Jamie S.’s Story

I am 29 years old, married, and the proud mama of a beautiful little boy named Mac. In “real life” my job title is a Residential Supervisor for a great company called Pride Inc. I work for individuals with developmental disabilities, but I like to say, I advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves. Up until two years ago I was the pickiest eater you would have ever met! I wouldn’t try anything new. The name of a food determined whether I ate it or not. I thought the only vegetable ever made was corn, and it came from a can. I refused to eat anything healthy because I believed the long standing misconception that “if it’s good for you, it has to taste bad!” Cooking has always been easy for me, but for a long time I stuck to the few meals I knew I liked because of my pickiness. Through the years, my husband opened my eyes to all of the varieties and different tastes this world has to offer. That’s when my creativity in the kitchen started flowing.

It changed from a hobby to a passion the day I realized that food didn’t need to come from a box, and I wasn’t confined to some recipe on a piece of paper! That I could take an idea and make it into something my own….something so much more! My husband will often ask me after I have tried a new recipe “did you write that down?” (That’s a sign that he really likes it), because I am always trying new things, changing “this” or adding “that”.

When I met my best friend, Marisa. We shared a love for cooking and I finally met someone who understood my passion, she understood my art. You see, I can’t dance, I can’t draw or even carry a tune. My form of art comes out in the kitchen. It’s the time and energy I put into making a healthy, rounded, meal. It’s combining ordinary ingredients and making them taste extraordinary. It’s changing people’s perceptions on how healthy food is “supposed” to taste. It’s the satisfaction I get when someone enjoys my food and it’s the pride and joy I feel knowing that I’m teaching my child healthy eating habits and a better way of life.

When my cousin first introduced me to Bountiful Baskets, I immediately fell in love and dove in head first. I am so blessed that she opened up this world for me. Bountiful Baskets has opened up so many doors in my life and expanded my horizons. I love being a Volunteer Site Coordinator

And I love the other leaders at our Pride site. The volunteers humble me and remind me what this co-op is about. I enjoy getting to know the participants who keep coming week after week. One thing I enjoy is how we share tips, recipes and ideas on the different ways to use our basket items. We have some pretty creative people in our group! Every single person involved in this co-op is beyond dedicated. From the participants, and volunteers to the Volunteer Site Monitors, Volunteer Site Coordinators, Volunteer Area Coordinators (Emily!!), the people who put together the add-ons, all the way up to Tanya and Sally. Every person gives their all because they believe in what they’re doing. The thing that makes us unique is that we all recognize that we need each other. We value each other and the role each of us plays. I live in North Dakota so quality, fresh produce isn’t cheap or easy to come by. Bountiful Baskets has changed that. It has also brought new and exciting food to our dinner table! The vegetables my 2 year old eats on a daily basis is ridiculous! Getting to share Bountiful Baskets with my best friend is my favorite part of this co-op. It is expanding our mutual love and passion for food and healthy living.

Sharing that with someone who understands me makes the hard work worth it for me.

In my world, I show you love by cooking for you, because I put my heart and soul in every one of my meals.

Angela D’s Story

I grew up in my granny’s kitchen watching her cook from the time she held me on her hip, to when I was sitting on the counter all on my own, to the age where I was helping her cook.  My grandparents came from a time where they either raised or shot what they ate, and my parents did a little of that as well.  A lot of what I do comes from years of absorbing what I saw, and I usually don’t have to think much about what I do.  I’ve also watched a lot of Food Network and other cooking programs and have picked up ideas as I have gone along.

I was introduced to Bountiful Baskets a year and a half ago and within a few months, I was running our town’s third weekly site.  I enjoy talking to other participants about how they use the produce, and have learned many good ideas from our talks.  The thing that I regret most about running a site is that I don’t have enough time to share with participants the numerous ways they can use that basket item that they just can’t figure out or just don’t like.  This is the main reason I have started blogging.  I hope my ideas can help those participants reach out of their comfort zone and try something new and love it.

Bountiful Baskets has helped my children have a more well-rounded diet than a lot of adults I know, and I am grateful for that.  My friends are always amazed at what I cook at home, and I hope my blogs can help them see how easy these dishes are to make for their own families.

Running an early morning site (I’m there at 5 A.M.) is not always easy with two small children, but it honestly makes my day to bring those baskets to my community.  It always makes me smile when I can share an idea with a participant on how to use something “new.”  So don’t be afraid to think outside the box!