Jeremy did not learn the value of whole food or home cooking from osmosis. He’s got a rich history of home-made stories, which we’ll share next week. For now, here’s the tale of what he did with that history.
Settling at the Maron’s table means you’ll have one hand wrapped around a wine glass while the decor unfolds around you. Jeremy and his wife, Janna, take pride in the way their home reflects their personalities—even though the sports part of his personality gets relegated to the less-common area. Their cool digs in Sacramento’s Midtown reflect color and awareness; most of what they own is second-hand, and Janna revels in the notion that she can rock a sweet pad while not spending a ton of cash.
Not only is the couple in-sync when it comes to decor, they also collaborate and create together at Thinkhouse Collective—a co-working space serving "Sacramento’s Creative Class." One might think that by the end of the day, the two would settle into separate corners of their place, faces in tablets or lit. mags, but instead we find them paired up in the kitchen—him chopping, peeling, sautéing while she lingers on her stool and they reflect on the day. From early on, the couple created an unspoken pact; he cooks, she cleans. This works well for them because cooking puts him into a meditative state while she abhors it after having spent too many years rushing home from high school only to whip up family dinners while her parents worked.
Over the years, Jeremy and Janna have enjoyed eating together and sharing meals with friends, but more recently they've had some health challenges causing them to make different choices about what and how they eat. Some folks refuse to change, but Jeremy argues it’s important to understand what’s in our food, and now it’s even more important to them to control what they put in their bodies. They’ve switched to organic chicken and cut out processed foods, which have helped relieve ailments and increase flavor.
This new regimen has affected how Jeremy cooks, but he’s open to change and celebrates the push to prepare healthier food. Lucky for Janna, Jeremy’s got serious kitchen experience. Throughout his dating years, he found most women didn’t know how or didn’t care to cook, and he wondered what they were up to instead. Over time, he realized not everyone grows up in a family where cooking aligns and builds relationships. In fact, many women he dated were raised on grilled cheese and nachos but, thanks to the media’s messages, switched to rice cakes and lettuce in their 20’s—not exactly creating culinary experts. By the time they might have learned to cook, they were focused on earning degrees and pursuing careers, so eating out became lifestyle. All this afforded Jeremy the opportunity to share his own talent in the kitchen.
As he got older, he shifted from throwing pasta parties in which he’d race from San Francisco to Sacramento with a huge jug of his great grandmother’s pasta sauce saddled behind him on his motorcycle. He’d get home and toss it with 5 lbs. of angel hair pasta before he served it and gallons of wine to his friends. These days, his friendly gatherings are a bit less raucous and require just a quick trip to the farmers market. Whether it’s the casual roast chicken of today or the pasta party of the past, what matters most to Jeremy is, “the community of food and the fellowship of breaking bread.”
Stay tuned next week to learn the history behind Jeremy’s need to get the recipe right...plus the recipe for his delicious roast chicken!