I’m Anna. I’m an overly ambitious home cook working in a tiny space (one drawer, three square feet of counter space) and I’m convinced that I can make almost anything. Currently, I’m still scared of puff pastry, butchering big pieces of meat, and really tall layer cakes. I’ve overcome my fear of spitting hot jam, yeast, and poaching eggs, so I think I’m on the right track. I try not to take shortcuts–I think that using good quality, whole ingredients is really important. My prized possessions are a cast iron skillet that I’m obsessive about keeping seasoned, my food processor, and the (almost new!) Le Cruset dutch oven that I scored at the ReStore for $60. Here you’ll find a hodge-podge of recipes–breakfast, dinner, the occasional sandwich, some salads, lots of dessert, cocktails, snacks, and a weird amount of fruit jams. I cook what I love to eat, which means you’ll find nary a mushroom or a black olive on this site, but there will always be plenty of strawberries and cilantro.
When I’m not in the kitchen, I work for Chatham Habitat for Humanity in Pittsboro, NC. I live in Carrboro, NC and spend a lot of time looking for new things to see and do in the triangle. I’m also an avid reader–I tried to read 50 books in a year and almost did it. I dream about writing a beautiful cookbook that people wouldn’t be afraid to write notes in, to get flour all over, and that would be loved and relied on and passed from friend to friend.
This blog has been through several different iterations in the last couple of years. It was “serendipitous” most recently, a word that I love. However, I didn’t think it was really very descriptive, and maybe a little over-used, so I decided to move on to “a bushel and a peck.” Both names are nods to my paternal grandmother, who was passionate, stubborn, and fiercely loving. In a lot of ways–some good, some a little less good–I’m a lot like her. When I was a kid, she would ask me, “Do you know how much I love you?” And then she would say, “a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!”
This is a space that’s always changing, growing, and evolving. I’ve done book reviews, tried flexing my photography muscle (it’s wimpy), but I always come back to the food. Making and sharing food is a big part of my life, and a tradition that I believe to be infinitely powerful. Sometimes it feels like I’m talking to myself, but I hope that one day it’ll be big, and I will be able to reach people that I don’t know and show them how to make a lattice-topped pie (or something). I appreciate you being here, in this space with me, and I hope you’ll return!