My Name is Haleigh Newman and I’m the newest Intern at VeryVera. Working at VeryVera is special to me because I attended VeryVera Cooking Camp when I was a kid for all four levels that were being offered at the time. I still remember the first year I went; I truly thought I was hot stuff when I went back to school because I could fold a napkin into a decorative rosette shape. Honestly, I still think I’m hot stuff because I can fold a napkin into a decorative rosette.
I still have all my old recipe booklets from camp. Among them is one of my most loved recipes, a simple Lemon Icebox Pie recipe that we made at camp when I was 12. I think I made that pie 100 times before I was 16 because my family loved it so much. I kept going back to Cooking Camp because of recipes like that, ones that teach you that good food and good taste are something that can bring people together. And, of course, the napkin folding.
Cooking Camp is an experience that I carry with me today. Every time I write a thank you note or prep my ingredients before I cook, I think of the counselors who taught me those things when I was a kid. I graduated from the University of Mississippi and went on to teach first grade in Oklahoma for a year before deciding to pursue another career path, but no matter where I am in the country or in my life’s journey I know from my time at Cooking Camp that good manners and good taste are invaluable traits. Having the skills to navigate a kitchen sure doesn’t hurt either.