My job as a garden lifestyle expert on the Home & Family Show is always full of surprises and opportunities to meet interesting people.
I met Patrick and Gina Neely, the friendly cooking duo and hosts of Food Network’s “Down Home With the Neely’s,” while planting the Home & Family Show kitchen garden!
Patrick made a beeline towards my Bonnie vegetables, seduced by the sight and fragrance of tomato, pepper and herb plants, ready for planting.
His beautiful wife Gina joined us a few minutes later, giving him enough time to reminisce about his grandmother’s kitchen garden.
Apparently this youthful-looking couple have been together for over 30 years.
They must have known each other from birth!
Anyway, Patrick waxed nostalgic about his grandmother’s herbs which she kept in pots right outside her kitchen door.
His grandfather would fish for catfish and his grandmother would fry it in her cast iron skillet.
Vegetables from the garden always accompanied meals at the Neely table.
For a moment, Patrick was back home in his grandparents’ yard.
He had a huge smile on his face as he spoke about their peppers, green beans and herbs.
Family memories are especially sweet when rooted in the garden!
With a garden-to-table connection like this from childhood, it’s no wonder Patrick ended up in the food business.
I hope the Neely’s return to the Home & Family Show soon and pick some fresh vegetables from our garden to cook on the show.
That would put a huge smile on MY face.
Shirley, the Foodie Gardener