“I’m not leaving Italy without a pair of boots that I love and I’m not leaving without cooking lessons.”
These were high on Patty Newth’s must-do list when after retirement. She had embarked on a trip to Italy as an exchange student.
Little did she know that what she would bring home and share with the world would far surpass the scope of boots and Italian cooking tips.
Thanks to a small farmers market in Sienna, she was introduced to a tasty bit of Heaven called, tomato jam. And the memory of something so sweet, so unique, is what transported Patty to her present life.
How did such a tiny experience in a far-away country change the life of one woman?
After returning to the states, Patty had a bumper crop of tomatoes, and not having very many options to make use of them, decided to turn to her Italian inspiration and create some of her own jam.
In case you’re wondering, tomato jam is runny like a sauce, full of fruity sweetness, and contains the varied spices that tomatoes traditionally pair well with.
And I must say, a few unexpected, yet wholly incredible flavors as well, thanks to an experimental mind like Patty’s. I’m talking, a-hint-of-black-licorice kind of surprise. Suffice it to say, that for one who detests black licorice, I am absolutely mad for the way it makes itself subtly present in Patty’s Beautiful Tomato blend.
With a flavor that contains the perfect marriage of sweet and spicy, Ms. Newth created a work of genius.
After dishing out some of her jam and receiving rave feedback from friends and family, it became clear that, just maybe, this endeavor could actually lead to a marketable product.
Patty’s ambitions once again led her to the classroom, where she took a class called “Getting Your Recipe to Market.” After weeks of experimentation and looking for just the right ingredients, learning about the food biz, and making her product look as good as it tastes, she was ready to start selling her recipe at the local yet wildly popular Beaverton Farmers Market in Oregon.
While nothing really arises without predecessors these days, there is not a single mixture of flavors out there quite like this tomato jam. Its versatile essence allows it to act as a dip for cheeses, veggies, breads – you name it. Spread it on a pizza crust – and you’re living a dream. Mix it into your pasta, stuffed peppers, or even top your sandwich with it – and you’ll realize that life just handed you a homemade gift.
At the age of 68, Patty is making her name as a student of life and passion, as well as a creator of that which sustains our happy spirits – flavor. Shortly after her voyage to Italy, she battled a stint with lower paralyzation, yet with her determination and a cane she made it to classes every week where she perfected her recipe. It is now without a cane and full mobility that she greets success, which her wildly indomitable spirit made possible.
She is truly an inspiration to us all that we can find our passion at any age!
Heather is a writing and editing consultant who is dedicated to pointing the spotlight onto small businesses, healthy living, and empowerment through a genuine and thorough examination of one’s relationship with the surrounding world. Based out of Portland, Oregon, she is currently involved with projects involving the autism spectrum, music, farmers markets, local entrepreneurs, joycotting upstanding businesses, and DIY blogs.