- Date: Friday, September 10, 2010 -- 6pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our House
- Dining Companions: Matty, Corbett, Mary, Allison, Helen, Charles, Clara, Ron, Esther, Bob, Ben S, and Marcy
- Recipe Rating: A-
This recipe isn't online.
Only 76 recipes left to go!
When I was in seventh or eighth grade my friend Melanie asked me if I wanted to be her model for Style Revue. I had no idea what she was talking about. She explained that she would sew me something to wear and then I would model it for judges and they would judge her on it. In retrospect it was like Project Runway for kids. Except that Mel let me pick what kind of outfit I wanted. And she didn't make me wear stilettos. And Tim Gunn wasn't there. OK, so it was nothing like Project Runway, but it was the only time in my life that I have ever walked the runway. Mel made me an awesome outfit -- a sweatsuit of sorts -- and she got a blue ribbon for it despite my terrible modeling. This was all part of our county 4-H program. The next year I joined 4-H and was a very active 4-H member until I graduated from high school. It was when I tried to learn to sew myself that I realized how crazy talented Melanie is. My first year in 4-H I made pajamas -- chosen in part because PJs don't have to fit too well to look right! Melanie helped guide me, but basically I was hopeless. I am stubborn though, so the next year I tried again, making some plaid shorts with suspenders. I still have them. I don't wear them, of course, but I keep them around for a good laugh. It was after I made those shorts that I decided cooking, acting, and public speaking were better 4-H activities for me than sewing!
Now, almost 20 years since that Style Revue, Mel and I both have finished graduate school and earned PhDs. Yet we are both still drawn to those creative outlets we loved even as children. I went to culinary school and now have almost completed this crazy project. Mel has won a bunch of awards as a seamstress. And she just launched a business using her amazing sewing skills! She is rescuing wool sweater that are bound for the trash (because of snags, shrinking, etc...) and turning them into beautiful wool mittens! I have a pair (and just ordered another!) and they are awesome. If you are interested, she has just started selling part of her collection online. Her website is here!
It's strange to realize how much the activities we did as a child affected who we became as adults. And amazing to realize that friendships can thrive over decades of time, mostly spent living far apart. I am very thankful for Mel's friendship, and that she invited me to be her model all those years ago. It occurs to me, though, that she hasn't asked me to walk down any runways wearing her mittens -- maybe she wasn't too impressed with my runway walk! :)