The Details

*  Welcome!

*  I started a blog in early 2003 mainly because a friend of mine had started one and I thought it would be kind of a fun thing to do.  It is.  And continues to be.

*  I’ve got parents, a sister, a husband, two kids, and friends.  There are also 3 cats, one lizard, and an assortment of fish living in our house.  I have no idea where they came from.

*  I’ve been cooking, or helping cook, since I was a little girl and made elaborate 10-course meals for family using just my dark olive Easy Bake Oven and the tiny pan that came with it.  My Beef Wellington was particularly memorable.  Okay, I made that up.  But I do remember being very small and making little tarts with scraps of pie dough my mother handed to me.  And I think I was actually dissatisfied with the Easy Bake Oven.  It was just way too small.

*  I’ve also been taking pictures (though not always with any great skill) since I was very little.  My father, a professional photographer, gave me a little instamatic camera (the kind that took those flash cubes, remember them?) and taught me how to use it.  I promptly went outside (he went downstairs to work in the darkroom), shot the whole roll of film in 3.47 seconds (trees, the neighbor’s boat, our dog, my toys), came back inside, stood at the top of the basement stairs and called down to him “Now what?”  He stuck his head out of the darkroom and looked at me in disbelief.  “You’re done already?”  I went through a lot of film.  Thank goodness digital came along and I don’t have to take out a third mortgage to pay for my out of control photography habit.

*  And I’ve been writing – stories, in diaries, letters (Back before email.  Or computers.) and so on – since, I don’t know, since I could hold a pen and scribble.  Speaking of scribbling…I was always a very good, obedient, studious child, so there were never parent-teacher conferences about me causing trouble or having trouble coloring inside the lines.  In third grade, however, my teacher, Mrs. Cressy, had to have a talk with my parents about my horrible handwriting.  I was unable to write on the line.  My loopy cursive meandered up and down between the two lines, lazily bouncing off the top line and floating down, down, until it hit the bottom line, bounced again, and headed up again.  Learning to type in high school was THE best skill I ever acquired.

*  And I used to draw and paint a lot, but not so much now, although my kids are always impressed with my ability to draw animals that actually look like the animals they’re supposed to. 

*  So all those little bits and pieces add up to this blog.  Sometimes I write about food, sometimes about my family, sometimes about our garden, or the animals, or whatever else is going on around here. 

*  I’ve been doing this blog thing a while now, and the biggest thing I still don’t get is people who show up just to say something mean.  I haven’t had too many of those; I don’t think I say or do too many things to draw out the snarly folk, but it never fails to puzzle me when it does happen.

*  I hope you enjoy your visit here, and I really hope you’ll come back again. 

*  If you’d like to, you can email me here:  jayne (at) barefootkitchenwitch (dot) com. 

*  I reserve the right to publish your email for any reason that pops into my head at the time.  I doubt I’ll really do this, but I say this to warn the snarly folk.

Please do not copy my words or images without written consent.   I don’t mind sharing; I just don’t like someone taking my stuff without me knowing about it.

*  If you have a question about a recipe or anything, I promise to back to you as soon as possible. 

*  It’s my blog, and I’ll change things up if I want to.  It’s like a home.  If I want to paint the walls the color of burnt sugar, then that’s my choice.  If you don’t like the color, that’s fine, but please don’t just march in here with only critical things to say.  Would you really walk up to a total stranger and tell them you don’t like their haircut or their boots or something?  I didn’t think so.  (Again, this is primarly directed at the snarly people.)

*  Be polite, and no hitting, or you’ll have to go to your room.

Thanks for stopping by!

22 thoughts on “The Details

  1. Jayne, thank you so much for the Sweet Potato Gnocci recipe. It was beyond belief! I had the Gnocci’s in the freezer and had the dilemna of not having any sage for the sage/butter sauce, but really wanted to have them for dinner. I had just roasted peppers and tomatos and was wondering how I would combine this all into a fine dinner – and wow – there it was. Just happened to have fresh basil and spinach and there was heavy cream in the fridge – left over from making Irish Potatoes. No fennel in the house but we did not miss it with all the other wonderful flavors bursting out. I like to cook a nice dinner for my boyfriend on Saturday nights and you sure helped me do that! Hate to admit it but woke up this morning still thinking how great it was. Thank you! Susan
    PS: first time visiting your site – looks like fun, like the barefoot part – makes me feel free to do what I want.

  2. Susan, thanks so much for your comment! Im really glad you liked making the gnocchi, and that you ended up kind of winging the sauce. And youve nailed the barefoot aspect, too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you dropped by!

  3. Just stumbled on your site — I love the term “kitchen witch” and consider myself one as well. Glad to see someone else with similar interests! Now, how do I find your RSS feeds or your get updates via e-mail? Thanks!

  4. Hi hythlae,

    Ive fixed the rss feed/email issue – you can find links to those things over on the far right column, just below the link to twitter.

    Thanks for the nudge! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. “barefoot” kitchen witch? please don’t try to fool anyone by using the Barefoot name, that belongs to someone already!

