Hi there. I'm so glad you're here!
I'm Laurel Butterfield, and I'm the creator of The Everyday Mess (formerly known as Sweet Laurel). That's me right up there. 'Mess,' to me, is a complicated word. On the one hand, it symbolizes a shared meal, a place where people gather to eat, or a generous quantity of food (i.e. a mess of lentils). On the other hand, disorder and chaos. Toddler-flung toys everywhere. The dishes, piled high. Projects not quite finished. It's equal parts dreamy farmhouse flowers in romantically tarnished silver pitchers and ambiguously sticky floors over here. You know, everyday life. So, welcome...to the mess!
I am not what you'd call a formally trained cook. In fact, for the first twenty-five years of my life, I mostly burned everything I touched in the kitchen to a charred husk. I did like to eat, though. Back then I couldn't have fixed you much more than a bowl of cereal (and I'd have spilled the milk), but faced with the prospect of never eating a decent home-cooked meal again in my life, I turned my growing curiosity into a passion for cooking. I devoured cookbooks from cover to cover. I learned how to hold a knife from cooking television shows. I stared, slack-jawed, at the screen as I learned what a roux was, what a roux was for, how to mince, braise, blanch and julienne, how to make a souffle and a soffrito. Alton Brown, the Iron Chefs, Lidia Bastianich, Nigella, and especially the hardcore old-school duo of Julia Child and Jacques Pepin....they all became my culinary instructors.
And I learned.
Not only did I learn how to feed myself and those around me, but it kindled a passion in me for creating, for finding community around the table and finding the beauty in a simple bowl of beets. A literal need to put food on the table led me to a new passion for beautiful cooking and photography, which.......led me to create The Everyday Mess, a journal of elevated everyday cooking (which began its life as Sweet Laurel in 2014).
Eggs. Garlic. Old-fashioned ice cream. Rustic bread. Hazelnuts. Dark, dark coffee. Avocados. Honey. Perfect pasta. A delicious, dry red. A New York City street dog. And I probably eat my body weight in Greek yogurt, per week.
Very, very early mornings. Long walks for hours in comfortable shoes. Hexagons. The Sunday New York Times. The smell of the desert after an August thunderstorm. Handcarved wooden spoons. Copper bowls. That freckle on his eyelid. Perfectly fitted blue jeans. Chuck Taylors. Campfires. Moonlight. My husband, our boy, and our two bizarro dogs.