Links We Love

The Merry Gourmet

July 14, 2010

Banana Pudding Fruit Salad with Mint Sugar

The Merry Gourmet, a clever riff on the author (and food52 member), Merry-Jennifer's, name, is as much a blog about life as it is a blog about cooking. When she became pregnant with her daughter in 2003, Merry-Jennifer set out to teach herself to cook, feeling compelled to prepare real food for her child instead of the TV dinners she herself grew up with. As she explains, time in the kitchen is time off from work, and her chance to immerse herself in her passion; appropriately, her posts are peppered with anecdotes and personal reflections. In a recent post about banana pudding, Merry-Jennifer recalls childhood memories of special occasions made even more so by her grandmother's excellent Southern cooking. She then relates how, when her grandmother became too frail to cook anymore, she used her newfound cooking skills to take over the banana pudding legacy.

Merry-Jennifer's talents are twofold: she writes with an open, warm voice about her daily kitchen discoveries and adaptations (Summer Fruit Salad with Mint Sugar from a 2004 issue of Gourmet, Lobster Macaroni and Cheese from Saveur), and she photographs her creations with an expert eye, embracing color and form as her inspiration. The result? The Merry Gourmet is as lovely to look at as it is to read.

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Perhaps the most gratifying part about reading Merry-Jennifer's blog is getting to know a woman who continually demonstrates admirable priorities -- both for herself and for those she cares about. "I’m having a blast teaching myself to cook," she says, "and I know that my children are watching. I’m hoping to provide them with some good memories of their own."


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • mariaraynal
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • WinnieAb
  • TasteFood
  • mrslarkin
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


mariaraynal July 16, 2010
I'm so happy to see Merry-Jennifer profiled here. I really love her blog. And, MJ, if I counted the times I didn't post one of my recipes for the same reasons and then a completely similar recipe became a finalist, well, I might be in the cookbook a lot more...
MrsWheelbarrow July 14, 2010
Merry-Jennifer, so so glad to see you here. I love your blog and have followed along since you first appeared at food52. Great to see you profiled.
WinnieAb July 14, 2010
Love this blog and happy to see MJ profiled here!
TasteFood July 14, 2010
Thanks for highlighting Merry Jennifer and her blog which reinforces a mindfulness that we can all strive for in our kitchens and diets for our families.
mrslarkin July 14, 2010
Hip hip hooray, MJ! Would love to see your recipes her on food52. Go for it!
designglutton July 14, 2010
A friend of a friend writes this blog about developing the toddler palate. I bet Merry-Jennifer would find it interesting/helpful.
Liren B. July 14, 2010
I couldn't agree more - thank you for highlighting one of my favorite bloggers. It's been a joy to discover and follow her and her life life in the kitchen!
athoughtforfood July 14, 2010
Well deserved Merry-Jennifer! As you know, I love your blog... CONGRATS on this wonderful piece!
Mardi M. July 14, 2010
I am a huge fan of MJ's blog too - she is just about the sweetest person I have never met!! Funnily enough, like MJ, I have not been too involved in the Food 52 community (my first year of blogging kind of took over my life and I took on waaaay too much!) but it is one of my big regrets from this past year. My "new year's goal"? Be more active in this incredible community. I hope MJ will be too!!!
dymnyno July 14, 2010
I just read Merry's blog and it is fun reading and great recipes! Definitely should post her recipes on Food52.
merrygourmet July 14, 2010
Wow. I'm incredibly overwhelmed at such a lovely post!

You know, I never submitted recipes on Food 52, mostly because of the stupid fear of rejection and feelings of inadequacy that I have. I should have known better, of course. This has been such an incredible community of cooks and writers and bloggers - and friends! - that I should have known the error of my ways.

Thanks again for the feature. You totally made my week.
Lizthechef July 14, 2010
Please join us and submit some recipes - we all support one another and it's so much fun - the more the "Merrier" - couldn't resist!
lastnightsdinner July 14, 2010
Merry-Jennifer is one of many people I feel so lucky to have "met" via food52 - and it's great to see her profiled here!