I want to start with a riddle. Think of this as you read on, and at the end, I will give you an opportunity to answer the riddle for a giveaway!
What do a cook, a quilter and an ocean view have in common?
My Nepenthe by Romney Steele
If you live on the West Coast, you may know of the restaurant, Nepenthe. I think of Nepenthe as more of a destination than just a restaurant. For years, my family has been making the drive down the coast to spend a magical day in Big Sur, California. We visit some of the most beautiful coastline available, stroll through majestic redwoods and explore the bohemic lifestyle in this mystical place that inspired artists, writers and creative souls over the years.
But at the end of the day, we always, and I do mean always, stop to visit Nepenthe.
It is the perfect way to end a day in Big Sur.We relax and enjoy the spectacular views, have something to eat, and then search for a special treasure in the gift shop, The Phoenix.
It was on one of my first visits, I looked up at the vaulted ceilings in The Phoenix and noticed quilts hanging from the rafters in all their glorious colors. That is the day I found out Kaffe Fasset‘s family owned Nepenthe.
You would think that being given a beautiful book called My Nepenthe would be a very meaningful gift for me. But it even gets better.
Author Romney Steele is also co-owner of a very special cafe, oyster and wine bar in historic Old Oakland appropriately named The Cook and Her Farmer.
As much as I love the food, I also love simply taking in the atmosphere. Colorful jars of canned goods and bowls of fresh produce line the counters.They convey the spirit of her farm to table principles.
You can pull up a cheery, red stool to the warm, wooden tables for a casual and communal meal.
I am in awe of those able to convey their vision so clearly for others to enjoy. Romney’s bio describes herself as a writer, cook and visual artist. I would agree. Whether I am reading her book, sitting in her establishment or peeking at her blog, there is a vision that she is sharing. It is warm, and colorful, and I enjoy being a part of it.
So all of this leads up to my gift, the book My Nepenthe. A book of stories and tales of Big Sur. It is a story about food, family, how it all unfolds around the table and why that matters. It celebrates the magic and history of the family who started Nepenthe, Romney Steele’s family and yes, the Fassett family.
Ahhh, it’s all coming together, now isn’t it??? Kaffe Fassett is Romney Steele’s uncle!
I am sure many of you have read and loved the autobiography by Kaffe Fassett’s, Dreaming in Colour, which shares his stories of life in Big Sur.
Even the design elements are delightful. Romney used Kaffe Fassett’s ever popular Millefiore design for the spine of the book, along with remnants of her grandmother’s smocks which were scanned and shared throughout the pages. It is so amazing to know a family such as the Fassett family could completely embrace the spirit of creativity.
Aren’t we fortunate that they did?
To end my story, I want to share a excerpt from Romney Steele’s blog,
She writes about her love of cooking in words that resonate with the way I feel about quilting:
Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard – Romney Steele’s latest book
“I often turn to cooking when I feel out of sorts, when I feel less than grounded, less than knowing my way. Cooking, like gardening, feels tangible. Whether slicing lemons for a bright marmalade, or turning over the soil to plant spring greens, both feel grounded in my history and in my present–in so much that is healing and gives me joy. Preparing and sharing food creates a feeling of well being, of time well spent and good work done. It’s also deeply meditative, restorative by way of making.” Romney Steele
Thank you Romney. Your words inspire me to be true to myself. To do what I do because it is who I am. But for now, I am yearning for the Big Sur Life and I just want to curl up in some quilts and read all about it!
So, dear readers,
What do a a cook, a quilter and an ocean view have in common?
I hope you enjoyed my story.
Have a great week!