My childhood memories evolve around our 40-acre “truck-farm” located in the fertile glacial loam of Northwestern Ohio. I vividly recall freshly tilled soil responding to warmth from the midday sun by emitting earthy “humus” aroma into the air. While our farm was known for flavorful, picture-perfect strawberries, surrounding neighbors harvested cucumbers for the local pickle factory and tomatoes for Campbell Soup, just 8 miles away.
Farm life in the 60’s offered little leisure. Children worked hard. We were ousted out of bed at dawn throughout “summer vacation from school” to work in the strawberry fields. Sunburned and tired from bending over to pick berries I’d finish the day by making strawberry jam or canning tomatoes, corn, beets and beans from our family garden.
I became up-close-and-personal with Campbell Soup’s V-8 juice while vigilantly working 10-hour shifts manning factory tomato, watercress and celery lines as I studied Food and Nutrition at Adrian College in Michigan 40 miles to the North. Upon graduation, I became a restaurant manager. Relocating to Denver in the ‘80’s evolved into corporate catering. Work ethics learned on the farm carried over to the strenuous (verging on insane) physical exertion and pace of catering up to 60 venues a day. Despite the challenges, I found enormous satisfaction in creatively preparing food often under challenging circumstances.
Another physical move…. this time to the edge of Glacier National Park just 60 miles south of the Alberta. Embracing the words of Henry David Thoreau (which I’ll paraphrase here): “I came to the woods because I chose to live deliberately…to front only the essential issues in life…. and to learn what it had to teach me.” I spent the next 20 years assisting my husband in expanding our simple two-room log cabin into an average size home and clearing a half-acre section of forest to convert to tillable garden soil. Endeavoring to simplify life and become more self-sufficient we enjoyed fishing and foraging while growing our own produce and raising chickens and guinea hens in Montana’s Flathead Valley.
After enduring the tragic losses of my husband and oldest son, I found myself searching for a purpose for my life. Introspection revealed my innate knowledge, ingenuity and enjoyment of wholesome food production from the ground to the table. The nuances of reformulating and manufacturing pasta along with the challenges of new business start-up culminate ALL of my life experiences. And happily, just like in storybooks, I met my handsome prince while selling pasta at our local farmers market.
If you’re lead to sample my pasta it’s because you were meant to try it for a reason. I trust it will assist you in your journey toward your personal homeostasis. Be well, my friend. Namaste.