Monday, 28 March 2011

:: About Me ::

A few bits & pieces + a bit more!
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::

:: the baker & maker from Megann's Kitchen - photo by luvlee photography ::

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times....”
Let’s just say I have had many health challenges over the years & when I gave birth to my son it all came to a head. I had a fractured coccyx from the birth, radial nerve palsy in my left hand, reduced anti-epileptic medication & small seizures, a new baby, no sleep & family thousands of kilometres away. I had an incredibly massive “wall” that I couldn’t seem to break down & I had no idea where to begin. It hurt like hell to walk/stand/sit/move/lie still, my mind was all over the place & my left hand wasn’t working... I couldn’t even grip a glass. It seemed that I couldn’t do anything.

I learned I am not myself if I can’t physically cook. I am not sure how I can express what an achievement it was to bake that first banana bread a couple of weeks after having my son. Yes, it took me hours to simply get the ingredients together between all night breastfeeding & dropping things because I couldn’t grip onto them... it was a massive mess... but I did it! It made me incredibly happy despite my misgivings. The feeling that my life was heading into a tailspin of pain & hurt turned into a sense of calm & control. Be it, happiness.

Since then challenges haven’t stopped. I have had both shoulders with painful calcium deposits, tendonitis in both arms, another visit to the hospital with disc problems in my back & not to mention the everyday life being an epileptic, but I am so proud of what I have achieved. I am now back a work a few days a week, playing with my son like a young mother should, cooking in my kitchen every day & not to mention blogging about it.

I have to say my husband was my guardian angel in these painful & difficult times. He assisted me with almost everything. He was my strength when I was weak & he never complained... not once. I have lost count how many times he has saved me. My absolute hero.  

So Why Blog?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my inner yearnings of being a creative + cooking, but I knew I had to do something. After some time of being a “domestic manager” at home, a new mother & physically unable to return to the workforce, I dusted off our broken Canon Digital SLR EOS 450D & took a series of shots of my next loaf of banana bread that came out of the oven. I promptly wrote a recipe card on the computer & voila! I seemed to have the makings of a personal cookbook. It wasn’t until a holiday with my sister that she suggested that I create a blog. I had a number of recipes ready to go on my hard drive, so why not! It has turned out to be a great outlet for my creativity & become a great love of mine. I never thought I would enjoy “blogging” so much, but here I am - broken camera & all.

:: one of the first photos I remember taking about 25 years ago ::

The Photos
I am by no means a professional photographer. All my photos remain untouched other than the basics (exposure, warmth, etc), no professional lighting, photo shop or fancy programs: just me, my camera & my food. Over ten years ago I did a Diploma in Visual Arts & Display, Visual Merchandising. I remember starting that course with such energy & having a talent for the Photography class with Mr Lynton Rose. Even then I knew I wanted to do something with food, but who did food styling for a real job back then? Lynton helped me a tremendously as "styling" wasn’t in the careers guide that I received after finishing high school, though I am sure it is now! Blogging helps me retain my dreams by using all of my art knowledge & skills accumulated over the years.

:: the tranquil lake on our property where I spent my childhood ::

Snapshot of my Past
AUSTRALIA: I grew up on a beautiful piece of the world called Arlington Farm, near Myrtleford Victoria, with my American mother, my father, older sister & gorgeous golden Labrador. There were rolling hills with an alpine backdrop which would sometimes get a flutter of snow in winter. We had a blueberry patch from which I helped harvest with my big sister & father from a young age. I still remember beautiful blue jewels on the branches, each bush laden with fruit. In harvest time we would have everything blueberry, which back then was something new in Australia as blueberries were just breaking the market. We had a dreamlike lake on our property (above picture) which provided hours & hours of entertainment for me. Who needed TV after school when you could go fishing/swimming/boating or catch yabbies? 
I have so many fond, happy memories growing up in this picturesque land that I wish more than anything that I could go back in time.

:: my American mum, my big sister & me in my favourite picture of all time ::

The Greatest Influences in my Food
My mother has one of the greatest influences on my taste buds. She would bake the most amazing Southern pies & American food. Kentucky Derby Pie, Pecan Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Strawberry Pie. I would ask for one of these as my dessert every birthday. Not to mention many of her other delights which many other kids my age never even heard of.
My godmother, Lis, is my incredible English influence. I have always adored her cooking! Every year at Christmas she would make the most beautiful, succulent Christmas Puddings, including silver coins, which we all devoured. Oh, & her traditional English roasts! Oh my!
I have had to learn my Australian food fare as mum couldn’t make ANZAC cookies, pavlovas, sausage rolls, chocolate crackles, etc. For this I looked to Sally & the McDonald family. I will never forget the sausage rolls that were given to me as a “care package” by her while I was at uni. They fed me for an entire month!  

:: me & my big sister with my father ::

... My Big Sister
I owe my kitchen skills to my amazing big sister. Even though my passion for food has always been there, above all my sister, Ros, would have to be the person who gave me confidence & for that I will forever be grateful. We used to share an apartment when I was first studying & while I could barely make toast, she would present amazing dishes to feed me on my student budget. Watching her was like watching the food network channel or Masterchef. To me, she is my celebrity chef & true idol. Thank you Ros.

Update: Ros has also started her own food blog - WeLove Pancakes on Sunday! It has some great recipes that are oh so tasty. Sisters in the food blog world as well... I am so proud!

:: my support, my love, my husband ::

... My Husband
My husband & hero, Mick, is a great support to my food & my blog. I would have to say he is the administrator. He loves coming home from work & does a stock take of the food, counts in any additions, sees to any treats that might need polishing off & last, but not least, is the proof reader of my blogs. Most text doesn’t get posted without having a glance from his watchful eye first. Yes, he is my partner in life who loves consuming good food & wine just as much as I do.

Megann’s Kitchen Recipes
I want them to represent me, who I am, & where I come from: my challenging journey through life. The recipes are for busy mums & aspiring cooks, people like me. You may notice how I format them is different, easy to read with a small write up of how they have inspired me. I also find that I am often distracted by the phone ringing, my son tugging at my leg wanting “pa” (up) or simply by a wondering thought. Before I started my blog I was highlighting ingredients making sure I hadn’t missed anything & I found it incredibly helpful, now I don’t have to, it is there clearly typed & highlighted for us all to enjoy. I hope the formatting helps you guys as much as it has helped me!

So please, sit down, have a tea or coffee & enjoy Megann’s Kitchen!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...