This December, I am reminded that yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year and it’s because of family, friends and all of you. My little food blog at Jorj.com brings me joy 365 days a year. Every Monday, I get to tell a story and bring you with me. I’ve been writing cookbooks forever, and I thank you for being the most important part of my journey as an author.
Here are some of my highlights from 2018!
I have a fifth grandchild on the way!
I taught cooking classes in Boone, North Carolina and was overjoyed at our culinary team being able to serve so many hungry souls at the nearby Hospitality House. Now, my heart is full.
The entire extended Morgan family went glamping in Montana at the PawsUp Resort (our dude, we’re on a dude ranch photo went out as my Xmas card this year)
I tasted Italy in a once in a lifetime trip to Sorrento and the Almafi Coast
Sue and I finally made good on our threat to combine her love of art and my love of food into CANVAS and Cuisine: the art of the fresh market. It’s our chance to raise money for charities that mean a lot to us, as well as pay homage to Marti and Wayne Huizenga, the inspiration for this book!
I couldn’t live my dreams without you, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me. I promise amazing things in the year 2019 – let’s continue our kitchen adventures and see where the yummy road takes us next.
My dear friend, Sue Fazio and I decided to collaborate on what we call our “kitchen table book”, and, after two years of feverish painting, painstaking recipe testing, and a deliberate and dedicated publishing process, it’s finally here!
Canvas and Cuisine: the art of the fresh market is part coffee table book and part travelogue. It is a visually delicious, delectably readable cookbook that pays tribute to what may be the world’s most important treasure: fresh, locally grown food.
This book is SO MUCH FUN!! Here’s a picture from its pages:
Cobblestone streets, winding down the Italian seaside town of Positano where merchants run their farmer’s markets. The burst of color, and depth of texture shows a certain zest for life.
You can take your finds at these open air markets and make mouth-watering food. Canvas and Cuisine ensnares the senses of both the cook and the artist. You don’t have to be one or the other to appreciate fresh ingredients at the heart of every recipe; this is but the preface of a great culinary tale.
I tell that tale in anecdotes of our travels, and Sue tells it with her paintbrushes. I’d give you a few hints of the crazy stuff in this book, but I’ll leave it at this: Sue and I make Lucy and Ethel look tame!
But, here’s the most important thing of all to say about this book. It would not have been possible without our great influencer, Marti Huizenga.
If you’re very lucky, once in your lifetime, you’ll meet a person that molds you into the somebody you want to become, simply by example. That person will have such a positive impact on you, that you will be forever changed.
Sue and I are lucky to have known and grown through our friendship with Marti. Together with her husband, Wayne, she hugged us into their circle, bringing us along on their adventures. (And, man, were there a ton of adventures!) All the way, they were demonstrating their generosity. Their legendary monetary generosity is well documented. But not everyone was privy to Marti’s generosity of spirit, her compassion for critters big and small and most important, her generosity of friendship.
It is because of Marti that Sue and I met so many years ago, and it is because of Marti’s inspiration and influence, that Sue and I proudly donate the proceeds from Canvas & Cuisine: the art of the fresh market to our charities, the Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville, North Carolina and Hospitality House of Avery County, North Carolina.
Marti and Wayne are no longer with us. They are basking in the love and light that keeps them together eternally. We have dedicated Canvas and Cuisine to Marti, with love and wonderful memories of a life well-lived. Her voice is forever in our hearts.
We are truly hopeful that you will enjoy the book as much as we have enjoyed creating it.