I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. I grew up an only child with an Italian mother and Scottish Irish father. We gathered every Sunday and holiday at my grandparent’s (my mom’s family) house in Bridgeport to visit and have dinner. Since my mom was one of seven children, my grandparent’s home was always bustling with people. Our days together revolved around food. The women were in the kitchen preparing food while the men watched sports on television in the front room. At two in the afternoon we all gathered in the dining room at the large homemade table, which would comfortably accomodate 16, for the big meal. After a leasure dinner we always had a homemade dessert with coffee.
I married my high school sweetheart Ron McCalip. We had three children, Shawn, Colleen and Ian. Shawn is a video editor and producer and lives in Alaska. Colleen is married and stays at home with her two children in Ohio. Ian is a teen who will soon attend Oak Lawn Community High School.
We are a family of “Foodies”, we all love and appreciate good food and enjoy going on any Foodie adventure that comes our way. My husband is an excellent cook who likes to create gourmet meals for our holidays. Shawn enjoys cooking and baking and often brings his office mates delicious homemade treats. Colleen enjoys cooking and baking and is always making something tasty. Colleen has introduced her husband, his family and friends to many Chicago style foods. She will also have a food blog on Patch. Ian is learning about preparing food and makes great sandwiches for his school lunches.
I especially love going to all different kinds of restaurants from hot dog stands to fine dining. I love to cook and bake comfort food and share my food with family and friends. I enjoy trying new recipes but I am especially fond of vintage recipes and cookbooks from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. I love the art and ads from that era and have a large collection of cookbooks that I began as a teen.
I’ve had a wide range of food experiences; I worked at White Castle as a teen, organized and ran a Brown's chicken hot lunch program at Lieb School, worked the pizza bread lunch at Simmons Middle School, ran several bake sales for the Oak Lawn Community High School Band, my husband and I organized and created a fundraiser cookbook to benefit the OLCHS Band entitled, “This Band Cooks”, organized a sweet table for a Fall Fest at St. Fabian parish, have attended the Chicago Restaurant Show,judged at the Illinois State Barbecue Championship and co-owned, with my husband, a small seasonings, sauces and salsas business for a few years. I am always looking for a new Foodie Adventure!
My husband and I have been Bridgeview residents for 25 years. I am an active member in my church, St. Fabian’s Catholic Church in Bridgeview. My other passions include dogs, music, books, movies, weather and sky watching. In addition to my cookbook collection, I have a collection of children's books and Christmas books. I am currently employed as Parish Cook at St. Fabian’s.