Nil sole et sale utilius

The Sun and Salt Story

“There is nothing so useful as Sun and Salt”

My approach to food today is a blend of time and culture. From my childhood in the kitchen with my Italian-American grandmother, or my Southern mother; to my years living in England and travels around Europe, and just basically being around for a rather long(ish) time. 

Much of what I learned in the early years was not from cookbooks, and I have few real recipes from that time. We learned by participation and experience. Unfortunately many of those recipes were lost to us when the family members who knew those recipes were lost to us. My sister and I try to piece together what we remember of old family recipes, but many are just as close as we can make them.

As the 20th century drew to a close, two of my children became adults, and one was an entire ocean and half a continent away. I began to think of how my sister and I had lost our family recipes, and I didn’t want that to happen to my own children.

Twenty years earlier, when I was a young mom, I would have made recipe cards, painstakingly written in my own messy handwriting, but now with home computers and the internet I had other options. I started with the idea of compiling them into a family cookbook,  when at some point my husband suggested I start a blog. So I did.

As any visitor to my blog can see it’s pretty basic. I don’t have a fancy camera for photos, sometimes I don’t even remember to get a photo (let alone include six or 10 photos of the same plate from slightly different angles) I don’t run it as a business – I have a full-time job, a busy family and other hobbies I enjoy. I try to keep it simple: a mix of old family recipes and new finds, as well as real-life  ‘what’s going on in my kitchen now’ kinds of posts. The seasons of my family are evident in the changing content. The early years were a time when everything was organic, free-range, grass-fed, cultured and made from scratch. My kitchen resembled a lab – every space devoted to something bubbling, soaking or sprouting. The name ‘Sun and Salt’ comes from a quote I read back in those days.

I’m much more relaxed about my cooking these days. Though I still cook with the best ingredients I can, changes in my life have made my former, rather intense approach unsustainable. But I still enjoy cooking and baking, and of course feeding people. I hope visitors find something useful in the pages of this blog – and maybe a new family recipe of their own to pass along some day.