Recipes Cooking Blog Gardening Blog | The Old Farmer's Almanac

A Cook, Gardener, and Writer With a Dash of Humor

Print Friendly and PDF

When you see the bubbles form in the batter, you flip!” my dad said, and with my face smeared with pancake batter, I gripped my spatula and waited for the bubbles. “I see ’em, I see ’em!” my 5-year-old self yelled. “OK! Flip that pancake, honey!” Delicately, I wedged my spatula between the buttered skillet and my pancake shaped in a “J”. I slid the greased spatula to the right, then over a bit—I wanted it to be perfect. Honestly, I don’t know why I was allowed to handle my own pancake cooking at age 5, but I’ll tell you, that was the best pancake I have ever eaten.

When I was younger, I thought throwing a bunch of things into a pan and mixing them with some salt, maybe some butter, an egg, or sugar, would create a masterpiece.

I don’t think my parents ever actually let me fully take the recipe reins, but being of lower income, we found unconventional ways to cook on a dime such as boiling homemade bagels that were as round as my eyes were wide. As I’ve gotten older, my palate for food and passion for seasonal gardening has grown, and my willingness to take risks and try new things has turned my culinary life (not to mention my day-to-day one) into an amazing adventure.

My parents raised me to embrace my personality, humor, and talents, even in the kitchen. I take this to heart with ambitions that reach the heights of the clouds and a passion that will never let me settle—no matter the medium. Maybe one day I’ll become famous, own my own restaurant, or start community gardens across the country. So when The Old Farmer’s Almanac gave me the opportunity to write, take photos, cook, and garden using The Garden-Fresh Cookbook, how could I say no?

As a writer with a passion for cooking, local food, and gardening, I love to share my experiences—even the failures, which are always easier to take with a dash of humor. Cooking brings family and friends together. It gives us a break from our hectic lives to enjoy one another’s company along with great food and good conversation.

Thank you for reading and joining in this food and gardening adventure with The Garden-Fresh Cookbook and me. I hope you enjoy the flavor of my words over the next few months.

In my next post, I will be exploring a local market in searching for fresh ingredients for a recipe from The Garden-Fresh Cookbook. In the meantime, I want to hear from you! Any dishes or cooking and garden tips you’re curious about? Please let me know—odds are I’m curious too!

Dig in and savor!


Jane received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn’t writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.

2023 Almanac Club