I recently completed a couple of art pieces for my son, Drew. One is seen above and the other can be found here. Each of them is cut from a single sheet of Tyvek paper and mounted on mat board.
For those of you who may not know the history of Drew’s passion for culinary arts, I thought a bit more explanation may be in order.
It started when he was about six years old. We were eating dinner together and after taking a couple of bites, Drew said, “You know, this is good, but it would be better with some Grey Poupon.” I can’t remember what we were eating, but I do recall the shocked look Joel and I gave each other. Not only did our six year old know what Grey Poupon was, but he knew it wasn’t in the casserole we were eating. And even more interesting…he was right. Grey Poupon would have been the perfect addition.
It was then that we began to wrap our minds around Drew’s passion for food. Not just eating it, but understanding it. He was the one of our three children who routinely asked what was in each dish. And we learned that it wasn’t so he could refuse it (that would be Calvin) or dismantle it (that would be Alex.) Instead, it was so he could taste it more fully, discerning each flavor, appreciating combinations, usually replying with a “Hmmm…nice.”
Chef Drew has his roots firmly planted in the earth which in turn provides the needed ingredients for his creations. And they are entwined in his creative flow depicted as a river filled with maps and open spaces. He leans with gratitude on the pool of wisdom and tradition that has come before him; the legion of talented chefs who have followed their passions, laying the groundwork so that he may do the same. The tree of life springs up and around his head, offering insights and inspiration, sparking his imagination, and… Read More
Above photo courtesy of Palermo Galindo. The Day of the Dead celebration at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art was a success! We had record attendance – more than any other FWMoA event to date. The entertainment was lively as you can see from the flowing of the colorful skirts in the photo above. The food and margaritas were satisfying and the energy of the crowd was electric. I was struck by the presence and aliveness of this cultural community. I love my Irish and Croatian heritage – I research it, I carry some… Read More
(1883-1972) (1886-1976) I have just a few memories of my paternal grandparents living on their legendary Kaukauna, Wisconsin family farm because they moved into ‘town’ when I was pretty young. I remember Grandma’s huge molasses cookies (at least they seemed huge in my little hands) and the array of wild farm cats that she kept well supplied with bowls of milk – depicted at her place setting. She’s sharing the radio with Joel’s Grandma Ada, since they no doubt listened to the… Read More
Joel’s Grandma Ada died when he was only nine years old, so his memories of her are a little blurry, but fortunately his siblings are great storytellers. According to them: Ada drank Sanka, ate Raisin Bran, and wore two different colored support hose. She always wore a hairnet. Always. And two combs on either side of her head above her ears and a pair of clip-on earrings. Always. And when anyone had an upset stomach, she prescribed hot milk with a pat of butter, with saltines crumbled in the bowl, eaten soup… Read More
My Great Aunt Myrtle was chosen as my caregiver when I was three and four years old and my mom went back to school to be a teacher. Lucky me!! Despite being so young, I have clear memories of my days with her – watching her wrap her long hair up into a bun on top of her head; visiting her neighbors, Elizabeth and Mary; learning my alphabet during our ‘lessons’ on the little footstool near her rocker; and lunch. Each day we’d go into the kitchen and she’d open a cupboard… Read More
(1900-1962) My grandmother arrived in Kansas City, Kansas via Ellis Island in 1919 at the eager age of 19 and at a whopping 4 feet, 9 inches tall. She was alone, having been encouraged by her parents to leave her Croatian home after her older sister, Helen (Jela) refused. She quickly settled into life in the Croatian settlement of Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, working at the Armour Meat Factory, marrying Mike Sestrich (1891-1931), and raising their two little girls, Ann and Katherine, my mother. Her goal – to immerse her girls… Read More
(1933-1993) (1915-2000) Aunt Glee and Uncle Al were Joel’s quintessential ‘cool’ aunt and uncle. Having no children of their own, their home in Villa Park, Chicago provided an oasis for the six Sauer kids. It’s where they learned the ritual of cocktail hour where Glee drank her red wine and Al his Early Times with two ice cubes, never more, never less. Two of their many schnauzers are depicted at their place setting. These could be Brunhilda, Diablet,… Read More
(1906-1996) (1902-1996) Grandma Louise was one of those women you’re grateful to have as part of your family tree – strong, wise, fun-loving, and quietly dignified. With breakfast she always had a melamine coffee cup filled with plain hot water (for regularity) which she sipped with all the finesse of a wine connoisseur. She also almost always wore bracelets which would glimmer and clink delicately as she moved her left arm while eating, somehow magnifying her remarkably classy, dignified manners. She savored every mouthful (of her… Read More
Joel’s ‘little’ brother towered over him as evidenced by the family picture in the center of his plate. That loving goodbye, a family group hug, was the last time we were all together, wishing him well for his drive back home to Chicago. And now the tree that is planted in our backyard, also tall and thin, reminds us every day of our little bro. Kurt had a warm, sensitive heart. He adored and protected his mother, looked up to his older siblings, and showered his nieces and nephews with his undivided… Read More