Hello world!

Hello world is right! I guess for my first post I should give you a little explanation of why I chose the name "Ham and Histoire" and what I'd like this blog to be.

Three things I love are travel, history, and food. One day I was watching a show called Spain. . .On the Road Again. It features Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols traveling around Spain eating, drinking, and touring beautiful places. On this particular episode, Bassols and Bittman (aka Bitty!) traveled to one city and arrived in the morning just in time for breakfast. I can't remember what city it was, but Bittman stated that Claudia was "there for ham and history." There I was, lounging on my couch in pjs thinking "hey! Me, too! Now why am I not on this show?"

I chose to change the title a little, exchanging "histoire" for "history" because it gives me a little more leeway since "histoire" translates to both history and story in French. I'd like this blog to be about things I love, certainly not just history and food. I hope it is light, fun, and a way for me to share all the things that excite me. I'm sure there will be a lot of imaginary trip planning.

So why travel, history, and food?

My love for travel began when I was 8 when my parents took my on my first European vacation. Luckily it was nothing like the Griswald's experience of their European vacation; it was magical, fun, and fascinating. I came away from the trip with wanderlust years before I even knew there was a word for it.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to take quite a few European vacations with my family. Each trip just serves to make me more excited about traveling. There's always something new to see, learn, or experience. Lately, my family and I have started revisiting places and renting cottages or apartments for a period of time. This kind of "slow" travel has allowed us to explore places more deeply. It has also fostered my burning desire to move to Italy, but that's another story. Suffice it to say, if you were to ask me to pack my bags and meet you at the airport with my passport and a suitcase, I'd probably jump at the prospect.

My love for history probably began around the same time as my love for travel. I remember visiting a beautiful, mysterious castle somewhere in Switzerland. I don't remember exactly where it was or which castle it was, but I have a very strong memory of wanting to know everything about it and to explore every nook and cranny--even a creepy staircase that led to pure blackness, despite my fear of the dark. By the time we left the castle, I had lived a few different imaginary lives there and was convinced it was somehow related to Robin Hood. Fast forward to about 18 years later, and I recently completed my Masters degree in History. Now that I'm out of school, I'm allowing my imagination and my factoid investigator sides to meet each other. I'm rediscovering historical fiction, reading the books I want to read, falling in love with/exploring stories, periods, and historical people I wasn't able to while in school. My current obsession is Marie Antoinette's Hameau and the Petite Trianon at Versailles.

My love for food probably started pretty early, also. I know my parents tell a story of me eating hot salsa like it was going out of style at age 3 when we lived in New Mexico. I'm not much of a cook, though. I'm more of a baker, but I love great food in general. Ham makes a lot of sense in the title for me since it (especially bacon) is probably what keeps me from ever being able to be vegetarian. When I was in high school and could sleep around 20 hours a day if given the opportunity, my parents would throw some bacon in a pan when they wanted me to get up. As soon as the smell wafted up to my room, I was up and ready to go. You know that commercial with the dog and beggin' strips? Yeah. I think my parents must have secretly sent those advertisers a video of me and bacon. Who needs Folger's coffee around when you can have bacon?

So that's that. A long (sorry!) explanation of why this blog is called Ham and Histoire. I hope to make this a nice place to come and share interesting thoughts/tested recipes/read books/travel obsessions/history musings and more. I can't promise my writing will be up to snuff all the time. I'm more relaxed about grammar and editing now that I'm out of school, but I promise I will try to do my best! Hopefully this will help keep my writing skills a little sharper than they have been lately.

So, welcome. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your stay.