Both my grandmother, Artie R. Jones, and my godfather, Doc "Da Da" Shepherd, were domestics. My grandmother was born and raised in East, Texas, on our family land. Both prepared and served thousands of their originally, hand-made dishes at work and at home. I was blessed to be able to spend my childhood and adolescent years in the country with her and in the kitchen observing them both perfect their art of preparing deliciously unforgettable meals. The kitchen is where I learned many of life's necessary lessons under their supervision. While my relatives and friends played throughout the neighborhood, both Da Da and my grandmother, affectionately referred to as, "Maw Maw", taught me how to blend spices that really brought out the essence of food.