In Perfect Harmony

While many see food as a gateway to the sense of taste, when done correctly it can open the pathway to an experience rich with all five: taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. 

I remember as a child waking up to the smell of a homemade breakfast my mother was making before school, the sweet scent of cinnamon rolls and the sound of crackling bacon making itself known as I walked into the kitchen. Seeing my mom drizzle the sweet, homemade icing on the fresh cinnamon rolls, like the professionals do in fancy cooking shows, while sneaking a crispy piece of bacon from the plate behind her and trying to stealthily wipe the grease onto her apron.

As she begins to wrap up her cooking, I set the table with our favorite dish set and bring the platters of food for our Southern breakfast mini-buffet. Our family gathers and my father says our daily prayer at the head of the table, and the second it is concluded with the family “Amen,” my siblings and I immediately dig in. I quickly grab the prettiest looking cinnamon roll that I’d had my eye on since we sat down, battering away at the hands of my siblings reaching for the same one. The saltiness of the bacon mixed with its satisfying crunch makes me appreciate these family meals and times spent in the kitchen, which would later lead to my career. 

Looking back on these memories of family banter and homecooked meals, I enjoy being able to recreate those moments with a family of my own, as well as helping other families create their own memories and traditions through my catering business.

Now I spend my time in the kitchen with my own daughter, recreating and passing on the memories I had as a child, hoping she can do the same. We create our own experiences making passed-down recipes we tweak to make our own, continuing the family banter over who gets the best cinnamon roll and spending quality time with family at the breakfast table.

Along with spending time with my own family, being able to donate breakfast food to schools for class events, catering weddings and family events helps tie together good memories with a good background—the things you shouldn’t need to worry about if your main focus is reconnecting with friends and family, or getting married—to help other people reminisce the next time they take a bite of crunchy bacon or smell a sweet cinnamon roll. 

Helping people share these experiences with their families while I do so with my own is one of many factors that pushed me to create my catering business. Building this company has allowed me to bring people together in the ways I want my family to be brought together: with food, fun, and quality family time.

Food is a way to bring together all five senses to a place of harmony. Without smell, there is no taste. Watching your mom make breakfast for the family makes you appreciate it so much more. The smell and sound of cracking bacon with the oven preheat “beep” being what gets you out of bed in the morning. The feel of holding hands with your family while blessing the food before you end up sticky-fingered and covered in cinnamon, icing and bacon grease. It’s almost like the senses are another happy family; when they’re all together, good memories are to be made, while eating good food at the table with those you love. 

Pumpkin Bread

Servings: Makes 2 loaves

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 65 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it, such as Pam with Flour or Baker’s Joy).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point — that’s okay.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  5. Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Fresh out of the oven,the loaves have a deliciously crisp crust. If they last beyond a day, you can toast individual slices to get the same fresh-baked effect.