I’m Quelcy (like “Quell the sea”), the recipe developer, stylist, photographer and crazy-dog-lady behind With The Grains.
With The Grains offers tales from my grainy kitchen, but these collections and recipes are about more than wheat, more than millet, more than rye. With The Grains is about living with nature, with the seasons, with respect for well-worn rolling pins and tattered recipes. It’s an ode to the slow, intentional sort of endeavors. This corner is about sharing my time, and my attention for the tiniest details, with those I love.
My relationship with food has not always been harmonious. I once deprived myself as much as I could. I relished the false sense of control self-starvation can bring, but starvation also brings loneliness and heartache. I began to heal myself, slowly, and eventually, I came to relish the way food not only nourishes the body, but fills the heart and soul if grown and prepared in earnest.
I found myself baking and cooking, at first simply to avoid the ingredients I didn’t trust. However, in these kitchen experiments, I found a new communion. I found the same beauty I found through blank sketchbook pages. I found a reason to wander cities and countries, learning their time-tested lessons. I found a connection to the women who preceded me, who could make kolache by heart, who were always ready with a meal for someone in need and made me who I am.
The more I learned, the more lessons I realized I had squandered. The daughter of a cattleman and a farmgirl, there were agricultural roots I wanted to restore. Fittingly, I was drawn to a designer who preferred to be shoeless in the dirt, and I preferred to be by his side. He has a name, but around here, I simply refer to him as “The Urban Farmer.”
In 2014, “The Urban Farmer” founded Hazelwood Urban Farms, in an effort to bring fresh, organic produce to a Pittsburgh neighborhood classified as a food desert, and I became a farmhand in training. Accordingly, you’ll find plenty of posts dedicated to the inspiration his work brings me, including images from our dinner series, Harvest & Gather. You’ll also see lots of pictures of my loyal, kitchen assistant, Julep. She inspires me too! (You’ll also notice my hair changes quite a bit.)
Thanks for joining me, and I’ll hope you’ll make yourself at home. Something is surely in the oven and will soon be ready to share.