One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined wellVirginia Woolf
Hello, I’m Asha, culinary artisan, herbalist, and cocktail enthusiast and I absolutely love this quote. It is the perfect representation of my philosophy around food. It captures the concept of food in the simplest of terms. It reminds us that we have no choice but to immerse ourselves in culinary culture. Food sustains us and we are therefore destined to revisit the topic daily. The entirety of life is influenced by the ability to dine well.
Many memories of my life are rooted in the daily ritual of dining or preparation to dine. Seasons at my family’s cabin in the mountains were denoted by foraging for blackberries, wineberries, wild cherry, rosehips, persimmon, crab apple and pawpaw.
I remember the cast of characters in my parent’s garden vividly. Dainty, green wisps of asparagus tops, after the beauty of the sunflower bloom wilted it was time to savor the oily, crunchy, deliciousness of the seeds. I remember the hillside of sweet strawberries and raised beds of herbs, lettuces and cherry tomato. I remember the warm summer evening when my mother taught me and my brother how to scale and gut fish from our pond. I remember my mother teaching me how to bake my first loaf of bread from the recipe at the back of my favorite childhood book, “Watch Out For The Chicken Feet In Your Soup” by Tomie dePaola. I remember the odd yet delicious, breakfast eggnog that my father would make for us when he was in an especially good mood. A wonderful potency of vanilla aroma filled the kitchen as the blender combined the simple mixture of egg, sugar, milk and vanilla into a silken treat.
I remember my “expert” command of the Easy Bake oven and as a taste tester “extraordinaire”!
I remember listening to records filled with stories whose plot lines have faded but I know there was mention of chickens sizzling over an open hearth, honey collected in pots, treacle, curds and whey and a song about blueberry pie.
I remember Christmas mornings began with pillowy loaves of panettone and butter and all holiday meals began with my grandmothers warm, tortellini en brodo and ended with her homemade pies and cookies.
These earliest memories led to a life long obsession with the culinary arts. I eventually turned this love into a career. Though I’ve worked in restaurant settings, I’ve found that my niche is cooking from scratch, in small batches for clients that I can be more intimately acquainted with through small event catering, personal and private chef work.
I created Kitchen Fairy as an interactive diary of recipes and culinary musings to share with a community of kindred spirits. I’m so glad you’re here! I hope you stay a while and find something that brings you joy!
Farmer’s markets, organic/ sustainable/ humane cuisine, rolled cakes, petit fours, a strong Manhattan with two cherries please, fresh pasta, friends, merrymaking, elderberries, lemon verbena, dim sum, Alpine strawberries, citrus, kiwi berries, historically significant recipes, bivalves baked, steamed, stewed, smoked or on the half shell, raising chickens for eggs and companionship.
Okra, grating cheese, eel, pickled pig’s feet, goat or rabbit (unless they’re alive in which case, I love’em), an inaccurate oven, deveining shrimp, anemic tomato, canned pearl onions, peeling eggs, the sound of ripping tin foil, cleaning up after dinner, ego in the kitchen.