I’m Tina and this is my hubby Dave, aka Mr. Craftiness. We are Texan ex-pats living in the beautiful Beehive State.
We make stuff. He makes beautiful stuff and I make delicious stuff, mostly. David has always had an appreciation for beautiful wood-crafted items, whether they are large furniture pieces or small, lathe-turned, exotic wood items like pens. Since retiring from the Army, where we met, he has rediscovered the spiritual nature of woodturning, and it has become a hobby run amuck-but in a good way. I guess all crafters know the good feeling that comes from taking raw material and turning it into something beautiful.
Dave makes a lot of knitting items such as Nostepinnes and Knit Spinners. I saw a picture of a Nostepinne in a book and asked him if he could make me one of these, he said “You betcha!” I loved it and so he made a few more. Now they are his best sellers on Etsy. He has become the undisputed Nostepinne King on Etsy (he is still waiting for official recognition- a crown or plaque or something). He makes other items of course, our family has been the lucky recipients of beautiful and sometimes unusual gifts such as shaving sets, pens and bowls made of acrylic, gemstone, antler etc. See for yourself at Craftiness.Etsy.com.
While traveling, I have had the good fortune of sampling the finer and sometimes unusual fare of the places I visited. I really fell in love with the food ‘over there’, which included places such as Paris, Tuscany, Riga, Bavaria and Prague. The explosions of flavor in regional cooking has awakened the food geek in me and left me in want of more. Coming back home I pondered how I can enjoy these new culinary experiences on an everyday basis. This is an easy endeavor when you live in a place like Austin, Texas but we are in Utah now. Utah is an amazingly beautiful place to live, the mountains! pinch me!! Food finds are a little more difficult than finding a great trail. I had some choices, drive 40 minutes to Salt Lake City, do nothing or …. learn how to cook myself, yikes!
I did not learn how to cook from the ankles of mi Abuelita, Nonna, Yaya, Bomma or Grammy. I didn’t learn how to cook…at all. The only thing I watched my mother cook was sliced raw potatoes and onions with salt and pepper in a hot skillet with vegetable oil. The result was delicious when we covered it with catsup. The texture however was raw inside but crispy on the outside with burnt onions. We loved it though, none of it got thrown out. My dad, well, I watched him make country gravy the way he knew how from his Ozark roots. Bacon fat with flour, milk, salt and pepper. It’s actually quite good. Oh, and his potato soup! Lovely. But that’s about it.
Hence, this blog was born. I learned to cook with a more open mind and get the same international goodness locally. I love to cook world-inspired cuisine and feed it to Mr. Craftiness. Sometimes I take shortcuts when the original recipe is too long for everyday cooking and share them with you. Also I substitute ingredients for what I can find in my neck of the woods. The Italians are known for this. It’s a fairly small country but very regional in it’s agriculture so they adapt the same recipe to what they can find locally. I also like to share the long version for the more intrepid cooks with more time.
In the warmer months we hang out at ‘the farm’, eat apples, bale hay and get in the farmers way.
Whether traveling locally or abroad, there is a culinary adventure waiting for you just around the corner. Learning to cook is a life long process, the journey itself is quite fun. Come share in the adventure with us.
Bon Appetit y’all.