About

This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes. Be fearless, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

Hi! My name is Jean, a wife, mother, sister, daughter and lover of all things food related. I suppose the signs steering me towards the kitchen have always been there… one of my earliest memories is of my grandfather giving me my first taste of lobster and my toddler self spending the rest of the meal trying to swipe more off his plate- much to his amusement and my very proper grandmother’s chagrin. My sister and brothers can recount wonderful family vacations visiting historical sites, beaches on both coasts and theme parks. I also remember those trips well, but my memories are tied to what and where we ate… the crunch of pumpkin muffins sprinkled with raw sugar in the Berkshires, fresh briny steamers dipped in melted butter at the beach, peanut soup down south, and even a dinner at the Moroccan restaurant in Epcot. Today, whether I am home or away… I am already thinking of lunch as I wipe the crumbs from breakfast off my lips. I read cookbooks like novels- cover to cover and read novels that double as cookbooks; have you ever made Ruth Reichl’s Channing Way Shrimp Curry from Comfort Me with Apples?

Being in the kitchen is therapy for me… creating, sharing; bringing friends and family together over a meal is my happy place. It’s a way to explore different cultures and regions, nourishing our minds and appetites at the same time. So welcome to White House Red Door! Here you’ll find what I’m cooking for my family and what’s inspiring me in the kitchen.  My hope is that you’ll see something here that inspires you to get into the kitchen, to bring your friends and family together.

49 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Jean. What a wonderfully descriptive About page. It makes my mouth water just reading it. I adore cooking and baking and when my six children were still at home, I was rarely out of the kitchen. Now I look forward to family gatherings, when I have an excuse to produce a great big spread. Sometimes, even now, I’ll head to the kitchen and bake something scrummy when I’m feeling bored. (Then of course, Nick and I have to eat it, and disregard spreading waistlines.) I imagine you’ll be spending umpteen hours in your kitchen during Thanksgiving.
    I love your ‘header’ picture! The scene is beautifully rural, but the house is very different to British houses. Your picture reminds me a lot of older houses in Scandinavia, which are also made of wood. Here, many early villages relied on local stone, and later of bricks, of course. Your house is very pretty. Is it actually yours?
    I’m really looking forward to reading some of your recipes. Those pumpkin muffins sound scrumptious. 😀

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    1. Thank you very much Millie! That means a lot, especially because as I was reading your About page all I kept thinking was, “this is so well written… I need to take notes!” Being in the kitchen is therapeutic for me and I will be spending many happy hours there during Thanksgiving while the chaos of prepping the rest of the house swirls around me.
      The ‘header’ picture is our house. I took the picture a week or two ago in an attempt to try and capture the seasonal changes. The house is certainly not old compared to the homes in your village, but at almost 100 yrs old it is definitely “vintage” bordering on “antique” for our area. We love the charm and character that comes with its age!

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      1. Your house is absolutely beautiful. Even a hundred-year-old house is preferable to some of the modern ‘boxes’ around, which have no character whatsoever. I know how you all love your Thanksgiving period over there. I remember reading so many posts about the joy of it all last year. We just have Christmas to look forward to here, with the little excitement generated by Bonfire Night on November 5th. We don’t celebrate Halloween as much as you do either, although the idea is slowly growing.Like you, i adore the changing seasons, and can’t imagine living somewhere where there is little change all year. I’m hoping you’ll be doing a few posts about your Thanksgiving preparations, and all the yummy meals and treats you create to go with it.
        Sorry I’m late responding to your comment. I’ve been out at a village ‘fashion show’ all evening. It was fun, and raised money for charity.

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  2. We have so much in common. Our cottage grove house is white with a red door too…but, the only difference, ours is tiny! I really enjoyed reading your about page. I relate to how you think about lunch as you are finishing breakfast, and of how food plays a huge part of memories of family vacations. And, I have a similar memory of eating at the Moroccan restaurant at Epcot! I seem to remember belly dancers and being so impressed by the music and food. Lovely blog….so glad to have stumbled upon you tonight. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, I’m very glad you stumbled upon my blog! We do have a lot in common; it’s so nice to know that I am not the only one whose thoughts constantly swirl around food. 🙂 (Both of us have Julia Child quotes on our About pages, too.) Looking forward to “sharing” more food thoughts with you!

