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, genealogist, teacher, doctor, general handyman, and now blogger (i.e.: Mom)
- Brian, husband and dad, and great sport about all of the adventures in the kitchen from his wife and children!
- Justin (Big J), who will generally eat anything and everything, and is my source of knowledge for all things technical. He is manning his own kitchen now far from home in sunny California and has recently discovered the joy of a Crock Pot.
- Alyssa (Big A), a lovely young woman who loves to cook for others. She is also far from home finishing her final year of college.
- Kelsey (Middle K), baking is her preference, but she also steps up to provide full meals when needed. We are keeping her chair warm while she is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in San Diego, CA.
- Aaron (Little A), an always hungry, full-of-life teenage boy who eats most everything except chocolate (which does cause some strife in our house at dessert time!).
- Julia (Little J), a precocious teenage girl whose food likes and dislikes change with the wind. She is rapidly becoming a fabulous cook in her own right.
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: 28 years of marriage (and counting!), resulting in over 10,000 dinners cooked (not to mention breakfasts, lunches, and snacks); more than 100 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).