On today’s edition of My Favorite Foodies Series we meet Sarah of Thyme. Her blog is one of the rare ones that excels in every aspect. There aren’t enough words to describe the beauty of Sarah’s words, photography and recipes. When you visit Thyme it is like traveling a world of mystical places, natural beauty, and comforting food that is always presented like the pages of exclusive food and travel magazines. Simply said, Sarah’s talent is immense! And now I’ll let her tell you about “Thyme” in her own words.
Can you tell us a little bit about your blog, what can people expect to find there?
What you can find when visiting ‘thyme’ is an insight into my daydreams and my wanderlust desire to travel more than I am able. I am often at the kitchen table with my son, homeschooling. As we journey through history, English, and foreign languages, my mind’s eyes is journeying through these areas wanting to see the sights and taste the foods. Often, I want to travel somewhere desperately so I will cook a dish from that country and travel there through taste and photography.
Is there a special significance to your blogs title?
I am very much aware of time’s (thyme’s) passing. I don’t speak of this often, but I did not have the happiest of childhoods. Time (thyme), especially happy times, are something that I am truly aware of an an adult and especially as a mother. I do not take happiness for granted because I had to work hard to get to a happy phase of life. “Thyme” seemed to evoke my desire to capture “Time” in my cooking, writing, and photography to truly show how much I appreciate the good that I now have in my life.
Why do you like to cook/bake or spend time in your kitchen? Have you always liked spending time in the kitchen?
As I realized I was nearing the last chapter of my kids being home, I wanted them to have definite memories of homeschooling life together. I realized that most of our time is spent around the kitchen table with them working and me in the kitchen cooking. We would move from one location to the next but the scene in the kitchen and at the kitchen table remained stable and filled with wonderful aromas. Also, my childhood was spent often in the care of my grandmother’s maid, Rose. I followed Rose around and accepted whatever attention she would give to me. That usually meant being by her side in the kitchen getting samples of anything she would hand down to me. Southern Louisiana is full of Cajuns who are passionate about their food and culture. I’m sure some of that passion passed right into me!
When you want to treat yourself or loved ones what do you prepare or splurge on?
Lately, my husband treated me to a beautiful bottle of Glayva liqueur. It is from Scotland and it is a lovely drink that goes down so smoothly and then infuses my nose with a wonderful tingling sensation. It is pure delight. Other favorites for personal treats include: humboldt fog cheese, simple maple sugar cookies, or mashed blackberries with lots of sugar on top, and thick crunchy salted beet chips. What do I splurge on for loved ones? A beautifully prepared lamb roast, embedded with garlic pods then slathered with honey and rolled in sprigs of rosemary…left to roast in the oven until all of Houston knows what will be on the table at our house.
If you had to pick a favorite sweet and one savory recipe from your blog, which would they be?
Sweet: Sinful Cinnamon Rolls http://rileymadel.blogspot.com/2011/12/beef-wellington-for-very-merry.html
Savory: Braised Short Ribs with Orange/Tarragon Cream http://rileymadel.blogspot.com/2011/12/braised-short-ribs-with-orange-tarragon.html
What is your most memorable or most special kitchen moment, be it a happy or a disastrous memory?
This year’s Christmas spread was memorable. I really felt like I could pull together a holiday table…all of it, from soup to nuts. I loved the recipe for my turkey and creamy cider sauce and how it turned out. I was happy with my balance of freezing certain items and making other items fresh. It was a big undertaking, serving a holiday meal for 15 people, but I was happy doing it and I felt so prepared this year. I do wonder if that combination of cooking and preparedness can happen again next year! Yikes, I’d better get planning!
You have a travel section on your blog, what has been your favorite destination so far?
Ireland really captured my imagination for all things lush, green, cozy, and friendly. Every corner we turned held storybook views and quaint pastoral settings. It is a country of childhood dreams and I felt like I was certainly in a childhood storybook. We stayed on the Dingle Peninsula at Pax House. It felt so restful and calm there…a place I could go back to over and over again. I truly cried tears of sadness when we drove away to head back to Dublin.
What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
Goodness gracious. So many to choose from. I would have to say the first one that comes to mind is a good crusty warm heel of french bread smeared with a generous amount of delicious unsalted butter. I think I am a french bread-a-holic.
Who is your favorite foodie? (Be it a professional, enthusiast or novice)
I am often captivated by Bea from “Tartine Gourmande”. I really enjoy her food photography, styling, and mix of travel photos and stories. I follow her workshops all over the world and just dream of doing something similar to this. Being with a group of food photographers, captivated by travel sights, smells, and food, and all sharing that time together is captured so beautifully on her blog.
Why did you start blogging? Do you have a goal or what do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
During these tough years of schooling children, saving money for college, and pinching pennies all the time, my mind wanders to all of the countries I would like to see and plates of food that I would like to taste. The mix of blogging, photography, and cooking gives me that “escape” from the ordinary into a fantasy world of travel, dining, exploring, and sharing with other like minded people…that really doesn’t take much of a budget at all!
Anything else you would like to say or share with us, tips or advice for fellow blogger?
The advice I would give would be the advice I most tell myself. I tell my kids to passionately go after their dreams, whatever they may be or however silly they may seem. I am in this rather fantastical world of food blogging, dreaming, and cooking away in my kitchen. I keep telling myself that if other people can make these dreams a reality, then why not me? We all just need to say what we are trying to achieve…and then really get up and go after it. I am still trying to get myself to do that!
Recipes for images in the graphic and photos can be found in the links below.
Creamy Penang Beef Curry, Slow Roasted Beef with Red Wine GravyRoasted Chicken and Barley Soup, Shrimp Bisque Scented with Bouquet Garni, English Shortbread Cookies, Deviled Eggs, Whole Grain Wild Mushroom Galette with Fresh Herbs and English Stilton, Chocolate Beet Cake with Maple Cream and Fresh Blackberries, Roast Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Black Bean Soup, Homemade Fettucine with an Herbed Cream Crawfish Sauce, Les Petites Tartlettes au Citron, A Savory Galette with Sautéed Mushrooms, Thyme, and Briny Olives
All images are the sole property of Sarah Kenney and Thyme. (Graphic design by Spicie Foodie.) Please do not use images, nor graphics, without prior written consent. Thank you