Welcome to the merry gourmet, my little corner of the net where I share stories of my adventures in the kitchen, food experiences, and life with my family. I am a wife, a mother, a physician, a writer, and a self-taught home cook. I live in northern Florida with my husband, two children, and two cats.
I eat. I cook. I travel. And I write about it all.
Merry-Jennifer Markham, aka the merry gourmet
A Little History
I grew up eating frozen TV dinners, macaroni and cheese out of the blue box, and tuna noodle casserole. Like most working parents, mine didn’t always have the time – or money – for much else. I have a few standout food-related memories from my childhood – oyster roasts by a bonfire, tasting a sip of Dom Perignon at age twelve, baking homemade pretzels with a babysitter, and watching sausage being made from a freshly slaughtered hog at a babysitter’s house. I think these vivid memories have helped spark the interest in food and wine that I have today.
When I became pregnant with my daughter in 2003, things changed for me. There was something about becoming a mother that made me want to step into the kitchen after avoiding it for years. My husband had always done the cooking for us, but the tide began turning that year. Later, when Madeline was around six months old, my husband and I took a six-week long wine-tasting course that met once a week. In addition to being a great excuse to have have a scheduled babysitter for date night, it was a real eye-opening experience into the vast world – and culture – of wine.
My day job has nothing to do with food or wine. I’m a practicing physician, and I’ve learned that it’s in my best interest — good mental and physical health — to have hobbies and passions outside of work. So, while I spend most of my days working outside the home, most weekends are mine to mess around in the kitchen.
I’m having a blast teaching myself to cook, and I know that my children are watching. I’m hoping to provide them with some good memories of their own.
Any products I write about here on the merry gourmet are products that I like using for one reason or another. I prefer to write about things I vouch for personally, things that I’ve paid for myself because I like the product. Rarely, I may write about a product that someone has sent me to review, and I believe in full disclosure, so you’ll know if I paid for it – or not. If you have something you’d like me to try, feel free to email me. Because of my hectic life, I may not say yes. And, if I do say yes, that doesn’t guarantee a review – or a favorable one, at that.
Any Amazon links that you see are Affiliate links. This means that I make a commission on any purchases that you make on Amazon after clicking through that link. Generally, my commission generates enough that I can buy a nonfat vanilla lattes at Starbucks, or two if I’m lucky.
If it’s not explicitly stated in the post, you can assume I spent my own hard-earned cash for the ingredients, equipment, or book that I’m writing about.
Comments and Feedback
I welcome comments, so please leave me one. In fact, I get lonely if I don’t have comments on my posts. If I’ve made an error or typo, or if you have other constructive criticism, please feel free to comment or email me. But, please be kind and polite in your comments. Since this is my little spot on the web, I reserve the right to delete any offensive or rude comments. Also, if your comment contains any links that seem like spam, I’ll delete it.
Would you rather email me? Please do! I promise to answer all of my emails as soon as I can. You can reach me through the contact form on this site or by email – email@example.com.
Press & Mentions
CNN’s Eatocracy – Blogger Spotlight: the merry gourmet on 10.13.2010
Food 52′s Reciprocity: The Merry Gourmet
Food News Journal’s Best of the Blogs on 7.16.2010
Food News Journal’s Best of The Blogs on 8.31.2010
Food News Journal’s Best of the Blogs on 10.29.2010
Food News Journal’s Best of the Blogs on 02.08.2011
Food News Journal’s Best of the Blogs on 05.24.2011
Gourmet Live’s Weekly Roundup: Creative Cocktails on 12.31.2010
Gourmet Live’s Food Blog of the Week on 02.27.2012
iVillage’s The 10 Most Blogged About Recipes on 2.28.2012
The Kitchn: Spring Desserts: 5 Great Pudding Recipes, 04.26.2011
Los Angeles Times’ Combo Plate on 01.11.2011
The Stir: Shrimp and Grits, Bacon Bourbon Caramel Corn – What We’re Eating This Week, 4.04.2010
The Stir: Coconut Shrimp, Black Pepper Shrimp, Shrimp Tacos – What We’re Eating This Week, 5.09.2010
Babble’s The Family Kitchen: Sausage and Lentil Soup, on 01.19.2011
Cooks&Books&Recipes: Oven Baked Blueberry French Toast, on 09.18.2010
Mom it Forward’s Meal Time: Cinnamon Apple Crisp, on 03.25.2011
Articles & Freelance
The Florida Times-Union & Jacksonville.com:
- Having a healthful lunch boils down to planning and smart choices. 05.05.2011
- Tomatoes bring summer to your plate. 07.07.2011
- For southern cuisine lovers, grits are great dining. 09.15.2011
I’ve spoken here: