Archive for January 2008

• Recommended Reading: A Baker’s Odyssey

A Baker’s OdysseyHere’s a book that fits right in with the Newcomer’s exhibit. Greg Parent has collected recipes from America’s rich immigrant heritage in “A Baker’s Odyssey.” 

Parent was born in Shanghai, China.  His mother was from Iraq and his father from Russia.  They immigrated to the United States in 1950.  Parent earned a PhD from Berkeley and became a professor of zoology at the University of Montana.  He eventually left academia to pursue a career in cooking. 

For “A Baker’s Odyssey,” Parent collected recipes from others who had immigrated to the U.S.  He traveled the country, and visited the kitchens of over 60 immigrants from 30 countries to sample and record recipes from the old country.  He explains his reason for doing this as follows:

Food is like language.  You grow up learning to speak your mother tongue, and at the same time you develop tastes for specific foods.  If you move to a new country, you yearn for connection to the place you left, and food is the magical link.  My parents were no different from other immigrants in wanting to connect with familiar foods in a foreign land.  

Parent’s publisher describes the book as follows:

A Baker’s Odyssey is a rich collection of recipes and culinary history, all gleaned from Patent’s exhaustive research in the American home kitchens of immigrants from around the world. Through his travels across the country, Patent learned the secrets to traditional baked goods originating from thirty-two different nations. From Scotland and Austria to India and Thailand to Mexico, Norway, and West Africa, the recipes represent the best of each culture’s beloved culinary traditions. Chapters are organized by categories of baked goods, and include Fried Pastries and Doughs, Flatbreads and More, Savory Pastries, Sweet Pastries, Savory Yeast Breads and Pies, Sweet Yeast Breads, Cookies and Cookie-Like Pastries, and Dessert Cakes, Tortes, and Pies. Patent provides detailed information on the origin of each recipe and its ingredients, and gives a real sense of the cultural heritage behind each dish. Recipes are easy enough for home cooks of any level to master, and include everything from Jewish Matzoh, Eastern European Rugelach, and Sweet Irish Soda Bread to Russian Meat Piroshki, Italian Pignoli Cookies, and Chinese-Style Almond Sponge Cake.

You can listen to an interview with Greg Parent on NPR’s Sunday Morning by clicking here.

Please share your family recipes with others at the firm by posting them on A Warner Tapestry by clicking here.

• WNJ Sponsors Speaker on Women in the Auto Industry

Warner Norcross & Judd will be sponsoring a breakfast presentation by Amy Marentic, Large Car & Crossover Product Marketing & Planning Manager at Ford Motor Company, about her career in the auto industry and how women are making a difference.  Ms. Marentic will be addressing Inforum West Michigan at the Amway Grand Plaza on Friday, February 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  The breakfast is open to all.

Ms. Marentic is a West Michigan native.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering from the University of Michigan. She joined Ford in 1992, working in the aerodynamics department and several other areas of engineering before moving to the cycle plan office.

 To sign up for the breakfast, go to For additional information about Inforum, talk to Melissa Collar or Kathy Hanenburg.

• Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Events in Grand Rapids

mlkday_logoToday is the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Holiday.  A number of events are planned in Grand Rapids to celebrate the life an work of Dr. King. 

The Grand Rapids Urban League will hold its annual Corporate Breakfast to honor Dr. King’s legacy.  The breakfast is at 8:00 a.m. is hosted by Steelcase at its Town Hall facility on 44th Street.  Warner Norcross is a sponsor of the event. 

The annual Community Peace March at Grand Rapids Community College will begin at noon at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.  It will be followed by the Community Peace Program from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The winner of Warner Norcross & Judd’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay Contest will read her essay at this event and the other winners will be recognized.

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., GRCC will host the annual Community Celebration Program at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.  The winners of Warner Norcross & Judd’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay Contest will again be recognized at during the Community Celebration Program.  

• ¡Café Con Leche! ¡Hasta Mañana!

Café Con LecheWe have scheduled another ¡Café Con Leche! for Tuesday, January 22 at 3:00 p.m..  We will meet in the 7th Floor Conference Room, where we can use the video conferencing equipment to include people from other offices who wish to join us.

We will make 3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays a regularly scheduled coffee break for ¡Café Con Leche!

• Schedule of Events at the Ethnic Heritage Festival

Ethnic Heritage Festival

The Grand Rapids Public Museum has published a list of times of the various events that will be taking place at the Ethnic Heritage Festival, on Saturday, January 19.   The festival runs from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Admission is free.

Among the events is the opening of the new exhibition, “Newcomers: People of This Place,” which was sponsored in part with a gift from Warner Norcross & Judd.  The exhibit opens with a ceremony that begins at 11:45 p.m.

Here is the schedule of events for the entire day:

9:00 • Museum Opens – Free Admission!
10:30 • Irish Step Dance performance by Heinzman School of Irish Dance
10:45 • Origami Demonstration by Hito Akehi
11:00 • Choir Performance by Edelweiss Choir • Planetarium Show – Everybody’s Sky
11:30 • Concert by Alpentraum Alphorngruppe
11:45 • Opening Event • One Book One County Announcement
12:30 • Choir Performance by Sudanese Choir
 1:00 • Showcase of Ethnic Fashion – Narrated by Eva Aguirre Cooper • Planetarium Show – Everybody’s Sky • Beer Tasting – 400 beers from around the world (through 4:00)
 1:30 • Performance by the Pacific Island Dancers
 2:00 • Performance by India Folk Dance • Performance by Grace Wolbrink & The Muffin Dancers • Planetarium Show – Everybody’s Sky
 2:30 • Performance by Bag Pipe Group • Lithuanian Straw Weaving Demonstration by Don Atras
 3:00 • Concert by Bottom Line Blues Band • Planetarium Show – Everybody’s Sky
 4:00 • Performance by Grupo Wepa • Henna Art Demonstration by Vanessa Clarey • Planetarium Show – Everybody’s Sky
 5:00 • Concert by Shir Shalom choir
 5:30 • Performance by Baducada Club Drum Group

• Details of January’s Networking “Blender”

BlendBusiness Leaders Linked to Encourage New DirectionsBL²END – has announced details of its Networking Blender on Thursday, January 17.    The Blender will be held at Churchills Bistro at 70 Ionia SW from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Details are available by clicking here.  RSVP to  by January 14.  For more information about BL²END, click here.