My Roots

I’m a dog loving, cowgirl boot wearing kind of girl. I love food, I consider family my first priority, and I’m a sucker for American heritage. All of those loves have been mixed into this site with a large splash of family history to top it off. This is my Midwestern life ... welcome!

I’m an only child, but was raised around aunts, uncles, and cousins “out the wazoo” … that’s Midwestern for “there’s a lot of us”. When we added all of our friends to family gatherings – they were important, too – we grew to rather large numbers.

Food was central to our gatherings, and the foods we ate were often from recipes handed down a few generations. We’re mostly German, but my Grandpa Raines made sure we had a little Scottish mixed in – Viking, to be more specific. When he and my Grandma married, that full blooded German line was pretty well wrecked!

Foods Grandma prepared were often German in heritage even though she would never admit it … that’s another story! Grandma raised her family on gardens, back yard chickens and found foods. She kept bacon grease in a coffee tin next to the stove. She preserved food to help get through rough winters and didn’t waste anything.

[bctt tweet=”Food helps tell the story of our lives. “]

Food helps tell the story of our lives. It is part of our heritage and links us to our culture in ways we don’t necessarily realize, and often take for granted. Food helps explain why we are who we are.

Through this site, I will share my passions with you … food, heritage, family history and, of course, recipes.

I will take some of those old recipes that take forever and remake them to fit today’s lifestyles.

I will introduce you to the “old” way of eating … a way that is making a “clean” comeback as society focuses more on local and seasonal foods.

I will introduce you to crazy things like vinegar pie and tell you why we ate them!

I hope to help you connect the dots between the generations of your own family and maybe discover something you didn’t know about yourself.

I’m Rooted in Foods … and I hope you can find a few ways to establish roots of your own.


Niki Davis
Me, with my favorite salad.
Jim and Doris Rains 1977
Me with my grandparents - one German, one Scottish -in 1977 ... I was 3.

In the Media

The Other Diners

Chili, aka JD.  My husband is very much meat and potatoes and not a lot else. Over the years, I’ve managed to introduce him to food that he now loves, but it was touch and go in the beginning! He’s the epitome of “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Noodle. So named because our daughter loves noodles. All noodles. Ramen, spaghetti, fettuccine, egg noodles … I’ve never met a noodle she didn’t love! The cooking bug hasn’t bit her yet, but the photography bug has. I’m a happy mama!

Milla Jo. She’s my adorable lap dog. Okay, she’s not exactly a lap dog. She’s a 115-pound fluffy, soft brindled fur ball, and she likes my toes! She also likes to curl up next to me in bed and sleep, hop up on the couch and sleep, or lay on the floor in front of the couch and sleep. See a pattern?

Sugar. The most recent edition to the clan. Quite the opposite of Milla, Sugar weighs in at a whopping 12 pounds. She, too, likes my toes! She prances and leaps through the grass like a deer, and sleeps curled up in Milla’s fur. 


JD and Noodle
JD and Noodle, being goofy
One of the many critters I adore
Niki Davis and her dogs
My very own Bumpus hounds

Welcome to my world, where food roots and family roots run deep.