Behind our yummy recipes, reviews and photos are creative cooks, crafters, photographers and food lovers. This month we’re spending time with Andi of Longmeadow Farm!
Can you tell us about your farm upbringing, and what brought you back to it after other jobs?
I was born and raised upon this farm. As an only child, I would spend hours and hours wading in our streams, skipping rocks on the nearby lake and learning to take care of cattle. I was always by my father’s side, working and learning about running the farm. When I grew up, I naturally moved away, as most youngsters do; I worked as a nurse, a computer specialist and, my most rewarding position, a mother. But this graceful farm was quietly but firmly calling in the back of my mind, and I wished and hoped for the day to rejoin her and become the full-time owner and operator of her. This has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
We absolutely love your farming background. How has that lifestyle influenced your cooking? Growing up on a self-sufficient farm is a joyous thing! I am so blessed. My cooking has and will always be based on the four seasons and what is on the farm during those seasons. I grow more than 50 types of vegetables, fruits and berries, so it’s not hard to live on this beautiful array of fresh foods the whole year through. We also grow organic beef, so we do eat beef a couple of times a week.
Your food photography is really, really gorgeous. How did you get so good? Are you self-taught?Oh gosh, I am deeply humbled. Thank you! I will say that I started shooting food photos when I first came to Recipezaar/Food.com and was greatly influenced and strongly encouraged by a wonderful very professional photographer and fellow chef, Thorsten. I shudder now, and squeal in horror, how I first started, but Thorsten encouraged me through that time. So yes, I am completely self-taught, and I have learned through trial and error.
It’s your last meal. What are you having?
Steak. That’s it. And it better be rare.
You love spicy foods. What are your favorite hot dishes?
I do! I think my taste buds are gone now, however. I do love these “hot” recipes:
What’s your favorite Food.com recipe?
I have humbly reviewed more than 1,800 recipes on Food.com – and I love so many! I make so many so often, I had to go look back and see my faves and came up with Mexican Rice by Potscrubber. I use this about once a week!
Do you have a favorite member/chef here at Food.com?
Now that is hard! I have so many lovely friends on here, many that I know will last a lifetime, so it would be just awful to pick. However, I do have to mention my dear friend ~Nimz~, who is one of my longest and dearest friends I have met on Zaar/Food.com. We have worked together as co-hosts for a long, long time, and I coincidentally make a lot of her recipes. We share the same type of cooking attitude, both cooking for our families. Fun fact: ~Nimz~ is quite scared of cows so when we mention the word “cows” on Food.com, we have to spell it backward: SWOC. To this day, I have my Maryland license plates that say, “LUVSWOC” all thanks to this gal pal of mine, and Food.com.
Confession time: What’s your guilty pleasure dish; the thing you eat when no one is looking?
Ha! Well, to be totally honest, I have to say that a good bologna sandwich on soft white bread is first and foremost my very guilty pleasure dish. I’ve loved them since I was a child! One of my favorite recipes for this is Fried Bologna Sandwich by Chef Mommie.
What’s your most epic cooking flop? Did you cry? Save it? Or just get takeout?
I once cooked a whole vat of strawberry jelly. It took quite a long part of my day to do it, and I proceeded to spill the whole thing on the floor. I didn’t cry, but I think I might have screamed, not from actual pain, but mental anguish. I couldn’t save it. Even my mastiff got tired of licking it off the floor.
Want more Andi? So do we! Browse through this gorgeous gallery — 10 great recipes featuring Andi’s mouth-watering photos.