December 18th, Pilgrim’s Way hosted Romney Steele (Noni to her friends), author of My Nepenthe. This fresh off the press local coffee-table book has been a sell-out. And why not! It’s a local history treasure, a fantastic cookbook and full of behind the scene family memoirs. Did you know that Noni’s Great Great Grandfather, Frank Powers; was the founder of Carmel?
She brought this great pumpkin spice cake for us all. The story is that her two grandmothers threw this cake together for her uncle Gil’s wedding and thereafter it was a family staple. Wow, is it yummy…
Noni is a warm, unassuming, and open person. She strikes me as someone who would love to spend time writing or reading at home in front of a rock hearth fireplace. All the crowds and personal reflections shared with her are welcome but perhaps on occasion overwhelming.
The founding of Nepenthe was because of Noni’s Grandmother who spent time there in Big Sur and felt a very strong connection to the land and believed it was a place much more than a restaurant or shop; it belonged to everyone.
The prior owner of the property now known as Nepenthe, was Rita Hayworth, newly divorced from Orson Wells; she was awarded the log cabin in the divorce.