I decided to be a writer when I was twelve years old. Originally, I wanted to be a poet, or at the very least a novelist. I spent many years writing short stories and working as a freelance writer and editor for newspapers, publishing companies, and nonprofits.
Then I fell in love with food. It happened when my husband got a job that landed us in rural New Jersey. We lived in a big old pre-Civil War farmhouse and started a huge vegetable garden. While bending over my string beans and digging up potatoes, I began to wonder about food and its meanings throughout history. It occurred to me that through food I could learn about peoplesí lives and write about many things.
From this came my first book, A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances. It begins with Native American women cooking in earth ovens and goes to the present day and our time-pressed microwaving lives. It won a James Beard Award in 2004.
Next, I began to look for my own personal history and wrote The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken -- a quest tale about my search for a long-lost family recipe. My travels into pasta making and Liguria were a joy and adventure beyond what I could have imagined.
In the last few years my writing has taken me to new places. In August 2016, my new book, The Dogs of Avalon: The Race To Save Animals in Peril, will be published by W.W. Norton. Stay tuned for more.