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I grew up mostly on canned and processed foods after my mother died when I was 8, take-out being my dads idea of cooking, not that I blame him. Having to raise 3 kids as a military father must have been hard. At the age of 16 I was out on my own and had no idea how to cook. I felt burdened by the amount of recipes out there, unable to be creative in the kitchen, and lacking the income to purchase new and exotic ingredients called for in many interesting recipes I came across. I was so used to opening up some ravioli that I completely lost interest in cooking until my "mother-in-law" showed me that it can be simple, quick and fun to try a new recipe, even if only once a week. My passion flared and a new me was born. After a while I began to fall back into my old ways, having a young child and what seemed like no time, I focused on gardening instead and raised a healthy boy on fresh, organic vegetables. When I seperated from my son's father I met a man who also was accustomed to processed foods, and we found it hard to prepare good meals on a tight budget. My brother, sister and father are all vegetarians now, my sis having went one step farther into becoming vegan. At Thanksgiving this year I read the intro for her cookbook, 'In The Garden of Vegan' and I completely related to the authors story, of growing up eating canned foods, living on scraps and half-meals, and I knew it was time to change. Today I am eager to cook, but because my shift is 12-7 I miss the opportunity to prepare dinner. My days off are spent mostly in the kitchen, baking, creating and experimenting with flavours, spices and new ingredients. My passion is sincere, and my eagerness stronger then ever. I realize how important food is in life, and the memories you can create from gathering around a table. Long live the kitchen!!! Young Mom