I just wanted to start off by saying "Thank-you" for dropping by. I'm not sure what I want to write about right now, because there are so many things I want to share. I see this as a place to share information about herbs, ingredients, the benefits of organic agriculture, as well as instruction on making your own simple body care products. For now I suppose I will just keep it simple and introduce myself.
I grew up all over the United States, having moved 6 times by the time I was 7. We landed in Omaha Nebraska where I lived until I finished High School. I've always been interested in many different things and so developed into a generalist in an era when specialists were desirable.
After High School I attended Prescott College in Prescott Arizona where my interest in natural living, herbal remedies, and organic agriculture blossomed. After spending a summer working the Salmon season in Alaska and a year in the suburbs of Chicago as a Certified Organic Farmer, I moved to Olympia Washington to finish my degree. I attended the Evergreen State College and studied Non-Fiction Writing, Photography, Political Science and Woodworking. Like I said, generalist. While studying everything else in my academic life I researched and educated my self on herbs and their uses and benefits.
Eventually I met a couple of ladies who had learned how to make soap the previous year. They invited me to join them in 2002 and thus began the annual tradition of the Olympia Ladies Soap Collective. For about ten years we made enough for personal use and to give as gifts. I tell people now that I learned how to make the most complicated thing first. Cold process soap is a dangerous and unforgiving medium.
I had never had an interest in Chemistry (I got a passing grade in High School and was thrilled), but soap making didn't feel like science to me, it felt more like cooking. I can see now where these activities overlap, and knowledge of one subject lends itself to understanding of the other.
I learned to cook from my Grandmother Elouise, a Montana farmers wife, who lived with us for the majority of my childhood. Elouise was a phenomenal cook (they say it skips a generation), and watching her measure when she baked, and improvise when she cooked I learned that some methods of preparation are more forgiving than others. She taught me how flavors work together to make an experience of the dish.
As an experimental cook I would mention middle taste to people when talking about a dish or food. A flavor is more than the initial taste and after taste. It is held together by the middle taste, much like a balanced scent has a top note, middle note and base note.
I have worked in the food industry on some level for the majority of my life; be it in a restaurant in Arizona, working the Salmon season in Alaska, on a Mussel farm in the Pacific Northwest, but mostly as a Produce manager for 10 years at the Olympia Food Co-op. I had many opportunities to expand my knowledge of food production, organic agriculture, and healing foods in that environment.
After spending 16 years studying then working in Olympia I returned to Omaha Nebraska for some much needed change. In making Apothecuryous products I have been drawing on the same instinct I have as an experimental cook. Ingredients are chosen by their benefit and matched with other ingredients to accentuate the effect.
I am grateful to have an opportunity to nurture my interest in exploring the many ways the natural world has benefits to health. Thanks for reading~ Tatiana