If you want to know about the writing I do that pays the bills, feel free to head on over to my professional site, EmilyStimpson.com. There, you’ll find my books (The Catholic Table, The American Catholic Almanac, These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body, and The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years). You’ll also find some Bible studies, study guides, and a whole lot of articles and essays, written over the years for the likes of Our Sunday Visitor, National Catholic Register, CatholicVote, First Things, Lay Witness, Touchstone, and more.
The official bio is there as well: school, professional highlights, etc. etc. It’s all very exciting…or not.
For the purposes of The Catholic Table, however, this what you need to know.
First, I’m not a professionally trained chef. Not by a long shot. The sum total of my culinary education includes a year of helping run two Christian retreat centers (where, for who knows what reason, the cooking duties often fell to me and where I spent the occasional weekend cooking with professional guest chefs); countless hours poring through cookbooks (when I should have been eating instead, but wasn’t because I was trying to starve myself to death); and 15 years of non-stop entertaining (mostly because in Steubenville, Ohio, where I lived until December 2016, there wasn’t much else to do).
Second, that whole “trying to starve myself to death” thing lasted about six years. It was not the best season in my life. Fortunately, when I was 25, I returned to the Catholic Church and discovered the Eucharist and the Theology of the Body. I’ve written about this here and here. I’ll write more about it on this blog later. For now, it suffices to say that discovering the most intimate communion I had with God was that I ate him radically changed how I saw food. So did the discovery that I imaged God not just in soul, but in body. Those two realizations have informed every moment of my life for the past 16 years. They’ll inform most of what happens on this blog as well.
Anything else you need to know? Well, I don’t do fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, or meat-free. Unless, of course, the recipe I happen to be making is fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, or meat-free. I believe all food is good, and anything can be eaten in moderation. Except for peanuts. Because…well…death. At least for me. If you have a similar food allergy, by all means adjust the recipes you find here accordingly! And I promise, if you come to my house for dinner, I’ll happily do likewise.
Once upon a time, my kitchen was in a big old 1915 Craftsman that I bought in 2005 and restored bit by bit. Now, it’s in a semi-functional closed in back porch in the 1890 Victorian I’m restoring with my husband, Chris. Someday soon (please, God, please), we’ll have a new one. Until then, microwaves are my friend. Still, life is good—wicked hard at times—but blessedly, beautifully good.