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      1. My house has a green door and has to stay that way because of landmarks. I have red door envy landmarks frowns on red doors unless they originally had them and it’s documented or had a red door before the house received landmark status. So silly!

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  3. Hi Jean – how wonderful – having lobster and trying to swipe more off your grandfather’s plate – what a lovely memory – i definitely agree kindred spirit, your about page reminds me so much of my own, thank so much for stopping by, I look forward to reading more on your site – have a lovely week Poli

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  4. Oh and what a beautiful beautiful house you live in! Are you in New Hampshire or Maine – definitely somewhere in New England at any rate – wonderful house – beautiful trees and I have read all of Ruth Reichls books but never made a recipe – I’m a big fan of her writing and loved Gourmet Magazine – I even had it delivered to Switzerland and wrote an upset letter to the owners when they shut it down and tried to fob me off with the infinitely inferior but more main stream Bon Appetit instead…although during the financial crisis I guess there was more call for Bon Appetit than for Gourmet..

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    1. Excellent sleuthing, Poli! We are in New England, just outside of Boston. I loved Gourmet magazine too, and was incredibly disappointed when they closed their doors. It’s probably the only publication in which I always read the Letter from the Editor before diving into the articles. Ruth Reichl just published a new book, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, that reflects on her time in the kitchen after Gourmet shut down. Should be another good read…

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      1. 🙂 having spent 10 days driving around New England in March the sleuthing wasn’t as challenging as it might otherwise have been 🙂 – had some great meals there – memorable meals at the http://thevelveteenhabit.com/ – lovely area as well, great drinks and good food, although I would give the smoked pigs liver a miss next time – also Joshuas in Wells http://www.joshuas.biz/ – they make some lovely malted breads, perfect foccacia and lovely other dishes – farm to table in both cases, if you are anywhere close I’d think both are worth a visit, also discovered fiddlehead ferns – and little neck clams – and really loved the landscapes – great to hear that RR has published a new book – i will look out for it, did you read her effort in fiction “Delicious!?” – it was really disappointing compared to her regular style books – wouldn’t recommend, but interesting to compare, if you have a local library and can lend to skip through – also read Kitchen Confidential recently – a fun read, even if I didn’t particularly warm to the writer himself.

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    1. I love older homes and a 1730s farm house sounds wonderful, especially with a red door! 🙂 Hopefully, you are settling in nicely in your new home. Did last winter push you over the edge? The Farmer’s Almanac says this winter is going to be worse, though I can’t imagine how we are going to beat 100″+ of snow for a second year! I love the title of your blog. Looking forward to “visiting” you there. Thank you again for stopping by…

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      1. Last winter did push us over the edge…I hope the Almanac was wrong about this coming winter. It was my pleasure, I can keep up with a little of New England through your posts. 🙂

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      1. It is a wonderful community, and blog awards are a way of showing our appreciation of othe people’s blogs. This award is obviously limited to women, but most are for everyone. There are so many lovely people out there. 🙂

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      1. Thank you so much, Jean! I’ve followed your blog and look forward to visiting very often! 🙂 Thank you for following my blog as well — I look forward to getting better acquainted! 🙂
        ~ Anna

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  5. My husband has always wanted a white house with a red door 🙂 I have really enjoyed looking around your blog. I am the same way, I love to cook and cookbooks are my favorite type of book. It is nice to meet you Jean!

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    1. Thank you so very much for stopping by, Antonia! Very nice to meet you, too! It’s funny… since I was a child we’ve always had a red door. I suppose that when my husband and I bought our first house I wanted to continue the tradition… we’re in our 3rd (and final!) home, and still have a red door!

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  6. I’m more of a writer and painter than cook. But, I, too remember the food from travel and events. And even though my cooking is somewhat limited, I love preparing and sharing the few things I’m reliably good at making. Making vegetable soup is a sacred ritual on the first crisp day of Autumn and today on the third day of being shut in by 8 inches of snow, I fixed a large pot, which is now simmering in anticipation of clear roads forecast and friends coming for lunch.

    Love your house and the red door. A charming, warm and friendly looking family house.
    Blessings….

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    1. Thank you, Eileen, for stopping by; it’s so very nice to meet you! Your vegetable soup bubbling away on the stove as you wait for friends to arrive is such a lovely image… there is nothing better than sitting down with friends and family to share a meal and conversation!

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  7. Pingback: My New Toy. |

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