Growing up, there were three places I felt at home. One, of course, was my quaint two story red brick house built in 1929- not only filled with antiques, but an antique in itself. My favorite part of this house is a two-way tie between the 250 square foot front porch complete with wooden swing and the country-style kitchen. If this house was a food, it would be homemade macaroni and cheese.
My second home was yet another red brick house, this one complete with a "mudroom" "boys' room" and closet stuffed full of blankets (the home of the perfect hiding place in thousands of hide-and-go-seek games). If this house was a a food, it would undoubtedly be a juicy pot roast, complete with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.
And last, but certainly not least, there was my third home. In the front yard, this house had the most fantastic climbing tree ever found, and in the backyard, one could find banana trees and hummingbirds. This house was watermelon, fried chicken, and chocolate cake. Maybe sugar cookies, too.
These three houses were my safe places. They were home to my parents and my grandparents. They were home to Christmas mornings, Thanksgiving dinners, grandchildren, and anyone who rang the doorbell. Both of my grandmothers, Gertrude Albertina Hilbers Poirot (Granny Poirot) and Marjorie Louise Blew Strickland (Granny Strickland) were amazing cooks. Actually, amazing doesn't even do these women justice. They were like Martha Stewart and Paula Deen combined with Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck. Yes, they were THAT good. Maybe they were never on Iron Chef, but they could make pies that made your heart melt. My mom, Carolyn, is no exception to this family lineage of cooks. What she didn't already know from Granny Poirot (which was just about everything there was to know about cooking), she promptly learned from Granny Strickland.
As a product of these two environments, cooking comes naturally to me. In fact, when people say they don't know how to cook, I just blankly stare at them. I find cooking quite therapeutic. Although I am, by trade, a fan of therapy, I also believe playing for hours in the kitchen with the women you love (or sometimes just by yourself) can result in a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled self... so, "Comfort Food for the Hilbers Blews" was born. This blog is for nobody except myself, really. I want to be able to keep track of both the recipes and the memories with which they come, so here it is. Someday, I want to be able to pass down this knowledge like these women have passed it on to me. Every recipe has a first try- a first spoonful or first bite. This blog is a compilation of those first helpings. Try them out for yourself if you like- I promise they will make your heart smile.