by Francesca Patterson
Hello, and happy Sunday to all Norman’s readers! I would like to formally introduce myself. I feel as though I have been talking to you all summer as a stranger, so please let me take this opportunity to get us acquainted. My name is Francesca, and I have been having an amazing time writing the recipes for Norman’s website every week this summer. I work as a manager of our newest daily stand located on the corner of Green Tree and Old Georgetown Road, at the historic Bethesda Community Store across from NIH.
I am currently a student at Montgomery College, but I will be transferring to a different school to pursue food studies. I have specific interests in the policies of international agriculture, sustainable farming, and ways to ensure access to healthy food. I am also extremely interested in culinary arts and farm-to-table production.
I grew up in a household that was influenced by food in every way. My parents met each other while they were both working in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. in Rome, Italy. They lived there for about 8 years, and then after I was born they got transferred to Washington D.C.
My mother changed careers and pursued her long-sought-after culinary degree, while my father stayed with the UN but became increasingly involved with urban farming projects. We had a large test garden right in the backyard of my childhood home, scaling across about a quarter of an acre. I would tend to and harvest our vegetables with dad then watched intently from my mother’s side as she used them to create lavish and delicious meals for us. We would revolve our evenings around homecooked supper, and we had grand ‘farmer’s breakfasts’ with all our leftovers on Sunday mornings. Growing up, I resented our strict, mandatory family dinners every night. But I am now forever grateful, as it gifted me a refined palette for simple and fresh flavors. I am so pleased to be able to share with you all the endless beauties of cooking with and for your loved ones, nourishing your bodies and souls with nature’s medicine.