My real name is Donald Zimmerman, but my friends call me Mr. Z. It started years ago, because my wife called my mother, “Mama Z.” I was fortunate enough to have a wife and mother who truly loved each other. My Mom never had a daughter, until I brought one home to her, thus the affectionate name. Several years back, when we relocated for my wife’s job, one of her dear friends called me Mr. Z, and the nickname was born.
Of course, I am more than a name. I worked as a Press Leader for a publishing company for 32 years. I started that job straight out of school, and in the blink of an eye, three decades passed me by.
In 2012, my wife’s business was growing, so we decided that it was time for me to make a change. I took early retirement. I wasn’t passionate about my job. Instead, it was just something to pay the bills, but she loved what she did, so it made sense to grow her career. I began taking on a much bigger role around the house, and I also helped support her business, which became incredibly successful.
Meet Mama Z. I have always loved to cook. I learned my way around the kitchen from this amazing woman. She was a Registered Nurse who believed married couples were equal partners. Both my parents taught me the value of equal contributions, and they both made sure that I knew how to take care of myself. Marriage was because you wanted to spend your life with someone, not because you needed to depend on them.
Besides that, I like to eat, and anyone who likes food should know how to cook.
Because of all this, the role of “house husband” fits me. I love wandering around a grocery store or strolling through a farmers’ market to look for new ingredients. I read cookbooks for inspiration, but I always find my own twist. As you can see, sometimes Ms. Bella, our little black cat, likes to assist in the process, or at least she thinks she is helping.
I also love to travel, and try to bring home some inspiration from everywhere we go. For example, every time we visit New Orleans (a favorite spot for my wife and I), I bring home new creole spices or cajun processes. A trip anywhere near the coast inspires me to mix it up with fresh seafood.
I try to focus on simple recipes that taste good. I don’t want to rely upon that one impossible to find ingredient. Instead, I like to make delicious dishes with things that are readily available in my own pantry.
The best part is that all our friends tell me that I am actually good at making my special Mr. Z Creations, which means that the next logical step is to share my passion with the rest of you.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy adding a little Zest to your kitchen!