Carolyn grew up wild in the Pacific Northwest where she developed a deep love of Evergreen trees, traipsing through mud puddles, fingering sword ferns and building tree forts. She also trolled through Santa Barbara beaches as a kid when in the eighties her mom packed up her saplings to a vegan commune in Santa Barbara at the tender age of eight.
When other kids were eating Wonderbread and Twinkies. Carolyn, at the Polarity commune discovered there was no such thing as convenience foods or television. As a result, she spent most of her days cooking in a communal kitchen learning about herbs and vegetables grown in the Polarities community gardens as one big “family.” Juicing wheat grass, hand picking Valencia’s, squeezing Meyer lemons for honeyed lemonade, snipping backyard basil and yanking up garlic for pesto, pounding out whole wheat for burrito rolls to be filled with pureed pinto beans and layering eggplant lasagna…these nouveau hippies made an indelible impression on Carolyn that food could taste incredible in a different way than junk food.
But it was more than just cooking that got Carolyn’s attention as a child. She loved trolling the Santa Barbara beaches and laid back vibe of shops and Farmer’s Markets where she and her sister “road the rails” (city buses) exploring all different sorts of adventure as free rangers meeting a litany of characters on and off the beaten path which included learning to meditate, tend goats and drink their milk from a Yogi near Ronald Reagan’s famed Rancho del Cielo ranch atop the Santa Ynez mountain range.
Carolyn left the commune long ago but when she began a family of her own she quickly tired of the “canned” kid’s tour of activities. Longing for genuine, authentic, experiences that she could share with her children in the “field” as in trippin’ around the PNW or at home in the kitchen or a combination of both as she did as a child. But instead of just sending her chicks out alone she wanted to join them and write about these experiences in her community.
Forks in the Road is a manifestation of Carolyn’s love of writing, motherhood, cookin’ and trippin’ around her community meeting interesting people and sharing their stories.
*Stay tuned for her latest at home series:
Cookin’ and Trippin’ with Pippimamma at Camp Ossorio