I am neither Guinea nor the Pig; my husband Tom and our dogs (past & present) Buffy, Ginger and Buddy retain those titles. On any given day however, dependent on circumstance or menu, the role might be reversed between the two of them. Ginger inherited the title from her sister Buffy, but Buffy was rarely Guinea and mostly the Pig (I mean this in the most affectionate way of course).

Buffy was with me for sixteen years before she decided she had finally seen me through what she had been sent to me for, and despite her love of my cooking, our adventures together and apart, it was time to pass the torch and finally get some much needed rest from looking over me on earth. I fully believe she is still looking over me from wherever it is that dogs go when their furryness has no choice but to leave their abbreviated life with us. I also believe she coaches Ginger here and there as well. Ginger was born the day after Buffy passed and I often can envision an escalator taking Buffy one direction and Ginger the other; at some point they cross each other on the way and there is an understanding and familiarity between the two.

Buffy was eight years old when I met, my husband Tom. She was large for her size which should have been an indication, I suppose, that I fed her far too well. She loved to eat and this arrangement worked out well for me because I loved to cook. Enter Tom, and now I had an audience that was both delighted to and willing to eat whatever was at my whim that day. I experimented often and was constantly trying new foods, new techniques and new ways of serving them. The experimenting was really meant for Tom but like I said, Buffy was always well fed from the table so her desire to stop receiving them was really not an option.

One year (1998, I’ve recently noticed), for my birthday, I was given a journal to write my recipes and thoughts on food; the card was signed “Love, Guinea & the Pig” and so this is how, to me, from that day forward they both became affectionately known.

When Buffy departed, Ginger soon became two pairs of helping paws, taking center court on an orange carpet square (her self-appointed place at the head of our kitchen) awaiting the duties of chief taster/helper extraordinaire.

Two years ago, another piggy came around, his name is Buddy; more on that later. And…well, I now have 10 legs in the kitchen; Tom knows to keep from being underfoot/paw.

Over 15 years and six journals later, I have decided it is time to take public this conversation I am constantly having with myself, my Guinea and my Pigs! I am new to this world of blog but can’t think of anything more interesting than to have a chance to connect with other like-minded food fanatics who think, read, eat and talk about food as ordinarily as if they are breathing.

Special thanks and a big shout out to honorary pig, long time great friend and favorite Uncle/person of Buffy, Ginger & Buddy – Pete Woychick! He has supported this project with his talent (see header art), friendship and seeing that my good intentions to putting this out there made it from words on a page to words on a blog! Thanks Pete!

In the days, weeks, months and maybe even years to come, I will be sharing my thoughts from the kitchen right here… perhaps someone out there is listening and will share some thoughts right back!