Welcome to No Empty Chairs!
This blog was created as a way to record and share the joy our family enjoys around our kitchen table. With a family of seven people constantly going seven (or more) different directions, family meal time is a tradition that we hold fast to. It is a time to gather together as family (and often friends) to share good food and to talk and laugh about life. Hence-No Empty Chairs. I want no empty chairs at my table. I want all to come hungry and leave nourished, both at mealtime and in life. And when we all put aside this mortal life, I plan to joy with family and friends where there are No Empty Chairs at my table through Eternity.
For a more detailed look into the philosophy behind No Empty Chairs, click HERE.
The regular chair warmers in our home include:
- Kelly, also known as cook, chauffeur, maid, gardener, tutor, psychologist, seamstress, doctor, general handyman, and now blogger (ie: Mom)
- Brian, husband and dad, and great sport about all of the adventures in the kitchen from his wife and children!
- BigJ (20) will generally eat anything and everything, and is my source of knowledge for all things technical. We are keeping his chair warm while he is far away serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in California!
- BigA (17), a lovely girl who is coming into her own in the kitchen: watch for contributing posts.
- MiddleK (15), future Food Network star, who stages her own cooking show for the younger two.
- LittleA (10), a happy, full-of-life little boy who eats most everything except chocolate (which does cause some strife in our house at dessert time!).
- LittleJ (8), a precocious little girl whose food likes and dislikes change with the wind.
So please, pull up a chair, and welcome to our table!
- Schooled at my mother’s knee on the fine art of feeding a family on a limited budget.
- Interned as a teenager in same kitchen. Much experimentation and recalculation. My major textbooks at this point included back issues of Southern Living Magazine.
- Residency as a poor, starving college student who was always willing to trade cooking for cleaning duties with culinary-challenged roommates.
- On-the-job-training: 23 years of marriage (and counting), resulting in over 8000 dinners cooked (not to mention breakfasts, lunches, and snacks); over 70 children’s birthday cakes and party fare; untold numbers of church pot-luck dinners, neighborhood block parties, holiday meals, cookie exchanges, baby and bridal showers.
- Specialization: Cooking with whole, natural ingredients and limited sugar and processed food (although some days you just need a good, sweet chocolate chip cookie). Currently working to certify in the art of cooking with Stevia, particularly in the area of food preservation (canning).