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family baking

what is this place?

Oh hi there, friends! Welcome to my humble culinary abode. I'm so glad you're here.

Growing up, making home made meals and desserts was right up there with practicing your instruments every day and wearing only clean clothes in the living room as Things That Must Be Done. Granted it was much more enjoyable than either of those second two, but boy was it ever a tenant of childhood. It became a point of shared pride and bonding with all of us, though, and my three sisters and I have kept up the tradition as we've become adults, and as some have had children of their own.

My Own Little Mess is my haven for much of this. Here is where I get to share the recipes I love - both those of my childhood and those I create now - and the traditions that made cooking and baking such a joyful part of all our lives.

The table is the heart of community and that is the heart of this blog. I am so excited to share these meals with you!

why do you call it such?

family traditions

As the (very much) youngest of four sisters, the greater percentage of my childhood was spent running after them in an insatiable determination to mimic whatever they did. Whether this was walking, speaking, dressing, or mannerisms, I was that excited puppy that hopped around at their heels in sheer adoration. So naturally, I insisted on joining in on the familial baking as well. "I can do it myself!" became a stack of child-sized baking implements, a bowl of flour, a measuring cup of water, and miscellaneous leftover ingredients they no longer needed and which I would bend to my culinary will: My Own Little Mess, as it was subsequently dubbed. They created marvels of cakes and pies and towering platters of fresh cinnamon rolls while I made lattice-work out of leftover crust and filled it with applesauce and spices in my greatest achievement: Apple Sauce Cinnamon Sugar Pie.

The memory of my own little mess faded for the most part into the relics of family joke time and fond reminiscences, until this blog was born and my childhood self popped back in to hand me a plate full of nostalgia - and a name.

who am I, anyway?

I'm Whitney Evans Harrison, a writer, photographer, foodie, dinner party enthusiast, and punner extraordinaire who currently lives in the Chicago area. I get to spend my 9-5 in the wonderful world of publishing, while simultaneously harboring grand aspirations of someday completing one of the many half-written works of fiction currently living a shame-faced existence on my hard drive and owning a house-trained rabbit named Miles.

Favorite things include hummus, reading, event planning, coffee, the BBC, homemade baked goods, a boy named Aaron, and Lila our adopted dachshund mix.

I've been cooking and baking since I toddled about in diapers, and covered the kitchen table with "my own little mess." My ingredients of choice are more than just flour and water now. I promise. (Sorry again about the state of that kitchen table, mom...)

my own little mess author


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