Nancy Van Brasch Hamren
Born and raised in California, Texas and Iowa, Nancy’s was the third generation in a lineage of health food enthusiasts. In 1966, Nancy moved to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco to attend college (and just in time for the Summer of Love, 1967). In 1969 she met Ken Kesey, counterculture leader and author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and was invited to take care of Ken’s Eugene, Oregon farm while he was in London recording stories with the Beatles. When Nancy heard that Ken’s brother, Chuck, had a little creamery in Springfield, Oregon and was looking for a bookkeeper, she applied and soon found herself sharing her knowledge of making yogurt. This was just when live cultures were becoming a topic around the farm.
Using Nancy’s grandmother’s yogurt recipe, Nancy and Chuck began experimenting using acidophilus in a sour cream-like yogurt. What they ended up with was traditional, creamy, full-bodied, tangy yogurt that is now known as Nancy’s Yogurt.
Nancy’s career at Springfield Creamery has supported the growth of her own family, including her husband, Jerry, and two daughters, Emily and Meredith. “The neat thing about this creamery is that it’s not just work,”she says. “I’m the bookkeeper and the historian. I do research on new cultures, new ingredients; I taste every batch of yogurt we make. We are each deep banks of knowledge about many things, and what makes it so enjoyable is that we all fill in for each other in so many ways. It’s a culture of sharing.” Thankfully Nancy is sharing some of her favorite Summer of Love dishes with us this month…we hope they become your favorites, too!
Fuji Apple Salad
with mesclun greens, julienne local apples, toasted walnuts, golden raisins, blue cheese & an apple cider reduction vinaigrette
Grilled Leg of Lamb Shish Kebab Sandwich
grilled marinated lamb & red onions dusted with garam masala (indian spice mixture), & greek salad wrapped in a pita, served with a side of Nancy’s Yogurt tzatsiki (cucumber-yogurt dip) & house made french fries
Grilled Leg of Lamb Skewers
marinated & grilled leg of lamb & red onions dusted with garam masala, served with toasted pine nut & pea rice pilaf & Nancy’s Yogurt tzatziki
Wild Salmon in Puff Pastry
butter puff pastry filled with poached wild salmon, rice, fresh dill, hard boiled eggs & sautéed mushrooms & onions, with a sour cream-chive drizzle, served with local seasonal vegetables
Ratatouille with Polenta
a provençal vegetable stew with local eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, onions, garlic & tomatoes on a bed of creamy polenta topped with shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Nancy’s Yogurt Panna Cotta
creamy eggless vanilla custard made with Nancy’s organic whole milk yogurt, topped with fresh local fruit