Friday, February 15, 2013
Mary DeMuth, who has a wonderful new book out:
I’ve been cooking all my life. When friends ask me how I learned, I tell them the story of living essentially alone as a seventh and eighth grader. My mom attended school late, and my stepfather worked the swing shift, leaving this only child to fend for herself for dinner. I grew tired of mac and cheese and Ramen noodles. So I grabbed the red checkered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and started working my way through it.
The first thing I cooked for company was an entire turkey dinner, finished with an apple pie. I was fourteen years old. I experienced the rush that came in making people around my table happy and content. Cooking hooked me.
As an author of novels and Christian living titles, I’m not known in the publishing world for my secret chef skills, but I’ve done my best to invite the world to my table. Oddly, my writing career started way back in the 90s when I self-published a newsletter called "The Giving Home Journal," wherein I shared tips for running a home. Had there been blogs back then in the days of yore, I’d have been a mommy blogger. At the end of each issue, I’d feature an original recipe or two, and by the time I finished publishing the newsletter, I ended it by gathering the recipes into my very first book: a cookbook.
Since then, I've moved eight or so times, always cooking, always inviting, but I left any future cookbook ideas on the shelf. I had the privilege of winning an Olive Garden lasagna contest (we got free fresh pasta for a year—I still can’t eat the stuff to this day) and had a recipe featured in Bon Appetit. We relocated to Southern France in the mid 2000s where, I kid you not, a French man went crazy-happy over my bread—probably the most supreme compliment a home cook could receive! That’s when I knew I’d mastered breadmaking. (Don’t think me a prodigy. My first loaves could brick a house).
In France, our home was constantly open, and every week I fed thirty or so people at one time. (And Sandra, her hubby, and daughter, got to experience some of this when they visited us there.) I learned the art of teeny-tiny kitchen cooking, and I became more laid back in the way I welcomed people. Laughter and conversation took precedent over a “perfect” meal. Creating an irresistible table meant welcoming people, providing nutritious and yummy food, and being peaceful in the process.
We’re stateside now, but we still eat dinner together every. single. night. Cooking is my creative outlet, the gift I give my friends and family daily, weekly, monthly. The recipes featured in The Irresistible Table are 100% me-created, tested on finicky eaters, and often consist of whole foods. I am a firm believer that anyone can cook from scratch—yes, even bread—if taught. I come alongside you, happy advice in tow, and help you create the irresistible table you’ve longed for.
Besides that, cooking is part of my evil (ha!) plan to keep my children near as they fly the coop. My college-aged daughter comes home to eat, eat, eat, and she’s becoming a twenty-something chef, herself. The cycle continues. It’s my hope that the joy of hospitality, great food, and changed lives can continue with you.
Links are paperback $13.97 and Kindle: $9.97.
Check out Mary's post, where you can sign up for a giveaway and check out her cool incentives.