Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Looking Back on my White House Visit 10 Years Later

I think you probably just need to look at the date of my last post (March 4, 2020) to figure out where I’ve been. Wow…that was a lot wasn’t it? I know at the time I promised a look back at favorite recipes and memories to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my blog but then 2020 happened and plans changed a bit. And while I wasn’t writing here I was still writing. But let’s talk about that some other time.

Today I want to talk about another anniversary. The anniversary of my trip to the White House on October 19, 2012. For those that are new here, here is a quick recap from the beginning.

In 2010, I was a young mom with a 2 year old and an 8 year old. I was a terrible cook. I could barely manage to boil water for pasta. I mean, on a scale of 1 to 10 we were starting at ZERO!

After watching the movie, Julie and Julia, about a woman that cooks her way through Julia Child's cookbook, I decided that I would do what she did. I’d pick a cookbook and cook my way through it. Hopefully along the way I’d learn to cook. For accountability, I decided I'd blog about the experience, just like Julie in the movie. At the time, blogging was a very new thing and I honestly thought my mom and sister would read it and that would be it.

I picked British Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook for my challenge. The idea behind the book was that everyone could and should learn how to cook, which went great with my plan. So, in March 2010 I started to cook my way through Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook. The goal was 173 recipes in 365 days.

About three months into the cooking journey, I got an email from someone on Jamie Oliver's team. They had found me and asked if I wanted to be one of Jamie Oliver's “Food Revolution Heroes!” That email kicked off a whole new leg of my crazy journey. I was also asked to be a lead in Jamie's Ambassador program. I taught cooking classes at Whole Foods. I was featured in newspaper articles. But the most surreal of them all was being invited to the  White House on October 19, 2012. We were actually invited two days. On the first day we could bring our families for a tour. The second day was the “social media meet-up.” It was one of the first in the city. There were about 50 of us and we had been chosen from a pool of about 1,000 from around the country. We had an amazing tour of the White House gardens, including Michelle Obama's kitchen garden. We heard from the White House pastry chef and the White House social media team. We even got a wave from President Obama as he made his way to the West Wing that morning. It was such an amazing day and I met so many lovely people that day. I love that we still keep in touch. 

My cooking journey was so much more than just learning to cook. It taught me to be brave and bold. It taught me that you just never know who is watching and appreciating you. 

As you can probably guess, my Food Revolution blog is a bit of a story within a story. I'm working hard to write the rest of that story. You never know, it could be a book someday! Stranger things have being invited to the White House!

Happy Cooking!



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