The Chef, Cook & Blogger
My paradigm is food. I own a jam business and write a food blog. Wild Maine blueberries are my favorite, followed by butter, mayonnaise, champagne, and lobster. Ever on a mission to find people, places and recipes that are “changing the food paradigm one ingredient at a time,”I travel, read, eat and cook. My food philosophy is simple; eat good food, cook in a way that fits into your lifestyle, and from that you will derive joy in life. I believe that a healthy relationship with food equates to healthy living. Everyone unwraps a bouillon cube from time-to-time, and there should be no shame or guilt in doing so. Nor should you feel guilty when you eat waffle-cut fries and onion rings for dinner now and then.
Oma’s influence on cooking
All this practicality comes from Oma, my grandmother. She came to America during WWII and was grateful for everything she had; health, family and food. She loved to eat. Steak Tartare was her favorite. Everything in Oma’s life was based on moderation and that was how she lived a healthy life. Most of what she consumed, muesli for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, etc, was what nowadays would be considered fairly healthy eating. The difference was that she did not worry about everything she ate, all the time. This allowed her to enjoy eating, whether slathered in butter or covered in whipped cream. Every year at the Blue Hill Fair, she ate a hot dog. Oma lived to be 99 years and 8 months old.
Memories of blueberrying, jam making, and the rise of Bleuberet
My earliest Maine memories are of picking wild Maine blueberries with Oma (which she picked well into her 90’s). A plethora of blueberries on hand? Why one must make jam and naturally blueberry pie (if we could put that in a jar…). The smell of a cooling blueberry pie sitting on the kitchen table on a Maine summer day brings back Oma for all of us.
In Maine, summer is short and the wild Maine blueberry season a blip. In that brief moment each summer, after Oma was no longer at the jam pot, I began to make the blueberry jam. I thought of it as summer preserved in a jar. So, when I said let’s sell wild Maine blueberry jam, my family thought I meant cloth-covered jars at the farmer’s market. What I meant was, let’s start a family business. And we did.
We started to peddle Bleuberet jams at farmer’s markets throughout Maine in 2013. The business grew rapidly. My son manages the wholesale, my daughter some of the social media, and I create the jams and sauces. My husband is the chief taster and you might catch him helping out at a food show. The Signature Jam products are sold in stores and online, and the MicroBatch, small, seasonal batches are sold online and through a few specialty food shops.
Bleuberet Artisanal Foods is primarily a specialty food jam producer. Bleuberet & The Blog is the culmination of why I started a food business in the first place-I love to eat good food, I love to cook, and I love to share food and foodie ideas with others. Don an apron, grab a spoon and stir the pot, then gather around the table to eat with the special people in your life.
Oma is always in the kitchen with me, and I know she is proud of what she passed on.