Hello and welcome! I am a food historian and blogger: I graduated with a degree in history from a Southern university, and in 2014, I paired that training with my lifelong love of cooking and gardening to found this site. Today, I spend my time buying up all the cool out-of-print cookbooks I can get my hands on, going on historic farm and garden tours (with some modern ones thrown in there as well), and whipping up 100-year-old recipes in our tiny kitchen, while our four rescue cats watch with great interest.
As a military spouse, I get asked where I'm from a lot...I've found it simplest to just reply "from America." After a decade of moving around the country, I'm really an outdoorsy Colorado native who has since picked up recycling, organics, and an appreciation of fine wine in California; a love of good barbecue (and cheesy muffins) in Alabama; the ability to properly pronounce and use "y'all" in Texas, along with a collection of Texas-flag-themed household decor; and currently, an obsession with colonial history here in Virginia.
Adding to that mix, my family heritage provides an unusual blend of diverse food traditions: Czech, German, Scotch, Irish, and Cherokee! For years, my distant Cherokee heritage floated around unsubstantiated, a half-remembered family rumor, and I've recently had the privilege of learning more about my tribe. You'll find a bit of all these cultural traditions infused into this site.
Here's a quick-start guide to the website:
Please sign up here for my email newsletters, published every other Saturday morning (with breaks for holidays). This is my way to connect with my most engaged readers, since the site is not on social media, and we don't have a comments section here. If you love Four Cats In The Kitchen, it would help me out so much if you'd sign up for the newsletters so we can start a conversation! Blogging can feel like a boring monologue after awhile, and I really enjoy connecting with my readers. Writers need readers like cooks need eaters...it's not much fun cooking gourmet meals just for yourself, and I've found that writing is the same way!
I have a resident garden gnome named Arthur, who sometimes contributes his gardening knowledge to the newsletters. Arthur says: Your privacy is very important to us here at Four Cats In The Kitchen: we will never rent, sell, or distribute your email address.
Fresh posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. I publish new recipes, cookbook/food writing reviews, food history research, farm tours, and more on the blog.
This is a drop-down menu of recipes old & new that I like to make, many of which are inspired by my family's cultural traditions, as well as by out-of-print cookbooks. I try to keep these recipes simple, and they are geared towards the beginning cook. The Basics tab is a little collection of how-to's to help you with essential kitchen tasks. Household Remedies is for fun.
Up through World War II, most families in the US had a small backyard garden, or kitchen garden. This section initially focused on our gardens in South Texas (USDA Zone 8b) but as of summer 2016, the military has moved us to the Virginia Tidewater, and we no longer have a yard, so we're experimenting with container gardening on the patio instead.
This section houses our farm tours (historic & modern, as well as noteworthy gardens), tours of farmers markets we've shopped at, and resources for learning more about food systems & policy, for those who are interested.
Food History & More
Here you can find an explanation of what food history is, plus links to my recent food history research projects under Food History Research. I'm collecting resources I find on the preservation of Cherokee food and culture under the tab The Cherokee (in our language, the tribe is called Tsalagi, or in the unique Cherokee syllabary, ᏣᎳᎩ). For a list of cookbooks, food writers, and more that I've found inspirational, please check out From My Library. Occasionally, I write about my experiences with military life, which you can find under Notes From A Military Spouse. Finally, you can find answers to FAQs.
Four Cats In The Kitchen is a not-for-profit hobby of mine, unencumbered with advertising or commercial affiliations. I am not a representative of any brand or product line, so anything I recommend on this site is here because I enjoy using it. I often include product links to items on Amazon.com, but I am never reimbursed for these. I am not affiliated with Amazon.com, or with any other company, brand, product, or individual.
All the photography on this website is mine (unless otherwise noted), taken with my handy-dandy iPhone or with my larger and more technically difficult Canon Rebel XS. Please email me if you'd like to use any of the photos on this site, rather than copying them for personal/educational use. To read my Terms and Conditions, including guidelines for sharing my recipes elsewhere, click here.
If you'd like to get in touch, please send your correspondence to: fourcatsinthekitchen [at] gmail [dot] com. PLEASE NOTE: Four Cats In The Kitchen does not accept unsolicited articles for future publication, nor will we respond to any and all requests of this nature. Additionally, we do not accept or respond to requests for advertising.
Again, welcome! We are delighted to have you with us. Please drop me a line sometime and let me know what you like best about this site, so I can continue to improve the content and topics offered here.
Food Historian & Blogger