Nestled into the far northeast region of the United States is a clear and craggy coastline. In the late summer, an early morning fog shrouds the jagged rocks. Gulls are the vultures of the sea and they scour the beach for breakfast, mewing into the dawn. Local fishermen are up even earlier- before the birds, before the sun, sorting through strong, tide-tattered traps. The smell of salt, pine and old farmhouses is never far off. This is where I live.
Have you heard of Maine? It is dark and beautiful and salty and cold. Nature is everywhere but it is conspicuously abundant here, with mountains, forests, lakes and the sea. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all. Maine is where the wealthiest come to summer, with their yachts, clean clothes and shiny tennis rackets. It has more coastline than California, and all of the blueberries you could ever fill your belly with. Apples and fiddleheads, too. Maine is incredulously prolific if you know where to go. (If you don’t, a local will surely point you in the right direction.) It’s where the trees become fiery and haunting in the fall, and an unforgiving, magical wonderland coats the landscape in the winter. It is perfect for raising a family. Maine is many things, but for me, most of all, it is home.
Speaking of home: Do you have children? I have four, and if I’m truly honest, I would have ten more. They are my lifeline and the true teachers in my life. The imbalance of chaos and lulls plays the ever present reminder in my life to stay humble, grateful and compassionate. I love love, and their presence keeps it reminiscent in my heart. Roman, our eldest and now 12, has always been a quiet, internal boy. He takes after me in the kitchen, though music has a solid place in his heart. Amelia is our eldest girl, and she’s a budding artist as I once was. Audacious and intuitive, she goes after what she wants- a trait she did not inherit from Ryan nor myself. She turned 10 in May and celebrated by shaving all her hair off. Bold for a ten year old, right? As a mother, I was both horrified and impressed. Our toddler, Fiona, is lovingly known as our wild child. She can not sit still and I do not try to make her. Her hilarity is ethereal. Isla is our baby, and we all naturally treat her as such. Her name is pronounced EYE-luh. She is all the sweetest things a baby can be- sleepy, squealing joy bundled up in a hand-me-down baby blanket.
It can be chaotic and our home is often messy, but there are many tender moments and even a few quiet ones. We are all always seeking connection, understanding and belonging and I do my best to be at the helm of the ship. I have always wanted a big family; laundry, diapers and judgement be damned. Whether we’ve hit capacity (or not) is yet to be seen. Rest assured, dear reader, there is more to come.
Cooking is my love language. It is a passion that has evolved organically over the years, and a skill I value dearly now. I grew up amongst culinary aficionados, trained bakers and restaurant owners. I also grew up where the produce was picked just this morning and the seafood was caught a few miles offshore. It’s inevitable that food would play a large part in my life. I like to think of myself as a recovering food snob, but I relapse often and I don’t feel bad about it. I like the best foods and I don’t see what is wrong with that. With that said, I strongly believe that the best foods are the simplest and many of my recipes reflect that belief. Fresh, quality ingredients and simple combinations. I cook from the heart, always with the intention of gifting an experience. I am an artist, and a romantic- I like to make beautiful things and my cooking is not exempt from that. Our family time at home is often gathering with food, whether it’s movie night, a beach day or holidays or Saturday morning. Cooking for family is what I do.
My name is Amber and I am a photographer, stylist, writer, cook and mother.