Hi, I'm Damaris but you can call me Da
Kitchen Corners is about me, and about my family, and the things we eat, and the places we go, and the pretty things that enrich our lives. Kitchen Corners is also about you because you are the reason I write. It is you who I talk to about my life and it is from you that I get feedback and the energy to continue doing what I do.
So thank you.
To the moon and back, thank you.
I didn't grow up in a fixed address where everything was stable and comfortable, and from what I hear most of you didn't either. But one thing always stayed the same; my love for food.
I was born in Brazil and moved to the U.S when I was 7 years old. My father had a dream that he would become a successful artist in the land of opportunity and wealth. Well, my dad never landed the deal in the art gallery he wanted so instead he found himself driving a cab for 7 years while my mom took care of babies, other people's babies. It was hard. We were undocumented and economically struggling. But, I learned English. And I learned how to play the violin (sort of). And I learned how to do gymnastics, and ballet, and sing in a choir, and I learned a lot about social justice.
In the 6th grade I wrote a letter to the Mayor of Chicago telling him that our school lunch was inadequate. I received a response and was put into the committee that planned menus for our school district. I've been planning menus ever since, only now I have to cook them too. Some days I miss school lunch.
In 1996 my family returned to Brazil. I was lucky and received a scholarship to go to a wonderful International High School which opened up the doors for me to continue my education. In 2002 I got a scholarship to go to Mount Holyoke College, a liberal-arts all women's college in Massachusetts. It was beautiful. I had the time of my life devouring milk and cookies every night, chocolate chip pancakes, and Kosher food. No, I'm not Jewish I'm Mormon but the Kosher Dinning Hall was excellent and I'm always in the look out for delicious things.
In my second semester of college I met my soul mate. Boy, did that make things a lot more interesting. Christian was a graduate student at Yale. The first time I met him I tried to feed him. It's a long story, I'll tell you about it some other time. The third time we hung out I made him a full on Brazilian dinner. The fourth time he baked me bread, at which point I almost begged him to marry me.
After a lot more cooking experiences together and a year and a half of dating we got married. My grandmother sent me her hand written recipes from Brazil and a friend gave me my first cookbook, The Betty Crocker Bridal Edition. Some days I would be frantic looking for ingredients to make pao de queijo while other days I tried to make Betty Crocker's potato casserole. However, on most days I was usually trying to figure out what to do with beautiful organic vegetables that I didn't know the name of, more varieties of watermelon than I knew existed, and lots and lots of tomatoes. For 6 months after we were married Christian worked at an organic farm. It paid minimum wage and if you ask him he'll tell you it was the best job of his life. One day we're going to own our farm. Maybe in California (where we reside), maybe in Hawaii (did I mention Christian is from Hawaii?) or maybe in Brazil.
However, this blog is not about organic vegetables or living a sustainable lifestyle, even though I love both things very much. It's not about Brazilian food or learning how to make American food. And even though I am lactose intolerant I find myself cooking with milk a lot. So no, this blog is not about food allergies or even a specific food style. It's just about food. And Family. And design, because life flows better when there is good design involved.
Right now we have three children. There are no words to describe them even though I spend countless hours blogging about them. The truth is that there are no words to describe the love and daily transformations they bring into our lives. They are everything. Little Enzo, Maria, and Baby Eliza. And because of that I can't just share a recipe without sharing a little bit about them as well.
My family is the most delicious thing in my life. They are fun. They are adventurous and they make me feel alive, even though I'm often very tired.
So, thank you for being so kind and letting me share a little about my life with you. Thanks for giving me feedback on my eclectic recipes. Thanks for being a part of my life.
copyright: Unless otherwise noted all pictures and text are my own.
Underwater cooking photo shoot by Mark Lee.