I grew up in the restaurant business since I was 10 years old. My mom and dad built a restaurant in the 1970s next door to our home in the little town of Dexter (population 3500). T.J.’s Family Restaurant was well received by the area and our family quickly became family to many. Years later I married my co-worker and best friend Brian. We moved to Manchester, NH, where Brian attended culinary school and I attended hairdressing school. After I graduated we moved back to Maine just in time to work at my dad’s next restaurant, T.J.’s Giant Grinder and Pizza Shop. I worked at the pizza shop while having two wonderful children – my first, Eric, is now 24 and my second, Courtney, is now 21. I am now a bookkeeper at a whole different type of business. We own a scrap metal recycling facility and I work there as a support system for my husband. I also meditate and read books on Metaphysical studies. At this point in my life I feel my job is to do whatever I can to help people, to educate where I can and to be a compassionate and caring individual. It is really a difficult job to be conscious of everything we think, say, and do. But it’s really important, and I work at bringing awareness to this part of our world. I may begin to share with you the inspirational and informative books that I read and information that can be of great value to you.
My husband and I are huge fans of many bands, one in particular is Dave Matthews Band. We see as many concerts as we can now that our kids are grown and on their own. Life truly feels like it has just begun for us. We are so glad that we had our children at the ripe young age of 21 and 22. We are still young enough to have fun. Sometimes our kids get mad because we do so much. We tell them, hard work and dedication pays off. My dream in my years ahead is to go on the road with Brian for DMB and cook our food for the band and families of the band and rock out to every concert. Really, it is!
We were then approached to open up the restaurant my father and mother had built in the 1970s, T.J.’s Family Restaurant. We did at the ripe ages of 25 and 26 years old. It was a very difficult thing to run a restaurant when you haven’t fully matured. We grew up pretty fast, and we had some pretty big shoes to fill, though we did it pretty well. It was rewarding, challenging, discouraging, and frustrating. It was a love-hate relationship, but some of the fondest memories of our lives came from that restaurant. We had no choice but to make the same items day in and day out. The menu was the menu and there really wasn’t time to be creative; we were the cooks and we didn’t have money to hire a professional chef. Despite that, we always changed the menu every year (for the sake of all involved).
Now I cook because I want to and I do it for who I want. These recipes are important to our family and to the people who have been frequenting our restaurant over the years.
If you are one of our faithful customers (and friends), I hope I can bring back some memories when you make these recipes and replace something that has been missing for years.