Nov. 6, 2016

The Adventure Begins Part 5 of 13

Our kitchen is the kind you dream about; the kind you see on HGTV.

At first it was just really pretty to be in, but hardly used. I’d helped cook dinner many times, but otherwise never ventured past the microwave or toaster.

As we settled in, my mom began to work like mad. Though she loves cooking, to this day the most time she spends in the kitchen surrounds the holidays. With little time for meal prep, coupled with a strong desire to “leave work” every day (like most), we started having dinner out most nights.

But that didn’t throw me off. I was lucky enough to have a mother who loved fine food, so dining out was always an experience.

She enrolled me in etiquette class at age 10 and since then I’ve had plenty of opportunity to practice my skills. I became no stranger to French words on a menu, or which fork to use first on a white tablecloth place setting. I began to appreciate unique foods and flavors, but none of it did I care to replicate.

During my 2nd year of college, I was studying one afternoon when the idea of a garden wouldn't leave my mind. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try. We constructed a raised bed on the back of our privacy fence--out of view of wedding guests. Naively, I chose to plant pumpkins, onions, tomatoes and sunflowers.

What I learned about pumpkins: they won’t be tamed (they're my spirit animal).

What I learned about sunflowers: they push past the height of your fence (also my spirit animal).

Not just eating it; making it. Hands in the dough, fingers burned by the oven, arms covered with grease splatters, utensils broken; the art of cooking.

Fact: I lost the garden in five months.

Fact: I became passionate about food. Not just eating it; making it. Hands in the dough, fingers burned by the oven, arms covered with grease splatters, utensils broken; the art of cooking. There was something about watching the plants grow (even for a short time) that made me feel connected to what I had planted. I was no longer wary of being in the kitchen. I began to embrace it.

This new passion for food, combined with my mom’s passion for space, brought the mission of hospitality via Tuscan Hill full circle.

I slowly started to feel I was on the right path; a strange, unsure feeling, but strong enough to keep me going (even now).

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Posted in: Our Adventures

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Nov. 10, 2016, 2:48 a.m.

The Adventure Begins, Part 4 of 13

With my newfound gratitude, my behavior began to improve, and although she had some residual fear, my mom rehired me for the third time. I had confidence that this would also be the final time; and I was right. I moved back home my sophomore year of college, and it was time to figure out how to really live in the same space as I worked.

Nov. 10, 2016, 3:18 a.m.

The Adventure Begins, Part 6 of 13

Ever since I can remember we’ve been going somewhere. My mother is fearless. She taught me that nothing is impossible, including traveling any and everywhere. Always part work, part fun. What sparked my love for travel was our trip to Italy.

Nov. 10, 2016, 3:33 a.m.

The Adventure Begins, Part 7 of 13

Travel taught me what good food was; the garden taught me I could make it. As the two came together, I began to cook relentlessly, so much so, that it became part of Tuscan Hill. My mom wanted to provide dinner to our evening shift employees so I convinced her that it would probably be cheaper (and definitely more fun) for me to cook. And the era of “staff dinners” began.