Travel taught me what good food was; the garden taught me I could make it.
As the two came together, I began to cook relentlessly, so much so, that it became part of Tuscan Hill.
My mom wanted to provide dinner to our evening shift employees so I convinced her that it would probably be cheaper (and definitely more fun) for me to cook.
And the era of “staff dinners” began.
This was no sandwich and bag of chips that, in reality, probably would have cost less. These dinners included sitting down, being served plates made of four or five from-scratch items, and dessert.
I lived to cook those dinners. And I dragged our staff--varying in tastes--through dozens of menus, some of which they couldn’t have been happy about.
I kept going through food obsession phases. One week I would be experimenting with everything an avocado can do, and the next week I’d be on to quinoa or whey powder, or making my own almond milk.
That sounds very healthy, Meredith. Why, yes, it was. The garden seemed to spark the idea of using “whole foods” in me more than visiting the store with the same name ever could have.I started to explore using every part of a food. Like when you roast a pumpkin, the seeds you scoop out can be toasted and ground into a flour and used to make a pancake.
My mother has asked me many times if I could make a 'real cake,' and to 'please add real sugar'.
For a while I also made sure everything was gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free. My mother has asked me many times if I could make a “real cake,” and to “please add real sugar.”
I began to get excited for event weekends because it was like ten willing guinea pigs came to my house and ate dinner with me. And in cooking for them, I began to feel connected to them. Many employees have stayed with us for years and have become family to us. We’ve weaved each other into our lives and we celebrate every milestone, holiday and triumph together.
I was now experiencing hospitality in my own life.
Have you ever done what you were made to do, and wondered why in the world it took you so long to get there? It’s such a place of bliss that I wish every single person could experience. It’s so simple, and you know it the moment you feel it.
And once you find it, don’t ever let go.