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Ames? Iowa? Where is that? Don’t you guys grow potatoes? Did you used to drive your tractor to school?

Well, to answer these questions, Ames, Iowa is pretty much smack dab in the middle of the United States. Ames, in particular is the home of the Iowa State Cyclones. Tim Floyd used to coach our basketball team and so did Johnny Orr. But that was long ago. Now we have Greg McDermott for basketball and Gene Chizik for football. Not that I watch sports … however, a lot of people do … so maybe it will make you say “Oh yeah! Iowa!”

As for if we grow potatoes; not really. Iowa is a large producer of corn (used for feed, food and ethanol) and soybeans. We’re huge on those two. I suppose we are also well known for our beef and pork too. Mmmmm.

And, no, we don’t drive our tractors to school and work around here. Unless, I suppose you are a farmer and work on a farm for a living and are driving to your field. I have actually gotten these types of questions from people that are not from around here. It’s weird!
Actually, I drive a Toyota Corolla to work everyday. As much as I love food, somehow I am a teacher. I actually started working with food when I was 15. I worked at a nursing home right next to my high school as a dietary aide. We were in charge of serving, cleaning up, prepping food and drinks, and so on. We also got to cook breakfast on Saturday mornings, which was fun. I worked there until I graduated high school. Then I went away to college at University of Northern Iowa for 1 year. I didn’t like it too well and came back home to good old Iowa State.

While attending Iowa State, I returned to my old job at the nursing home. Then, somehow I got promoted to a cook. It was a pretty nice place and every Sunday was a very fancy meal for about 100. So, I got a lot of experience cooking for mass quantities and some pretty “fancy” stuff. Not your usual cafeteria fare. The residents pay a lot to live there so we were expected to provide quality food. I cooked there for nearly a year, then quit to work with kids … since I was planning to be a teacher.

After I graduated, I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know how I was going to earn a living since I wasn’t getting hired for any of the jobs I interviewed for. So, I got another job as a cook at a different assisted living facility in a nearby town. I loved that place. It was so well organized and clean. Of course, two weeks after I was hired there, I got a call from the principal of the school where I work now, offering me a job. Of course, I took it, but I finished out the summer at the assisted living job and loved it.

My first two years of teaching went well. I got married and was finally starting to feel comfortable as a teacher. This past summer, I decided that I wanted a job. I knew I didn’t want a job with kids. I teach special education and I knew that I didn’t want to teach over the summer. I wanted to try to avoid burn-out. So, I went back to my second love of cooking.

That is when I saw an ad in the paper from a bible camp looking for a summer cook. I called them up, met them, and found we were a perfect match. This past summer was great. I cooked with some really awesome people, fellow foodies, and we had a lot of fun. We cooked for 200 – 300 kids each day in a brand spanking new kitchen. While working there, I was involved in my first food fight, which is an experience that everyone should have … especially if there is some way that you don’t have to clean it up!

I decided that I loved working there so much that I would stay on over the school year and cook for retreats on the weekends. This is pretty fun and gives me my cooking fix.

I guess some of this information is kind of extraneous. You are probably wondering, why do I care about this lady’s jobs? I just want to know what this blog is about. Well, this is kind of the start of the story of my love for food and cooking. This is the purpose of my blog. To share, document, and discuss my love of cooking and food.

I will be discussing and reviewing cooking products, cookbooks and recipes, Ames restaurants, as well as my own cooking. We never get better unless we critique ourselves and change!

So, enjoy this blog and feel free to comment and link!



1. Alanna - November 27, 2006

Welcome to food blogging from a fellow Iowa Stater and forever fan of Grubstake and Minsky’s Pizza (and those cinnamon buns from some truckstop … and the hot glazed donuts at 3am from, um, Dutoits? doo-twaz is all I remember … and …)

2. Sarah - November 28, 2006

Thanks for stopping by! Go Iowa State!

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