About Ms. Butterbeans
Ms. Butterbeans (Rebecca) was born and raised in the northern Sacramento Valley of California, at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. She grew up on Grenola Way in Citrus Heights.
She was raised in a large extended family who all grew fruits and vegetables and some livestock. All of her family members were good cooks. Her Grandparents each had their own specialties and they taught Rebecca how to make them. Grandpa Kraft was famous for his homemade pickles and sauerkraut. Grandma Kraft was famous for her lemon meringue pies, baked beans, and clove scented hams. Grandma Erma, a school cook and the first vegetarian Rebecca knew was a baker and made her own yogurt, candles and soap. Grandpa Ed taught Rebecca how to make sausage, pirogue, and borscht. Her Aunt Viola made yummy Italian food fresh from her garden. Rebecca's mother had such a varied repertoire as a cook that the neighborhood children would say, “How come when I eat dinner at your house I eat something I've never heard of before?”
Her mother taught her how to can jams and vegetables and to make homemade ice cream with peaches picked fresh from the tree. She taught her how to make Chinese and Mexican food too. Rebecca was making Foil Wrap Chicken and Mu Goo Gai Pan as well as tamales and Spanish Rice by age 12. One of her fondest early memories was coming home from playing outside in the oak groves to go in the garden, pick a fresh ear of corn and have grandma cook it up for her. Rebecca's step-father, Glenn taught her how to deep sea ocean fish, crab, clam and abalone dive; and how to filet and cook the seafood and shellfish they caught. He also taught her such southern dishes as hush puppies, fried okra, chili and BBQ. Rebecca's step-father, uncles and brothers hunted and fished and took her along when she could talk them into it. Kevin taught Rebecca how to hot smoke salmon. Craig taught her how to shoot and pluck a duck. Her Aunt Fran and Uncle Bill owned a cattle ranch in Shingletown and Rebecca would spend weeks there in the summer as a child. She would help with the huge garden, harvesting, shelling peas and canning. She would help uncle Bill with the cattle and this is also where she learned to process a live chicken for that night's dinner.
When Rebecca was little her mom used to chase her out of the kitchen with a wooden spoon because she was always trying to add spices or change the temperature on the stove when mom wasn't looking. Luckily her mother's good cooking inspired Rebecca to be passionate about good food. She taught her all the values of the Slow Food movement before there was one.
Rebecca grew up and moved to San Francisco to attend college. While attending college in downtown San Francisco, she met her friend Gregg; a trained chef from the Culinary Institute of America, New York, who taught her many techniques, among them good knife skills and The Mother Sauces. During college she spent her lunch hours watching and learning in the kitchen of Citicourt Cafe where Gregg was Executive Chef. Over the years Rebecca has taken many, many private cooking and wine tasting classes over the years and continues to do so regularly. Rebecca received her certificate in the Culinary Arts in 2007 and keeps her Serv Safe Certification current.
Ms. Butterbeans' passion for cooking, gardening, nutritious food, fondness of children, and her sense of community has led her to create cooking classes for kids in the hopes of passing on this important life skill.