Nearly everyone loves pasta, but Brianna Hess of Tiffin has a special reason to love it. She is is one of four runners-up in Skinner Pasta's 100 Years of Mealtime Memories Essay Contest. The winners were named June 25 and are to receive their $1,000 awards this month.
"I go to this website online with writing contests. I love to write, so I started doing that in college. I've won some weird things, like, I won a trip to Paris once, and jewelry, $500, perfume. I just love to enter these writing contests," Hess said.
The University of Toledo graduate works as a track and cross country coach at Heidelberg University and has been married less than a year to her husband Derek. Their daughter, Atley Annette Hess was born July 1. The contest, which opened in March, asked for an essay of 250 words or less.
"They wanted you to talk about a memory that you had that revolved around dinner with pasta. So I talked about when I made dinner for my husband and told him I was pregnant. It was our first baby ... It was something I'll never forget."
Brianna said she is more of a writer than a cook. She usually makes a pasta dish at least once a week because it is easy and inexpensive. For the big announcement, she got creative.
"I made bow tie noodles, because it reminded me of a guy dressing up for a special occasion, but my special occasion was to tell my husband that we were going to have a baby," Brianna said.
Brianna Hess' pasta memory entry
I set the table like a fancy restaurant. In the center, a single red rose, candles lit and two plates full of amazing food. I chose the Skinner bowtie noodles when preparing our Italian feast that night, as they reminded me of a man dressed up on an important night. In fact, this would prove to be a very important night, as my husband was about to find out that he was going to be a dad. I took the pregnancy test earlier that day and had to refrain from calling him at work. Instead, I planned a dinner involving pasta, as this is my husband's favorite dish. We sat down and I grabbed his hand and we started to pray. I thanked God for the wonderful meal we were about to eat and also for the amazing husband that I was blessed with. I mentioned our dogs and our families too, which is our typical prayer ritual. But, on this night, I had something new to add to our blessings. Before we said Amen, I said: "One more thingthank you for the baby you put in my belly." My husband's eyes popped open and he jumped out of his seat. He kept saying: "I'm going to be a dad!" We ate our Skinner Italian feast while sitting on cloud nine that night. Now, two months until my due date, we are anxious to meet the little girl who will bring many more amazing memories to our dinner table.
Now that Atley has arrived, Brianna said she loves being a mom. When her $1,000 check arrives, she plans to use it for household expenses rather than for baby items.
"Our family has showered her with tons of stuff, so we're pretty lucky. We're good on diapers for awhile, so I can focus on house bills instead," Brianna said.