This is a blog about food: growing, foraging, cooking, sharing, enjoying. It’s about adventures in the kitchen…alchemy, discovery, amazement. Wow. This is so GOOD! How did that happen? Why “The Garden Kitchen”? First, because someone suggested the name, second because the garden inspires my cooking, and third because I like my meals to look as though I have spread the garden across the table.

Our Cabin and BarnI did not intend to become a cook. In 1974, Drew and I moved to the Blue Ridge Mts. of North Carolina after a year of travel through rural Europe and Asia, staying in the homes of farm families. Here we found our own farm, surrounded by forest, where we could grow a garden, keep a cow and chickens, and make a home out of wood. There weren’t many trips to town, no electricity, and no running water. What we had was here: delicious fruits and vegetables from the garden, fresh milk and eggs, cheese and meat, and a big Home Comfort wood cookstove. Soon there were people to feed. Drew started Country Workshops, a school offering classes in traditional woodworking, and I became the cook.

Learning to cook is a journey. Mine started in the garden and is rooted in our rather rustic country life. But I like to explore and learn from otherMy Garden cooks, so even though my cooking is very much of this place, it borrows from country kitchens around the world. I like the term “simple kitchen”, and I like the food that comes from that place– honest food that creates rich flavor from simple blending of basic, but carefully chosen ingredients. I want to share recipes for the food I like to cook best, ever changing with the seasons and each year’s garden.

Happy cooking! Be present, pay attention, honor the ingredients, and make the kitchen smell good.


20 thoughts on “About

  1. Louise I go back to the old days of Jerry Underwood volunteer work weekends etc. A lot of great memories. The cooking was great as I know it still is. We are redoing a home here in
    Rochester and putting in a wood burning cook stove and wood fired bread/pizza oven. If you ever come to Michigan (Det. area) look us up. Marty

  2. Louise, Visited you and Drew in 1978 or 79–wintertime. We were shaving shingles for your home, and I spent the night in the old cabin with you. Ah yes, I remember the delicious food, and, though city born, now have been involved with gardening and cooking a few years now. I look forward to the news.

  3. I am also very interested in this Louise. I have always maintained that I learned to cook from you. One secret to share from a friend who grew up on the prairies on a farm with lots of eaters, start the meal by frying onions, the smell is so great and gets everyone’s appetite going.
    I have been cutting willows like crazy as we have an open winter. Often think about you, will keep posted 🙂

  4. It’s really cool to see you started this blog. Some of my fondest memories are of the food you served during my week long stay at your place during one of Drew’s bowl carving classes. I remember your sour dough bread was so delicious and went so well with your homemade hummus. I’ve try making my own hummus, but it never seems to turn out as good as I remember yours tasting. So I was wondering if you would write a post on how you make your hummus.

  5. Thanks for the great week of food, Louise, as well as the conversation! With Steve hard at work in the workshop and me hard at work with my newfound artistic talent–ha!–we loved every single thing you put on the table! I’m looking forward to trying my hand at your dishes.

  6. Louise I was reading your recipes about making different broths. I hunt whitetail deer here in Michigan and don’t like to waste anything. I take all of the bones, rib cage, back and neck bones, put them in a roasting pan in a pretty hot oven until they get nice and brown then I paint them with tomato paste put them back in the oven for a short time (don’t burn the paste) then it all goes in a big stock pot and render it down slowly. Throw anything else in the pot that might taste good. Pull the bones out along with other stuff, strain whats left and cool it down. The fat will rise to the top and congeal so you just remove it and wallah you’ve got great broth for soups, gravy etc.. You can also pick through some of the larger pieces and get some good meat to add to the soup. The tomato flavor really adds something to any red meat stock. Soy sauce is another great flavor to add. This would work when making any red meat broth. If you try it let me know how it works.
    Say Hi to Drew Marty McClure

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