Who’s Peggy Lampman?

Peggy Lampman

Dirty dishes never end in my world.

About My Work: I’m a writer, cook and photographer. After graduating from the University of Michigan, I was employed with Hill and Knowlton in Manhattan, and worked as a technical writer and photographer on international accounts. In the eighties, I returned to Ann Arbor to open a specialty food store, The Back Alley Gourmet.

After 20 years of honing my skills as a business owner, cook, recipe writer, and cooking class instructor, I sold the store. It’s still thriving; a fine establishment, check it out if you’re passing through. After the sale, at last I was afforded to time to pursue my passion  as a writer and photographer. I took on the challenge of writing a real time food blog for AnnArbor.com for 365 consecutive days, including weekends and holidays, as a way of disciplining myself to transfer exhaustive files of pulp recipes to digital.

Each culinary musing, from the pantry to my mouth, includes a recipe and photographs.  My by-line may be found every weekday on AnnArbor.com and MLive.com. I launched this site in November of 2011; welcome to dinnerFeed!

 

About this site: My recipes are clearly-written and well-tested; the results of thirty years in my professional and home kitchens. For my store to be successful, I had to learn what my customers wanted to eat and be consistent in my delivery. After working long hours, I had to pull it together to provide healthy food for my children, who didn’t necessarily want to eat “adult food” from my store. “My spatula is not a magic wand!” was, and still remains, a favorite refrain.

Husband Richard avoiding dishes altogether.

Husband Richard avoiding dishes altogether.

The recipes in this blog are accessible and delicious. They are more than lists of ingredients and vague instruction; I share my thoughts on preparation and ideas on what can be made in advance. My blogs sometimes inspire stories from the food’s point of view; if a recipe insists I think like a cabbage, I acquire the voice of the cabbage.

I categorize recipes according to my own, and my families, bias. I understand, for instance, many kids don’t like food with green things, but my kids like vegetables so you will find vegetables with the kid food. The recipes are a suggestion; customize them as you will. More about my philosophy on nutrition…

I’ve been accumulating recipes for 30 years from my family, friends, co-workers, books, magazines and readers such as yourself. I’ve been on the “learn while you burn” plan and for every recipe that makes the cut to this site, dozens lie buried in the trenches.

I can’t zest your citrus, or dice your carrots; but I can entertain you with unbiased, seasonal advise and no-gimmick recipes that are delicious.  I hope you enjoy visiting me as much as I enjoy writing and sharing my culinary discoveries with you.

 

About My Life and Family: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Birmingham, Alabama are my home towns, each unique citizenry shaped by their passion for food, which have inspired my cooking through the years.

Daughter Greta designs furniture in Chicago.

Daughter Greta designs furniture in Chicago.

Raised in Alabama, Farm-to-Table  is no fad for me, but a way of living. I grew up eating food drenched in sunshine, heavy from the vine. My family still lives in the house where I was raised, a plume of smoke more than likely curling from the chimney in the back woods barbecue pit, where a pork butt smokes. The Birmingham Farmers Market – Pepper Place – is one of my favorite spots in America; I visit whenever I can.

I left Alabama to earn my BA from the University of Michigan. After college, I landed a job in New York. The bourgeoning new American food scene, however, captured my passions far more than my career in public relations. I returned to my beloved college town, and opened the Back Alley Gourmet in 1981 – been here ever since. Ann Arbor is a small city, but because of the University of Michigan and tech “shops” such as Google dotting the downtown landscape, it has an uptown, cosmopolitan flavor.

Son Zan reading his original poetry at Camp Bacon.

Son Zan reading his original poetry at Camp Bacon.

Ann Arbor is a mecca of international cuisine, and I’ve dozens of ethnic markets, farmer’s markets, the nationally acclaimed Zingerman’s, a Trader Joe’s and two Whole Foods in spitting distance of my kitchen.  A couple of years back,Bon Appetit  named Ann Arbor runner-up for the best small foodie town in American. In October, 2011, The New York Times described Ann Arbor as the ultimate college town, going into length about our food scene. The relationships I’ve built with the local fishmongers, butchers and bakers are priceless. Lord, how I love this town.

I raised two children, Greta, a custom furniture designer in Chicago, who was featured in Chicago Home and Garden, one of the many magazines featuring her talents of late.   Greta is a graduate of The Art Institute in Chicago. My son, Zan, graduated with a poetry degree from the University of Michigan.  I was a single mom while raising my kids, and understand the challenges of feeding your children tasty and nutritious food. One of my first dates with Richard (my husband of 6 years) was at Zan’s high school graduation party. It was a barbecue, and I threw him into the pit to see if he could take the heat.

A herd of grandkids laying low.

A herd of grandkids laying low.

He survived and we married the next year. Richard added three step-children, plus their ten kids, to my life. My oh my! For added fun I hang with packs of friends and we enjoy food, wine, and conversation strategizing a healthy community.  My friend Lori, in fact, is strategizing a healthier planet. Check our her Amara Conservation work in Kenya.

I’ve travelled the world in unrestrained delight inhaling the local color and food that speak of a culture’s passion – France, Italy, Thailand, Turkey, Mexico Greece and Ireland are recent favorites – not to mention the nooks and crannies of America. My husband’s and my next adventure will be a road trip through New Zealand and Australia this spring – I’ll post my favorite feeds.