The Hopeful Cook

Part 1

By: Kristina Heaton


This past week another birthday came and went, and with every birthday comes a bit of introspection. It does for me, at least. I think about the past year; what happened, what lessons did I learn, how did I grow as a person? Well, I have to say, this past year was a big year. Many things happened, but the most significant was the creation of Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop. Last September, this shop was no where near my radar. In fact, I would have said that  you were crazy if you told me where I would end up in 2018.

Here is the funny/ironic part about this shop. My cookbook shop – I don’t cook. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not a bad cook, it’s just not anywhere near the  top of my list of things I like to do. But. I do love to eat, and I do love books. One of my favorite things to do when I was little was to look at my grandma’s recipes. It was a good way to spend time with her. She was always in the kitchen, so I would go in and look through her cabinets and ask her questions. Surprisingly, she didn’t push me to cook with her or help her in anyway. Instead, she told me stories about her childhood, about my mom, about me when I was a baby. These moments were golden to me and a complete treasure.

Since we opened the store in April, I have learned so much about a lot of things. Everything from small business ownership to what kind of spice is a good substitute for mustard. At heart I am a born researcher, so that is one of my favorite parts about the shop; when someone comes in with a question and I am able to figure out the answer for them. Having hand picked every book in our stacks, I can usually find the answers fairly quickly. Knowledge builds, and I’m becoming just smart enough to be dangerous! 🙂

So, in the spirit of reflection, I look forward as well. What are my goals for this year? How am I going to be a better version of myself? I thought a lot about what I want to accomplish during this year, and as this business gets off the ground this year and becomes rooted and established, I’m going to figure out this whole cooking thing. I’m going to cook, bake, and experiment in our shop’s kitchen using cookbooks we have in the shop. This week, I’m going to work through Chrissy Teigen’s first cookbook, Cravings. By the way, her second cookbook hits shelves this week! My favorite thing about her cookbook is that it is so accessible. It’s full of recipes that look delicious, and not completely out of reach for me to make.

You may have heard about the Julie and Julia blog turned book turned movie? I love every part of that story and have seen the movie more than once or twice. It’s just a lovely journey of self discovery and who doesn’t love a good story that warms the heart? I’m hoping to learn more about myself in this process of exploration. I think it will be an interesting year, to be sure! I hope you’ll join me in this journey. Stop in soon and see what I’m working on! I would love to hear some of your secrets and tips for the kitchen!