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Photography by Mimika Cooney

 

 

 

 

 

I am Debbie Doyle, wife for 19 years, and mother of five awesome children ranges from 28-13  and grandmother to four of the worlds most precious grand babies. I am originally from Jamaica and I believe my humble beginnings are why I am still so very much in love with traditions, why I am such a lover of the simple things in life, things such as family, home cooking, gardening and maintaining my home, being sure it is clean, always in order, peaceful and loving. It has not always the easiest thing to do, especially when raising children especially teens, but again tradition sometimes work. When I was growing up, I loved being in the kitchen with my grandmother and she enjoyed teaching me answering all my questions and allowing me to help. Now when I  think about it, she was so patient.But then again she was a grandmother and I do remember how in her eyes I could do no wrong. I did not grow up with what is considered a traditional family. My father and mother were never married although they had 4 daughters together.  At age nine I had to start cooking for myself, my mom and my siblings. Those years truly taught me how to be responsible, it grew me up real fast, yet I have no regrets because I do understand they are why I am who I am today. Today we live in a world where the simple things in life are no longer a factor, which puzzles me, it puzzles me because it worked then, so why are we so hell bent on leaving what is good behind. With that says I am a lover of the simpler things, not to say I cannot enjoy the finer things as well. I just believe if something works then why stop it.Home cooking for me is about the simpler things, family, tradition coming together. What can be more important than that? I also do so love maintaining my home. I am Jamaican as I mentioned before and so cleaning on my hands and knees is how I grew up. I am that person who’s home is always clean no matter what. My husband is a Caucasian from Montana and I remember when we first got married and I would ask him to take me shopping, it would mainly be for things around the house, I could tell he thought I was so strange, lol. I hope to help you not only cook fresh and delicious home cook meals for your family all the while maintaining a home filled with love, joy, peace, and family. I am a home cook so what you will get here is nothing special, or extravagant. , sometimes not even that costly I cook what I have and make it taste good just as my grandmother taught me. However, as she says does not mean it does not have to taste as if it is the most expensive.

FAMILY

When I think of food, I think of family and love. Think about it, some of the best times families have together food is usually involved. Good times, laughs,  connections. So the reason I love to cook at home, is because of my family,  taking care of the ones I love. In the kitchen and at the dinner table are some of the best times with my family

 

There is no denying that home cooked meals are what is best for your family. Why do you ask? For reasons most would agree.

  1. It is healthier.  It is healthier because you have a choice of how you prepare your food, as well as what you put in it.  So you know for sure what is in it, and not having to rely on some label, which we know is not always a good source of information. We know that simply because something has the label nonfat, that means absolutely nothing because it is more about the ingredients.   Cooking at home, you are able to eliminate or minimize sodium, fats, sugars and other harmful ingredients in food. 
  2. Food Allergies. If you or someone in your family has food allergies, cooking at home, you can be assured knowing that the food is safe for those with food allergies. 
  3. Cleanliness.   This is one of my biggest fear for me in eating out and that is eating food prepared in an unclean unsanitary kitchen. I have watched enough reality shows on restaurants on the food network to know what some of these establishments kitchens can look like. I have also seen enough on local tv. I get so disgusted at certain things. As a woman I pride myself on keeping a clean home, my kitchen has to be spotless at all time, I mean this is where I prepare and cook food. So the thought of eating food prepared and or cooked in a dirty kitchen really gives me the chills. When I was a little girl growing up in Jamaica my grandmother was a feisty woman and from a young age, she taught me not eat from people I felt was not clean. And so if I visited friends home and it was not as clean as my moms or grandmother, as soon as dinner was done, I would leave, I once had a close friend and neighbors mom actually cornered me about that one time. She actually said I noticed you always leave as soon as I am done making dinner, why. I simply said I had not eaten at home yet and that my mom or grandmother would be upset if I could not eat my dinner. 
  4. Knowledge,  Cooking at home more frequently allows you to learn more about the foods you prepare. There are some food allergies that are not life threatening but can cause real discomfort and so when you cook at home, you get to learn this. I mean who wants to eat a delicious meal only for afterward to either be in pain, be bloated, nauseous and or just down right uncomfortable.
  5. More Cost Effective, Eating out all the time can become costly, so why not save some of that money to buy things you really need, or save for something important and learn to prepare more home cooked meals
  6. Memories. If you have a family let me assure you some of the great memories I have had with my children son and daughters are in the kitchen cooking together.  Allowing them to be creative, oh they love it. 

There is a saying that everything begins at home, well I believe this is a great opportunity to teach children so much, such as portion control, healthy eating habits, healthy nutrition, food safety. That is priceless. What a great way to bring up the next generation. 

It is time to get back to What Matters and that is Family, home, and life. The important things. just because you can afford to do something does not make it the right thing to do, everything is a balance. 

FOOD AND FAMILY

As a mom of three teen daughters, it is vital to me, to connect and bond with them as it is important to teach them responsibilities.One of the best and most fun ways I connect with my girls is in the kitchen, they love to join me in the kitchen they love to cook with me. I find that when we cook together we laugh incessantly we really enjoy each other. What is better than that.

It is also such a great comfort to know that on days when I am not feeling well, or I am busy, I can ask them to prepare and cook dinner and they are willing to, but more importantly, they know how to.  I love that they prefer there home cook meal over fast food and junk food.