You may have noticed the byline of my intro page boasts that I’m a “…..darn good baker” and this is true. I proudly trace my kitchen heritage back to store-bought mixes of chocolate chip cookies I made faithfully until the day I discovered the homemade version of that cookie, and many more, and my life was changed forever.

It’s an interesting crossroads where mass-produced meets homemade. Yesterday I spent a glorious afternoon with the divine Martha McMillin who is the owner and fearless leader of The Preserving Place. We spent the hours in the kitchen with a dozen other curious pioneers all longing to learn the techniques for preserving jams, pickles and such. Anyone who is in for that sort of thing will tell you it's time–consuming and labor intensive. Feelings are wrapped up in the outset, the process and the outcome.

Similar to creating delicious, homemade foods, I am also privileged to be part of a larger community creating film, theatre and television from scratch. The likeminded pioneers are not waiting for the call from the big studio or the big regional theatre (though many have in fact received such calls and answered with excellence). Members of this group hustle and work hard to make something original, something that bears the mark of their creativity and unique set of skills. They take raw ingredients and masterfully work them into a hot pot of awesome-sauce!

This past weekend I was invited to a screening of a short film that my buddy Jayson had a lead role in, as well as another friend Steve. The crowd at The Plaza theatre had an energy to it that can only be compared to what a crowd of first-time parents watching their child perform in the school play might also have. The excitement of seeing something you care so much about on the screen and sharing what you created with others was palpable. The film is great and I hope it gets the support it needs to encourage the filmmakers to create more.

Tomorrow night my sister-from-another-mother will be sharing one more of her amazing plays she has written. I have had the pure pleasure of being in the kitchen, so to speak, with her from almost the beginning of this work. I could not be prouder or more excited for her and all of us that are hustling to create homemade goodness that nourishes the soul, spirit and imagination. 

And finally, in the coming weeks I am thrilled to be working on another homegrown creative endeavor, one that I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of and excited for the talented crew making it happen.

I know I’m always going to have the choice between mass-produced or homemade.  And I know there will be times that the former is just easier than the latter. But, for today, I am pleased as can be that so many brilliant voices and talents are in their own kitchens making things happen and the result is a bounty of deliciousness I am fortunate enough to have a seat at the table to enjoy and share in the adventure. 

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some homemade strawberry jam that needs my full attention.