I promise I am going to get better about blogging (for real), and I have a few really great blog posts in the work! I started the business nearly two years ago, and as things continue to grow for The Ruby Apron, and I meet new people, I get asked a few questions frequently – it’s funny how those questions can take me right back to the beginning, so I thought I would answer some of them on here.
- Where did I get the name The Ruby Apron? Why don’t I wear a ruby apron? My grandmother was Ruby, so it actually has little to do with a ruby coloured apron! In Ireland, this blog was a part of most days, and I really wanted to keep the word “apron,” in the name of my business. It took a bit, but finally between my mum and I we came up with The Ruby Apron, and I love it. I knew I wanted Lydia to do my logo, she does most of the illustrations for Ballymaloe, and I really love her style. I joke that Ireland is my local too, and I am so glad Lydia did my logo for me. I had a good idea of what I wanted, and she nailed it!
- Why food? To be honest, when I went to cooking school, I didn’t really have any intention of working in food… It just sort of happened. I never wanted to be a restaurant chef, I knew that. I love what I am doing now, and am so lucky to be able to teach what I love. I love being able to share something so simple with people – see below.
- Why local? We live in Alberta, and although I don’t have a history of farming in my family, it is part of Alberta. I think there is something so simple and humble about supporting the people who work so hard to grow incredible food right here. We live in a world where we are (scarily) disconnected from how food is produced and how it should taste – in all steps of the way. We live in a world where there is growing conversations on our environment – and one huge way we can be mindful of this, is by supporting local farms who are doing right by the soil, and where food isn’t being trucked or flown miles to get to us. To me, supporting local just makes sense. I also believe that if you buy from people you know, you want to honour their work, and will take care in how you use the ingredients, how you eat them, you’ll waste less, and you’ll enjoy it more.
- Why bread? I have said it before, and will devote an entire blog post soon to bread. But there is something about bread – it is simple – flour, water, and salt, it takes time, it’s a science and an art, it’s nutritious, it’s delicious, and it’s like a little bug that you catch, it never gets old.
- This next answer comes from a few different questions I’ve recently been asked, and it was slightly an ah-ha moment for me as I started to answer these questions and kept coming back to this… The goal of The Ruby Apron was to inspire people – whether it’s getting back into to the kitchen, learning a skill they’ve wanted to for a while, reconnecting with food, or simply just going to a market to shop, or thinking about where their food comes from and how it goes from an ingredient to a meal. I think there are so many things in our society with food that are sad (rather than teaching kids where a carrot comes from or that food doesn’t come in a plastic wrapper, we are teaching them words like “fat,” “gluten,” and “protein,”… But I also think we are disconnected from eating. I grew up in a family where we ate dinner together at the table most nights, my mum and dad entertained and we were part of that, we went to market gardens, farmers markets, we grew a garden, we were in the kitchen when mum was cooking, these are all things that I am so thankful for. When we were doing all of those things, guess what, mum didn’t have a phone out snapping photos of us, sitting down to quickly post it. When we sat down at the table, dad wasn’t on his phone looking at the hockey score. When mum was cooking and my brothers and I were watching, we didn’t have some gaming device in front of us, or the TV in the corner on (because guess what, we only had one TV in the house, and it wasn’t in the main living space). So guess what, we had to talk, or play a game. My point is – we live in a world where we can’t sit down and eat together without technology – I will admit, I am on technology too much, but we still don’t have our phones at the table, we still talk about our day when we eat together, not on our laps, or in the car, but at the table– isn’t it sad that this is a rare thing?
As I said, I am going to post more on here, and keep you updated with what’s going on, share recipes and ideas, too. Next blog post coming soon – on another topic I have been asked a lot about – sourcing flour, after the scare with some of the more well-known brands of flour, people are asking questions. I will share why and how I source my flour, and why I think it’s such an important thing in my kitchen, stay tuned!