My name is Laura Reybroek and I live on the outskirts of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, one of the sweetest towns around, in my opinion. I have been a home cook for more than 20 years. Feeding my family and friends started out by pure necessity, progressing to hobby and ending up at passion, which is where I am firmly lodged today. In order to learn the fundamentals, I earned my culinary degree at Liaison College. It was an incredible experience and I loved learning how to master the building blocks -- how to make stock properly is my favourite accomplishment. Also, how to cook eggs properly. Not kidding. The perfect, not overcooked, hard boiled egg is a thing of pure beauty.
Everyday things inspire me. Sometimes it's watching a celebrity chef bang out some delicious french pastry on the Food Network (they make it look so easy, don't they?) and other times it's a picture in a magazine or local, seasonal foods that I am lucky enough to be able to get by the truckload around this bountiful place. I find nothing more exciting than trying out a new technique or type of food I am unfamiliar with. Often times, my inspiration is an overabundance of a certain ingredient that I purchased enthusiastically and must use it up before it passes expiry date. I realize rationally that a bunch of brown bananas probably cost 17 cents however, someone grew and picked and shipped those bananas and I loathe wasting food. Especially given how many humans on the planet don't have enough to eat. My freezer is my most useful appliance for food preservation. Having university age kids, it's great to be able to send them back to school with homemade food. Another important inspirational factor, and likely the most important, is what ingredients do I already have on hand? I have a fairly complete pantry and try to keep it stocked. Given that I live 15 minutes from the nearest store, it is all about using what I already have.
This site is, simply, a place where I can share my culinary experiences with anyone who is interested. It is mostly to share what I am cooking and working on at the moment. I don't look at mistakes in the kitchen as failures. Mistakes are learning moments and you won't do them again (hopefully!). As my culinary school Chef said, don't get attached to your ingredients. Toss them and start over. That nugget of advice has served me well and has made trying things less scary for fear of having to throw it all out if it doesn't turn out as hoped (remember, I hate wasting food!). The first time I tried to make hollandaise sauce was 5 years ago. The sauce broke. I didn't know how to fix it and ended up having to throw out, what felt like, an ungodly amount of clarified butter. It was extremely frustrating at the time. I was afraid to try it again and didn't for another 4 years even though hollandaise is my fav. Once I let go of my attachment to the ingredients, I was able to just go for it. Now, it's on the breakfast table at least once a week and I can make it with my eyes closed (sorry sweet Husband, more treadmill for you). So that's what I'm doing. Getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself.
This site is a way for me to share what I'm working on and keep it in one place and perhaps inspire someone out there to get creative and try new things in their own kitchens. This site is going to be a work in progress. I plan on posting some of my own recipes soon too, when I get to it. So, check in again and feel free to let me know if you want to see something on here.
- Laura xo