20 Apr Meet Marcella Kapsaroff! Gardener, Natural Cook, Nature Lover, Teacher
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I love to visit local farms and Audubon centers with both of my children. Our older son, Chris, is 25 and our little one, Izzy Jane, is 4 (same husband)! My greatest wish for them is that they love each other and stay connected to each other despite their vast age difference.
When and where are you the happiest?
I am happiest on late summer afternoons when my husband, son, and daughter are near and we have just finished a great meal prepared with ingredients from the Greenwich Farmers Market. We usually sit on our front porch overlooking our small front yard vegetable garden, drinking hot coffee, eating pie and talking about current events.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would head over to Unity, Maine this fall to enjoy the Common Ground Country Fair.
Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?
After having my last child I connected with a few moms who have little ones around the same age as my daughter. These four moms have had a huge influence on me. I have learned how to be kinder, more patient, more fun, and more loving towards myself and my young child than I ever thought possible.
Kindness and good listening skills are the qualities I admire most in mothers. Listening to little ones is showing them the utmost kindness and respect.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to hike with my husband at local Connecticut Audubon centers. We love the long trails at Greenwich Audubon and Bent of the River Audubon in Southbury. We also enjoy the trails at New Pond Farm in West Redding. During these long hikes we reconnect to nature and to each other and hiking is great exercise.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
In 1998 I read The Hundred Languages of Children and my approach to child development was profoundly and forever altered. One of my core truths of childhood was validated in this book; young children’s big ideas are worthy.
I haven’t watched any recent movies but I love movies that explore the miscommunications and understandings between adults and children, like “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Way Way Back.”
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed?
I learned how to take care of plants at a very early age on my parents’ plant nursery. When I had my first child I focused less on horticulture and more on child development, so for many years I was a nursery school teacher. Fortunately I could often combine my passion for gardening and nature with my early childhood classrooms. My love of nature led me to become a teacher naturalist for the Greenwich Audubon center. While working on my M. S. of Child Development I was a teaching assistant at Sarah Lawrence College’s early childhood center. While there I developed greater knowledge of how children make their learning visible through their representational drawing, painting, and writing. Currently I am finishing up my Master’s thesis and volunteering at PIFS as the Garden Coordinator.
What are your strongest qualities?
I am creative and I have always been a hard worker.
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
My favorite type of food is local, grass fed dairy; cream top milk, whole milk yogurt, and local eggs. We get these items at New Pond Farm in West Redding. I love to make fruit pies and homemade ice cream. In the spring I make a delicious fresh strawberry pie. I use the same pie crust recipe my mom used when I was a child and in season Connecticut strawberries. I also love making homemade ice cream. I found store-bought ice cream to be too sweet so I started making my own. I use local cow’s milk/cream, local eggs and I add just the right amount of sugar and good quality vanilla, delicious. In the fall I love making apple pies. We pick several types of apples from Averill Farm in Washington Depot, CT. I use at least 4 varieties in my apple pie recipe and of course I serve it a la mode with my not too sweet vanilla ice cream.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
My favorite time of the day is sunrise. I especially enjoy sunrise on the weekend, my husband brings up coffee and we cozy up in our bed with our little one. The cat and the dog join us and we just hang out while the sun climbs higher and higher, streaming sunshine through our window.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
My favorite place to hang out with moms is my kitchen and of course my favorite drink is hot coffee.