527 Center Hill Road
Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972
Sheila Ritz McDuffie
My husband, Lewis, and I live in beautiful Bucks County, Pennsylvania on a little farm. When we first moved out here from New York City in 1992, our kids were little and I had a dream of an idyllic country life in which to raise them. We left our artwork behind, my husband Lewis’ cast-bronze sculpture and my contemporary architectural stained-glass, to grow salad greens for the New York City market. We sold to gourmet shops, Park Slope Food Co-op, and The Greenmarket for a number of years, with Lewis continuing his renovation business to keep us afloat.
When salad greens from other growers and Dole began flooding the market, I switched to handmade soap making and opened an adorable farm market in our little stone barn. I quickly tired of craft shows and shop keeping, but from teaching soap classes I realized my love of learning new skills and then showing them off. Show and Tell was always my favorite time in kindergarten and an early report card mentions my spending most of the play time in the kitchen area.
With my girls off to college, The Kitchen Garden Cooking School came to be and the past ten years have seen over 800 students come through my kitchen door. Although the classes are vegetarian, 99% of my students aren’t and I love when they declare, “I didn’t even miss not having meat!”. My style is seasonal gourmet rather than any of the Paleo/gluten-free/macrobiotic/kale/seitan/soy-free diets floating about. I adore vegetables and fruits and am currently writing a cookbook that incorporates as many as possible into classic master recipes. The classes this year will be focusing on these recipes.
I adore my students, constantly learn from them, am amazed at how sweet and undemanding they are (even when things go up in smoke – literally), and appreciate the distance they’ll drive to get to what many refer to as the middle of nowhere.
This blog shows my progress learning how to write recipes and take beautiful photographs of food. Both a challenge that continue to excite me daily.