Hello, All! Some of you will know of me in some form or fashion. “My husband,” “Jeff,” “hubby,” “the engineer,” “chief taste tester” and “The Master of YouTwitFace” are all terms that come to mind. 🙂
I am Jeff Foster, husband to KerryAnn and dad to Belle and Trey. For purposes of Cooking Traditional Foods, we are still working on an official fun and relevant title, but COO is the boring one most closely associated with what I do. If you have suggestions, I’m all ears, and if we go with it, who knows but what there might just be some incentive in it for you. Sense a contest coming?
So who am I? I am one of a number of people in the construction industry who find themselves unemployed or underemployed. Civil Engineer is what my career position is and I work in that industry as opportunity allows. One day you will likely see me in someone’s yard where a sinkhole has appeared during a rainstorm helping them seek a solution, or maybe the next working with a developer to best determine the layout of a multi-use residential and commercial property. Since digging in the dirt as a youngster, I’ve had aspiration of working with my hands, building things, or helping others do the same. In 2002, I realized a goal of becoming a Professional Civil Engineer, passing an 8 hour exam after 12 years of working to qualify for the test.
So what does this have to do with CTF? Quite frankly, I find it necessary to eat on somewhat of a regular basis, and I enjoy every minute of it. Maybe I should say almost every minute of it. There are days we test things that we are glad we tested first before springing them on you. 🙂 Since I was a young person, I would stand next to the stove as my mom or dad would cook, watching and learning what I could. One early memory, when I was around 6 years old, was when some hot oil popped in a pan and a few tiny drops got on my shirtless self. I’ve had a healthy respect for hot oil ever since. Because I grew up in an extremely urban environment, we always looked forward to going to the North Carolina countryside to visit with family and share in the garden harvest. Fresh corn, snap beans, okra, juicy watermelon, cucumbers, you name it, it was all there. Many hours of family fun with dozens of our kin were spent under shade trees shelling lima beans, shucking corn, and telling stories. Evenings were spent with pressure and water bath canners making all sorts of fruit preserves and putting up vegetables for those wonderful fall soups. Of course we ate some right on the spot, and more with meals of all sorts, including fresh pork from the hog we just dispatched. We’d render the fats and make lard and all sorts of other things, not letting any of the animal go to waste. When the work was done, we’d make homemade caramel corn with red skin peanuts harvested not far away. There were always some fresh fruit pies waiting on the side board to be enjoyed with some homemade ice cream the kiddos had just made too, and yes, with the handcrank model ice cream makers. Those memories live with me to this day and I never find myself far away from the kitchen, experimenting with a new recipe or tasting one of KerryAnn’s creations.
Okay, enough with the memories, I’m starting to drool and I just bought this keyboard. Behind any effort to bring worthwhile information to the public’s attention, there has to be someone supporting the operation, and that is me. Managing the website, providing technical support, managing social media, developing contests, challenging the boss, and brainstorming are just part of what each new day brings. We do this because we believe in it; we’ve seen the difference it makes first hand. To bring it to you and make it relevant takes work, a lot of work, and that’s what we do together. Our goal is to be the best there is, and we won’t stop in that pursuit.
Thank you for your support these last almost 6 years. We look forward to being of service for many more to come.
Your fellow kitchen compatriot,