Search This Blog

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Starting From The Beginning...

As I relaxed and enjoyed my Spiked Sun Tea this past weekend, I pondered what to submit for my second Blog Post. Then it occurred to me, perhaps I should start from the beginning-the roots of my passion for food, travel and design. 

Food: My love of food began as a young boy in my grandmother’s kitchen in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  My grandmother and aunt both were a huge source of inspiration when it came to cooking and creating new recipes and helped me hone the skills and techniques that I use to this day. I spent my summers on the family farm, learning how produce, meats and grains were cultivated and harvested.   I developed a deep-seated respect for the earth and everything it yields, and learned that there is no greater reward at the end of a hard day’s work than sitting around the dinner table with family and friends enjoying the fruits of one’s labor. 

Travel:  Growing up we did not have a lot, so our vacations consisted of camping trips. My Mother (yes, my family was a victim of divorce), would leave work and pick us up in her  awesome blue Ford Mustang. All we needed was a canvas tent, sleeping bags and a Coleman cooler full of food. 

Dinner was a true American classic; Oscar Meyer hot dogs and canned baked beans. Once the tent was set up, we set off to find the perfect stick for roasting our dinner over the fire. My brother and I would then sharpen our sticks to perfection, although I'm not sure whether it was more fun finding the stick or actually having the opportunity to use our Swiss Army knives (which were also great for opening cans).


Although we loved the flavor of a good old fashioned hot dog cooked over a camp fire, we always saved room for dessert; Sweet Pudgy Pies. For those of you that do not what a Pudgy Pie is, it is two pieces of soft, white Wonder bread, coated with butter, filled with canned fruit and pressed in a Pudgy Pie maker. Set on hot coals for about five minutes per side, and you've got yourself some good eats! I can practically taste that meal now. To this day, everytime I grill out, I get a little nostolgic for our time spent camping in Wisconsin.

Design:  My grandmother, an orphan of the depression, was adopted by a couple who were shoe cobblers for the Kohler family as well as the local factory workers. She lived a wonderful childhood of birthday parties, church get-togethers and Sunday dinners. She told elaborate stories of parties with beautiful silver service pieces, ornate floral arrangements, hand sewn dresses of imported fabrics, and the latest shoe fashions, which completely captivated me.  With my grandmother's influence, I learned the importance of presentaion, unique event aesthetic, and the utmost importance of proper etiquette; lessons I use on a daily basis.

Whenever I find myself in a creativity rut, I try to go back to where I started from to gather a little humble inspiration.  Just remember that your best ideas may come from the simplist memories from your past.

1 comment:

  1. How neat. I can understand your creative roots a bit better. What a tribute to your Grandmother.