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Meet Amanda Oien, eBA Intern

eBA Intern Amanda Oien loves food traditions and exploring Baja Arizona.

August 31, 2017

Editor’s note: This fall, Edible Baja Arizona is incredibly lucky to have six talented interns on board. For the next three and a half months, these University of Arizona students will cover everything from bakeries in Baja Arizona’s border towns to organic farming. Keep an eye out for their work, and please help us welcome them!

Many years ago, at Thanksgiving dinner, my family and I began eating my grandma’s made-from-scratch pumpkin pie. Every year, it was she who provided the pies; but this year, it tasted different. She took her first bite and looked at me, confused.

“I forgot the sugar,” she said.

I remember reassuring her that it tasted great, because it did. My grandma baked wedding cakes. She was the person you called with a baking question or desperate for help because your cake collapsed in the middle.

My grandma, who is now 98, has since stopped making her pumpkin pies. A few years ago, I took on the tradition and began buying sugar pumpkins, making puree, and baking my family’s pumpkin pies.

Food isn’t just nutrition. Food is love, family, laughter and memories.

My name is Amanda – I’m a journalism student at the University of Arizona and a native Tucsonan. I grew up on the east side of Tucson, against the Catalinas, exploring the Agua Caliente Wash and Mount Lemmon.

I began studying journalism because I love to write. Now I love journalism because I get to tell people’s stories. My passion is giving a voice to the voiceless, sparking change and knowledge. I am fascinated with border reporting. The US/Mexico border provides more than just a barrier between two countries. It gifts us with diversity, tradition, culture, art, and food.

I have a sweet tooth… a sweet tooth for ice cream. If it’s vanilla, don’t forget the rainbow sprinkles. If it’s local, it’s the Screamery’s Sweet Cream Honeycomb and nothing else. If it’s soft serve, and I mean over 50 flavors of soft serve, it’s the Old Benson Ice Cream Stop in Benson, Arizona. I’m also a repeat offender of eating ice cream for dinner on vacation.

Throughout my life, I have always associated food with the ones I love. Whether it was hotdogs with my sister as we sat at the kitchen table, dressed in our costumes every year before trick-or-treating on Halloween, my family’s recipe for walnut roll that is strictly baked only twice a year, tamales with scrambled eggs on Christmas morning, or cheesy scalloped potatoes for Easter, nothing compares – these are traditions and memories I will carry on throughout the rest of my life.

It is a dream to be writing for Edible Baja Arizona. I am so excited to share my love for food with you, the reader, and learn more about this beautiful southern region of Arizona that I call home.

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