First, Susan, I made waffles this morning and they were heavenly. I did notice that the last time I made them, they were from scratch. This time, I used a mix, and while they were delicious, they weren’t quite as good. This leads me to a story from one of our daughter’s birthdays. Our tradition on sleep overs, pancakes for breakfast. We are more hippy than most: growing, making, and canning a TON of food. All you Covid-canners can just stop right now because I cannot find lids for my jars! But I digress.

We had a group of girls over and my wife was adding the ingredient to her bowl, making the pancake batter. One of the little gilrs looks at my wife and says, “Why are you doing that? You know there’s a box mix for that, don’t you?”

Yes, yes we do.

I make a lot of bread, much for Christmas gifts, but when we got a bread maker, it was so easy! So, I’d make cinnamon rolls for the girls for basketball practice (always a favorite). I’d make different kinds of bread for family and friends (people never said no). Another favorite was just a plain old dinner roll. They had many difference uses other than dinner rolls of course! They were often big enough that you could slice them open and slather on peanut butter and jelly, pile it high with lunch meat and toppings, or just eat it as it was, yummy!

Anyway, my oldest made sandwiches out them them, wrapped them up, and took them to the pool for lunch during her lifeguarding shift. She takes them out and starts eating, only to have to boyfriend as ask her, “G, are those homemade rolls? Is your family Amish?”

Now, I’ve been called many things, but never Amish! We tease him about it to this day because, why not?? 🙂


Both of our mother’s were very good cooks. Different, but good all the same. My wife came from a very meat and potatoes kind of upbringing (they farmed dairy, beef, and pigs), while we had a more plant based diet (dad was a teacher, mom stayed home). We both had giant gardens, so some of this is in our DNA. We each watched as food was planted, we helped with the weeding, harvesting, and watched as food was prepped for canning or freezing. It was different, but a very similar experience all the same.

Last summer, we were going to go through my wife’s cookbook, recipe by recipe, making, commenting, and eating each one while recording it for a YouTube channel. Now, while that didn’t happen, that’s just stuck in the back of my mind, could we pull something like that off? Would “Melissa’s Cookbook” become a viral hit? No, probably not, but based on the tiny bit of research I’ve done on social media, the idea is novel one. She created this cookbook to rather all the family recipes together in one spot. We are now on the third edition, with some wonderful additions over the years, but with some oddities from way back in the day hanging out, waiting to be made by us.

Amish isn’t in our DNA, but saving food, creating beautiful meals, and maybe sharing our favorite dishes is certain engrained in us.

And who knows, perhaps “Melissa’s Cookbook” will just take off, and I can write about that too! 🙂