southern Illinois genealogy

I became interested in history as a teenager and, later, became fascinated with tracing my family history. As an adult, my passion for food and cooking has turned into a passion for learning how food has played a part in my own heritage. Cooking … and cookbooks … have allowed me to glimpse into the past and meet many of my ancestors and discover what daily life was like for them. 

Niki Davis Rooted in Foods

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

My friends call me Nik. I’m a Midwestern girl with a passion for dogs, boots, and blue jeans. I love food, I consider family my first priority, and I’m a sucker for genealogy. This blog is devoted to all of my loves … food, family, heritage … with a few dogs along the way. Welcome to my Midwestern life!

Egg salad is not fancy or aristocratic. It's not sexy nor is it particularly attractive. Egg Salad is yellow and served on white bread. And it is my all-time favorite comfort food in sandwich form. It also has a few roots in working-class America.  Egg salad sandwiches were a staple at my grandma's house and something that often graced the lunch ...
My family loves breakfast! On the weekends, I tend to cook a big farm breakfast. In the summer, however, I don't want to eat that much food, let alone stand in front of a hot stove cooking it.   This breakfast frittata is a perfect compromise and uses up leftovers from the week.  I make mine with six eggs because it gives each of us two ...
Every time I go to the bookstore, I pick up a cookbook or two from the bargain bin section. This is why I have more cookbooks than I need ... and why Noodle tells me I don't need anymore! I recently discovered Southern Living's 5 Ingredient Weeknight Meals and grabbed it up! We've loved everything that I've cooked from it so far, even though I rarely ...
Jake and Anna Mueller Wedding

Getting back to my roots was my initial goal for this site… and not just from a genealogical perspective. It’s important for us to put down that mobile device and reconnect with family and friends, to cook Sunday dinner like Grandma did, and to remember and retell the stories we’ve heard growing up so, in another century, our great-great grandchildren can continue telling the story of Southern Illinois … the story of us.

homemade sauerkraut

I only remember my mom making sauerkraut a few times when I was growing up. Mom used to talk about the “old German women” on her street when she was a kid. There were three: one on each end and one right in the middle. They all canned their sauerkraut on the same summer weekend. This was a summertime ritual in German communities. Tag along on my journey learning to make sauerkraut!