While Pennie Lane isn’t a mother per se, she does play mother to young artists, a Friesian horse, a cat, and a herd of sheep. She’s the ultimate nurturer – a giving, generous person who loves to feed her friends and family – something she learned from her mother. Pennie was born in North Portland in 1954, to forty-year old parents who had tried to have children for nearly 20 years. Pennie grew up on amazing home cooking – her mother made a fresh pie every day, canned tons of fruit and vegetables, and never let anyone leave her house without a jar of something. Pennie made her first lasagna at 10 years old (but she forgot to turn on the oven!) She took cooking classes for four years while still in high school, making elaborate, multi-course, French dinners every Wednesday night. By the time she was seventeen, Pennie had read every book in the library about famous hostesses and entertaining, and frequently tried to practice what she read.
If Pennie’s name sounds a bit familiar, it might be because of a Beatles song. But it also might be because a slice of her early life was loosely portrayed in Cameron Crowe’s Academy Award-winning film “Almost Famous” (Starring Kate Hudson), based on the period when Pennie became a popular muse/companion to famous rock stars in the 1970’s. By age 19, it was time to move on, so she “retired,” began to study journalism, and attended California State University, Northridge, on a full fencing scholarship. She went on to a successful career in shopping center and sports marketing, and helped make the nation’s Olympic (ARCO) Training Center in Chula Vista, California, a reality. In the early 1980’s, she married, obtained an MBA, and spent some time in Kenya. A decade later she divorced, started her own marketing company, and then left Southern California to relocate home and business back to Portland.
Today, Pennie lives in solitude, peace and beauty on her family’s farm. She is getting ready to bottle her vineyard’s first pinot noir on her private label. She credits her parents for inspiring her love of good friends, fresh quality food, and impromptu entertaining, and is thankful neighbors no longer raise an eyebrow when famous and/or almost famous friends show up in tour buses or helicopters. Her menu this month is as diverse as her life experiences – favorite recipes from California, France & Africa.
Everything is delicious…so as Pennie says, “Honor your Mother, Enjoy, and Rock On!”
Incredible Shrimp & Cheese Won Tons
with a sweet & sour soy dipping sauce
African Chicken Stew
boneless chicken breast cooked with peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes and peanut sauce, served with rice topped with green onions toasted coconut & roasted peanuts
“painted hills” beef, slow-cooked with red wine, mushrooms, pearl onions & aromatic vegetables, served with fresh egg noodles
Madamoiselle Valerie’s “I Want to Marry You” Tequila Shrimp
with garlic, cilantro, ginger, curry & tequila, served on a bed of fresh fettucine tossed with a spicy cream sauce
baked pumpkin custard topped with caramel