I come from a lineage of wonderful cooks. I was raised in Rockford, IL where remember as a little girl spending time with my Great Grandmother. Some of my favorite moments with her were when we would garden. I thought it was absolutely magical how she could transform wonderful fruits and veggies out of her garden to staple dishes that my family could not live without. Little did I know that my Great Grandmother was just the beginning!
My Grandmother, G. Brown, would often spend a lot of time with all of her Grandchildren. We felt as though there was nothing that our Grandmother could not make. In the fall she would allow my cousins and I to go with her to pick pears to make preserves. Often times she would make homemade buttermilk biscuits just so we could enjoy the preserves that we helped her make. I am convinced that my love for baking stemmed from her cakes and pies.
My mother, Mom DJ, upheld the baking tradition that my Grandmother instilled. My mother, brother and I would bake treats during the holiday season solely to give away. We would make our annual “cookie run” to families near and dear to bless them with cheer during the Christmas holiday. Mom DJ has truly influenced my drive to push the envelope in my cooking but yet making sure everything is baked, cooked or prepared with the correct amount of love.
Though I went to college for business and leadership and have worked in Digital Marketing for years, I find cooking very important to me. My lovely husband, Jeremy, often jokingly tells me to stay away from the flour for the fear that it will be everywhere. It is in those chaotic moments that I discover new recipes to share. I have learned that he is the most challenging customer I will ever have, and the most supportive. If he thinks it is good, then it is. When I’m not cooking or baking, I enjoy learning about new things, laughing with my family, and playing with my dog Digit.
I hope you enjoy Shay’s Kitchen.