house, “all grown up”, with culinary interests of their own. I love seeing them developing their own specialties and passions as they navigate their independent lives.
© 2016, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.