  6. Im not trying to fool anyone, Punky, and Im puzzled why youd think that. Barefoot Kitchen Witch has been the name of this website for years, and Ive explained where it came from before. If youre referring to Ina Garten, the name Barefoot Contessa comes from the gourmet food store she purchased in the 70s.

    If the name of this website makes you uncomfortable, Punky, you are free to stay away.

  7. Wow – I see what you mean by “snarly” people.

    Being barefoot is copyrighted? I suppose billions of people have been in violation then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Perhaps I’ll make you some burnt sugar shoes to dance in.


    Thank you for your site – I stumbled upon it and decided to stay for a while…


  8. I get your feed in google reader and miss when it would all come through. Now I only get the first few lines and have to click over to your site. I don’t often have the time to do that. But I do like your pictures – especially when it involves the kitties! And your recipes are great too.

  9. Like the idea, sounds spunky! How come the last winner was in 09? Are you worn out? I love engaging things like this, and I love photography and cooking. My own kids are also astounded that I can draw animals that look like the animals they are supposed to be. Come back!

  10. theresa,

    Not quite sure what youre talking about here…the last winner was in 09? Winner of what? And I havent gone anywhere, so not sure where I need to come back to….

  11. I don’t know your name but I’d like to thank you for the detailed Portuguese Kale soup recipe. Quite helpful going step by step. My Mom made this soup, too busy eating it instead of learning how to make it and she has since passed. I too have a difficult time finding the right kale to use as the best is usually homegrown, but the Portuguese people don’t know the name of it. I have been searching the different varieties of kale: Tuscan, Dinosaur/Dino, Lacinato. Keep up the good work.

  12. Hi Jayne- Thanks for your great blog, sharing your great food, & family stories! I am planning on learning to make bread, my goal is to make a weekly loaf or two for sandwiches, and I am planning on using some of your recipes, YUM!

    But I had a question – what kinds of loaf pans/bread pans do you use or would suggest? I have none and befor I go out and get 2 (or 3?) I thought I would ask a baker! There are so many – pyrex, nonstick metal, regular metal, cast iron, etc.

    Also, what kind of yeast do you keep for general use? Are the little Fleischman’s packets alright?

    Thanks again for your great writing!

  13. Hi Lauren,

    I use straight-up metal bread pans. Theyre not non-stick or cast iron. Ive had them a long time, a couple of them. At least one is an old Bake King pan, which probably came from my late mother-in-laws kitchen.

    The bread I make bakes and browns nicely in these pans, so Ive never felt the need to try any others. Just dont buy cheap, thin metal. They should be sturdy – for all those loaves and loaves of bread youll be baking in the years to come!

    Oh, and yes – the little packets of Fleischmanns yeast are just fine. Thats what I used to use when I was starting out. Now I buy the jars of yeast, just because I tend to bake larger batches of bread at a time, and its more practical to buy the yeast in bulk. The price can
    be a little daunting, but if you shop around you can find it less expensively or on sale.

    Good luck, and have fun!

  14. I love your blog. We bake every weekend and therefore we use a lot of yeast. I saved my dark-tinted yeast jar and refill it from a bulk package that I purchase at Costco. We’ve had great results and the savings are enormous. We also bought tubs (stored in the basement) and buy are sugar, bread flour, and all-purpose flour in bulk at Costco. I have found the Gold Touch Loaf pans through William-Sonoma to be outstanding. They cost a small fortune, but I forsee myself having them for years. Hope you don’t mind me sharing and thank you!!!

  15. Very very helpful explanation of how to bake a puff pastry. More so than the two books I read from. I am a little perplexed about…. you roll out just the corners? or the center square of the dough too? and if that too then it’s too big for the butter? or do you keep that thick and butter-size width…
    Also, re discussion above, I’m not having very good luck with the yeasts from the packets or the jars. But don’t take the time to explain , you have helped me so much today. Thanks for doing the photos and explanations of make puff pastry.

  16. Hi lp,

    Thanks for writing! Even though you said not to worry about it, Im going to answer your questions anyway.

    Yes, you just roll out the corners – thats so that they can stretch out over the butter when you put it back on that square of dough. You leave the middle part thick.

    As far as not having any luck with the yeast…what do you mean? The dough isnt rising? Or youre having trouble locating the yeast? Just curious…in case I can help in some way.

    Again – thanks for writing!


  17. Hi Jayne, great name (I have a cousin who spells it the same way!) and great blog. You have wonderful recipes to share and stories to tell, and I especially appreciate your fine sense of humor. I will visit often, and I am never snarly, I promise! Keep up the fantastic work. Cheers, Sulu

  18. Heya, I ran across your blog when I googled fried chicken livers. I’ve kinda meandered around the site and stuck my nose here and there to see all about it. Thank-you for providing a warm and uplifting blog! Now that I’ve retired I have plenty of time to play around with cooking…YAY for your recipes.

  19. Terrific name, terrific blog! Used potatoes and their water in some bread the other day after referencing your post on that- figured out how to adapt my recipe based on yours. Thanks!

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