My name is Samantha Hirata. I am a Southern transplant. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona and later moved to Virginia as a child. My family initially came from Virginia- all the way down to my 15th great grandfather Richard Nance, who settled here in 1639. Little wonder I feel such kinship with my home! I love all aspects of Southern life: from the drowsy summers filled with fresh strawberries and lemonade, the fall harvest and the ever-present scent of apple cider, to the cold springs that eventually bring the first buds of apple blossoms to the barren trees. I love the kindness of my neighbors: a smooth sort of Southern charm that you wouldn’t understand if you haven’t experienced it first-hand and even the idle gossip that stems from years of knowing everyone from such a small little town. I am always ready for a new Southern experience: deer hunting, moon shining, camping; you name it I’m up for trying it!
My love of food is also generational. When I was little, I remember helping my mother in the kitchen by stirring ingredients together or cutting shapes into cookie dough. I also remember dancing in that same kitchen and giggling over arts and crafts while eating yummy treats my mom and made before we came home from school. My grandmother’s kitchen held similar stories of paper lined tables set up for little hands to decorate her famous sugar cookies for Christmas, then in the spring it was Easter eggs, and later in the summer gathering for Nance tacos on Friday nights. These memories are precious to me. They are memories of love and laughter and safety. You can fix anything with a good home cooked meal.
My mother has always joked, “Your obsession with food scares me”. Years later, I responded to this comment by joking back, “I am not obsessed. I am a ‘foodie’, it’s in my blood!” Though my mother had grown up with Sunday meals, she didn’t necessarily understand why food was an integral part of my day. I am obsessed with creating new dishes and trying new things. Food is sustenance so shouldn’t it be made with care?
The purpose of this blog will be to chronicle these events, my adventures into all things Southern, and my attempts at mastering the art of food. Thank you for stopping by to read more about me. I hope you enjoy my site!