There was a little girl named Michele who, thanks to her Dad, fell in love with gardening. At age four, Michele's Dad gave her a toy wheelbarrow and let her "help" pick carrots and tomatoes and yellow crookneck squash in the family garden.
Michele remembers filling that tiny wheelbarrow with veggies and proudly wheeling it across the yard to the kitchen for her Mom who turned the veggies into a meal!
In her early elementary school years, Michele started inventing recipes for snacks like trail mix and "Martian Cookies" (a chocolate chip studded marshmallow pressed flat on a graham cracker square - don't laugh - my friends loved them!) and copying recipes out of library books onto 3 x 5 cards.
Some of the best Christmas and birthday gifts I ever received were related to cooking and gardening: my very own Betty Crocker cookbook in the trademark orange binder when I turned ten, a carbon-steel wok set, Rosalind Creasy's Cooking From the Garden, Martha Stewart's Gardening, a canary yellow plastic 3 x 5 card recipe file, a pizzelle iron for crisp, Italian, anise-scented cookies!
But my all-time favorite gift was a typewriter when I was in sixth grade. An Adler Satellite III, electronic. I was in h e a v e n . (Cue celestial music.) For years I had been writing stories by hand on notebook paper and reading them to family and special friends. My typewriter changed my world.
These gifts filled my heart with joy and influenced who I am today. I am so thankful God gave me a mother who is a good giver of gifts and invested wisely in her children. And my Dad, who went to heaven in 2003, gets his share of the credit, too, for reminding me always that he was proud of me.
I always knew I was a writer. It's just part of who I am, like my green eyes. But life intervened and dreams went on the shelf for some years.
Fast forward to 2017. I am studying to complete my certification as a Nutritional Therapist and working as a Cooking Skills Education Program Coordinator working with volunteers who offer cooking demo's and classes in the community based on seasonally available whole foods. Part of my job involves creating recipes based on fresh ingredients available in food pantries: apples, oranges, zucchini, cabbage, pears, carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, greens.
I enjoy composing step-by-step photo recipe tutorials for my volunteers (I call them Cooking Skills Educators) to make it simple for them to learn and teach new recipes and basic cooking techniques.
Posting these pictures on social media, too, always drew exclamations and finally my cousin Melissa commented, "Michele Pryse you need a blog cuz you need to reach more people cuz this = good stuff!" So there ya go, a few encouraging words are all it takes sometimes! Put gardening, cooking, and writing together and what do you get? kitchenwisdom.ink of course, but we'll refer to it simply as Kitchen Wisdom.
These are a few of my favorite things...
spotting the summer's first Monarch butterfly
kneading homemade bread
the marvel of seeds germinating
hot running water
the smell of Cottonwood trees in summer
Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup
I start my day with...
a half hour of quiet
a cup of green tea with Jasmine blossoms
my Bible and devotional book
a small dog or cat
a handmade quilt