About

Thank you for visiting Bread and Putter. I’m Jennifer Adams and I’ve been blogging in one format or another since 2002. 

Taking a cooking class at the former Connecticut Culinary Institute

I started out writing for Masslive.com, the website of the Springfield, MA newspaper, The Republican. I wrote a blog about my hometown called West Side Story back in the old days when nobody could even comment on the posts!  I found I was more inspired by food and cooking and started up another blog for Masslive.com called Valley Victuals.  West Side Story was lost when Masslive upgraded their servers, but Valley Victuals exists in the archives.  Just in case, I have also archived Valley Victuals here on a WordPress blog.

I started Bread and Putter so I could be independent and blog in my own way on my own terms, and that’s what the name is all about too.  Bread represents my love of all things food, but I love to putter around with other things too.  I don’t actually golf all that much  (I do own my own clubs!), but I do putter in the garden, with photography, a little storytelling and a touch of snark.

Me

At the Big Summer Potluck - best food blogger meet-up ever!

I don’t have any of those touching stories about growing up at my grandmother’s knee baking alongside her. In fact, neither of my grandmothers were particularly known for their cooking. Just ask my mother – she’ll tell you about the big bowl of boiled green beans and potatoes that was dinner in her house growing up, and how she sat at the table until 9:00 PM refusing to eat it.  My mother learned to cook in Home Economics class in the 60’s and picked up a few more things as working wife in the 70’s. But I wasn’t paying much attention back then and didn’t learn much.

My early cooking adventures were kind of pathetic.  I once cooked a hot dog in a frying pan that was burned on the outside and still frozen in the middle.  I could always bake – I can follow instructions pretty darn well, but cooking always seemed a little more loosey-goosey. There are things about cooking apparently you are just supposed to know instinctively or something, and I didn’t.

Two things happened in my 20’s to change all that.  First, I started traveling for work and started eating some of the best food of my life, courtesy of a manager who had seen the world and noted the best food in most of the major cities in the United States.  Second, I started dating this divorced guy with two little kids.  And suddenly I was being asked to help out on nights when they were all playing softball and could I just get dinner started?

There was a lot of trial and tribulation.  I had the most difficulty figuring out how to time main courses and side dishes to all be ready at the same time. (Okay, I still occasionally struggle with that!) But then a third thing came into play – Alton Brown and Good Eats. I tend to have a scientific way of thinking, so Alton’s style of teaching and entertaining immediately appealed to me.  I started to learn how cooking really worked without even realizing it because I was having so much fun watching. 

AB book signing-3[1]

Me with Alton at a book signing

That divorced guy eventually became my husband and those little kids are now my adult stepdaughters and they all got to enjoy the fruits of my labors and suffer through the fails.  These days there’s generally a lot more good eats around here than sad fails, but I usually share it all here, good or bad. I have no problem letting you the reader learn from my mistakes. Like don’t try to separate the glass part of your blender top with the plastic base when it is full of strawberry puree.  And definitely don’t blend hot soup while wearing a v-neck top.

Me at CCI

These days I’m willing to take on all sort of kitchen challenges and I’ve developed an appreciation of all kinds of cuisines.  My late mother-in-law was a wonderful cook and baker and through her and my husband’s family I have learned many fantastic Armenian dishes. I also love Greek, Italian and Middle Eastern food. 

I’m interested in eating more locally and sustainably and I’ve recently joined a meat CSA that features only grass-fed, humanely raised beef, pork and lamb products.  I feel a little more like I am doing my part that way, but I understand it isn’t necessarily practically or fiscally possible for everyone.

I really love cheese and bacon. I hate coffee, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, beets and anything that leaves orange cheese powder on my fingertips. Dark chocolate is the best chocolate but milk chocolate is good too if there’s peanut butter in it.  There’s nothing quite like hot crusty bread fresh out of the oven with some good butter on it.

I don’t have a DSLR and I can’t always take my food pictures in natural light, but I do the best I can with my point and shoot and the crappy light in my kitchen. I occasionally blather on about Project Runway or Mad Men, and more often than not about my dog.  Just look at him!  You’d talk about him too if he was your dog.

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Ozzie

I love hearing back from you, so please leave a comment.  Or, you can contact me by email at breadandputter @gmail .com.  Thanks for stopping by!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy December 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

Please get in touch with me. You’ve won the cookie box! email: cathy@mrswheelbarrow.com
Happy Holidays!
Cathy

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Joy December 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Your dog has the sweetest eyes! I just want to smoosh her and that’s a good thing. I’m like you, I started cooking because of my children. I loved food and could bake but cooking? It took a lot of experimenting and now I can envision flavour combinations in my mind and create it. Food is fun and if I had a scientific mind, I think I’d be a chemist.

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JenniferA December 21, 2010 at 1:54 am

Thanks for your comments, Joy! And I agree – Ozzie is smushable in the best possible way.

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Scott Thomas Photography December 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Nice to get to know you a little better, Jen!

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Sscvdsvds November 4, 2011 at 1:34 am

hi

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maggy@threemanycooks May 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Love your new site! And I must say – that picture of you from BSP is wonderful! We’ll have to get your new head shot at BSP2 😉

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JenniferA - Bread and Putter May 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Thank you so much, Maggy! I think the fact that I was having such a wonderful time at BSP really shows on my face. And the fabulous light at your parents’ house doesn’t hurt either! 😉

See you in July!

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Trish Dinsmore May 2, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I love your story here. You and your sister are wonderful writers!

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JenniferA - Bread and Putter May 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Awww, thanks. We also have a really nice mother. :-)

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Sonya November 28, 2014 at 5:04 am

I love your story!

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Sonya November 28, 2014 at 5:05 am

LOL, just realized that I said the same thing as the commenter above me – I had not read her comment when I posted – you really do have a great story, clearly :)

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