Kelli started volunteering for MindsEye in early 2020 and just won the “Rookie of the Year” Volunteer Award! She reads remotely from Independence, KS, where she works as a VP for Bank of America. MindsEye Communications and Development Coordinator Laura Foughty got a chance to interview Kelli by e-mail this week:
Laura: When and how did you begin volunteering for MindsEye?
Kelli: I began volunteering for MindsEye a little over a year ago after a conversation I had with Marge Sanders, a board member and work colleague of mine. She was telling me about the reading she was doing and I said I would be interested if help was needed. I started doing “In The Kitchen” shortly afterwards, then later I added reading USA Today to my list.
Laura: Can you tell us about how you’ve made your show your own?
Kelli: When I first started on “In the Kitchen”, I was just doing straight recipe reading and was pretty terrible, in my estimation! Once I felt comfortable, I asked Jason how much I could add of my personality, and he gave me the green light to be myself. I must admit, I haven’t done straight recipe reading since! I like to mix things up by reading stories, recipes, hints and tips, articles about different types of ingredients, etc. I do some theme shows for holidays, or when I’m just feeling like we need to have a little Julia Child in our lives. The listeners have also heard about my mom’s cooking from time to time, and maybe a cat howling on occasion.
Laura: What’s your favorite dish to cook?
Kelli: It’s going to sound crazy, since I read and talk about cooking, but I barely cook anymore! It’s possible to cook for one, but I’m incredibly lazy AND honestly, I like cooking FOR people, so I don’t cook as often as I should. I really love making authentic Japanese food, but getting ingredients isn’t always so easy. When I actually decide to go for it, a good ramen will take me all weekend, and then I’m too tired to eat it!
Laura: What do you read in your spare time?
Kelli: I don’t have a lot of spare time, so I don’t read as much as I’d like. And I confess that one of my guilty pleasures is reading cookbooks!! I love to read the recipes, see the stories behind the food, discover how the author came to love the dishes, etc. But I tell myself I need the books for research for my show, so it alleviates the guilt I feel for having way more cookbooks than I need, or actually use. My latest is “Swedish Summer Feasts” and I’m sure the listeners of “In the Kitchen” will be hearing all about them! That said, I do have an extensive library just waiting for me to retire. When I am able to steal some time for reading, my books are histories, biographies, and true crime. I have been known to grab a John Grisham book when I want a light read. I recently bought a 700+ page tome about the Romanovs, so I’m hoping to dig into that one day soon.
Leave a comment and say “hello/welcome/congrats” to Kelli!