My name is Ruth Richardson and I live in Toronto with my husband (Andrew) and 3 children (Joshua, Rebekah, and Samuel). Occasionally I talk about them in my posts so it’s important that you know who they are. Well, and they are my biggest fans and toughest critics so they are an influence in all I do on v:gourmet. And they are good-looking and nice. And collectively have a really weird sense of humour, which helps when your wife/mother is “veganized” as my youngest likes to point out.
I’ve done lots of interesting things like live in Italy, start a micro-philanthropy fund, build a consulting business, paddle the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan, and eat strange things (I won’t mention what) in Africa’s rift valley.
But if you’re reading “about me” you probably want to know about “the v:gourmet me.” So 10 facts about me that have something, remote as it may be, to do with this blog:
- My grandparents were farmers in southern Ontario and I spent a lot of time on that farm. My grandmother’s rough, dirt encrusted hands will be forever etched in my memory, especially those hands peeling potatoes in her little plastic turquoise bin of water – filled with just enough water to clean the veggies but not be wasteful. She, along with her kitchen and garden, moved my soul.
- Now I grow a lot of garlic on my own farm in Prince Edward County. I got the original seed stock from the fabulous Jim Drescher of Windhorse Farm in New Germany, Nova Scotia. In 2011 I harvested 3000 bulbs from the original 8.
- I don’t like eggplant very much but I love Jamie Oliver.
- I spent years working at the Metcalf Foundation investing in Ontario’s sustainable food system. It was awesome work which empowered me to support incredible people doing amazing things across the province to create a food system that is local, healthy, sustainable, and supports our farmers to make a decent living.
- I just spent way too much money on containers for my spices. I couldn’t help it. You should see my spice drawer now. It would make you salivate and turn green with envy.
- My weakness is potato chips. Especially Honey Dijon Kettle Brand Potato Chips. Currently they are banned from the house because we can’t help ourselves when the pre-dinner munchies hit us.
- My mom is a great cook. Growing up she served us salmon soufflés, roast chickens, and Coquilles St. Jacques (for a brief period after she took a fancy cooking course). She has a thing with butter so everything was smothered with animal fat but she loved cooking, took time to do it, and used it as a way to bring together family and friends. It must have rubbed off on me.
- I can be clumsy in the kitchen and have been known to, on occasion, cut my fingers with really sharp Japanese knives. Especially when I’m tired or the kids are talking to me and I’m distracted. I really have to get better at that whole zen cooking thing.
- I’m not sure if the kids think I’m nuts or have great admiration for me where “this vegan thing” is concerned. But parents are good at delusion and denial when it comes to their kids so I’m going with the great admiration side of the equation. I’m pretty sure they think I’m the best vegan mom in the world.
- I dream of doing a cookbook, as crazy an exercise as that may be. Thought I’d just put it out there in the universe.
So that’s a completely random list of random facts about me. But hopefully it will provide a small window into who I am and why food is important to me. You will find out a lot more reading my recipes, drifting through my musings, and following me online.