What sparked this idea?

A 2-page title spread from my book – a photo of Grandma’s cookbook

When I was a teenager, my Mennonite grandmother caught my mom cooking with wine and scolded, “Cooking with sin, are we?” I loved that phrase and started this blog in 2009. Many others have joined in and shared their recipes. Each recipe has alcohol in it and each recipe comes with a personal story from the cook. It’s about feeding our bodies & our souls and having a little fun along the way.

Have you noticed how food is like a glue? Everytime you get together with friends, you eat & drink. Visiting with friends or family is richer when food is involved. Even business meetings are more effective if food is involved. When you eat and drink together, you hunker down, enjoy yourselves and really connect.

Many cultures and religions around the globe treat alcohol as a “sin” for good reasons. Too much alcohol, like too much of anything, can be a problem. Yet, even when there are strong cultural forces and rules, there is always a rebel or two in the crowd – and they usually have a good story to tell.

Me with my grandma Elizabeth Voth Nickel Dyck and my soon-to-be husband Steven, in the late '80's

The story of my maternal grandmother and my mom’s chicken cacciatore is the first recipe-story I share in “Grandma Started It” Chicken Cacciatore.

I love to share stories from my family and friends – and anyone else – who has an interesting story to go with a recipe with alcohol in it. It may be funny or sad. It may be about going against the grain or it may be a great memory. Maybe it is a story that has never been told yet. I would love to hear it and share it.

Let me add this. I love to eat and drink, but I am not a chef by any means. In fact, I have a great story about the day I bombed at boiling eggs. They literally exploded! I will let the guests be the experts.

Our stories connect us. We share a connectedness through food, family & community. We have so much more that we share than what separates us from each other. That is what I love about the human race!

I hope you enjoy connecting with and learning from each other through the stories & recipes in this blog.



But Ociffer, I have all soberday to Sunday-up on!

I am inebriated by my own inubriance which is quite coherant to the eye and I am not under the alcofluence of incohol as theople pink I am.

~ The favourite silly sayings from a wonderful man known for his love of laughter, life and stories, my dad Elmer Johnson (1930-2005).

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