Hey everyone. This post is coming to you much later than promised. I started writing it, and it just grew and grew. I almost deleted it several times, and I’m still a little unsure about hitting that Publish button. I am usually only comfortable talking about myself in short, anecdotal bursts. But I’ve also been plagued by this post, which I discovered several months ago. So here it is, a not-so-short summation of how this name change came about. (If you have no interest in my life story, please feel free to skip ahead to the last three paragraphs!)
So you may have noticed that things look a little different around here. As I mentioned several weeks ago, I decided that it was time to retire the name Petite Kitchenesse (a moniker I’d grown to dislike) and relaunch the site under a new name: Reclaiming Provincial. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain the reasons for the move and the handle I’ve chosen, and to reflect on the ways in which running this blog — with heavy influence from my past/present environments — has helped to develop my love of and approach to food.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that my family and the area in which I was born and raised — the Schoharie Valley of upstate NY — have been, by far, the biggest influence on my present-day food choices. (This seems like an obvious connection that’s true for many people, but it was only in the past year or two that I’ve begun to see and acknowledge the evidence in my own life.) Childhood weekends were devoted to farm stand–hopping and treat-baking. If I had to pick one truth that my mother has ingrained in me above all others, it would be that a home should never be without cookies. Or popcorn. My parents’ pescetarian diet has also had an enormous influence on the types of food I gravitate towards nowadays, despite the fact that I am no longer vegetarian. My parents were never preachy about their dietary choices, and my brother and I were never taught to shun meat. My mother would occasionally prepare meat dishes for us when we were kids, although I still remember her telling me once I was old enough to safely use the stove, “if you want a hot dog, you can cook it.” (Ha!) And since our household was one in which home-cooked meals and family dinner time were considered essentials, I grew up on a diet that revolved around lots of grains and fresh, local food. Meat was more of an occasional treat, and not so much a dietary staple.