Imagine delivering a baby six weeks early in a truck, stranded on a back road, during a snowstorm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Suddenly, an amazing Austrian lady appeared from the midst of the storm to rescue the growing family. This my fellow readers, is how Sammy Hollenberg was brought into this magnificent world, welcomed by the loving hands of her father. Later in life, Sammy would be known as, “The Singing Cook” producing her own cooking show, Sammy’s Cottage Kitchen. #music #cook #positive
Sammy Hollenberg was one of seven children raised on one of the largest hog farms in Saskatchewan. Working on a hog farm meant working outside, shoveling poop, and tending to livestock. Sammy wasn’t down for that, she would much rather be inside listening to her favorite tunes while cooking new recipes. Sammy’s loving mother preferred working outside so, by the age of 10, the mother daughter team had officially switched roles. Sammy would joyfully pack all school lunches for her siblings and cook all meals for her family.
Hollenberg’s interest in food as well as music continued to blossom as she got older. Now married with children and working on her farm, Sammy began studies to become a Cardiology Assistant, different right? Sammy recalls the moment life began to take a different and unexpected path. “I was shoveling poo well, I was supposed to be. I was using the handle of my pitchfork as a microphone while singing Patsy Cline to my heart's content when a stranger began applauding at the barn door. A radio host had lost his direction and stumbled onto our farm for help. He heard me singing and liked what he heard! He helped me to enter talent searches and the rest is history.”
Singing and cooking is where Sammy found her happy place. Her marriage didn’t make it but that was a blessing in disguise. Sammy’s career was taking off and her third single, “Sweet Heartache” was in the making yet, she needed a steel guitar player. Jack was there to save the day as well as Sammy’s heart. The duo teamed up to tour Western Canada. Hollenberg continued to tour yet, always stayed humble to her roots. Cooking was never left in the shadows, Sammy was very observant of the food and culture of every country she toured.
Upon her return to Canada, Sammy wasn’t quite ready to dive full force into the music scene. She made her living by cooking for the Alberta oilfields. Sammy didn't stay at this job long because, get this...she cooked too good!.
Sammy, Jack, and the Band performed gigs by night as Sammy worked at a bakery by day. Once more, life’s ball of surprises gave Sammy and Jack a new direction. “Jack is from Holland and his father needed help. We planned to stay only six weeks,” says Sammy, “It turned out that there was a demand for my music which turned into 9 years of touring Europe.” The Culinary experiences she encountered were amazing, wetting Sammy's appetite for more knowledge about the culinary world yet, an unexpected and devastating curve-ball would place life on a different path. A path the Hollenbergs would have never expected.
While on tour in Switzerland and at the top of her game, Sammy’s 20 year old son had a stroke which left him slightly paralyzed. Sammy immediately flew home to be with her son. After being taken out of ICU, he suffered a massive aneurysm. Sammy explained this devastating time; “The truth is, life is not always kind in fact, sometimes it stinks. I had those 5 special days with him and that was a gift.” Keeping the “power of positivity”, Hollenberg ended her tour in Europe with her original song, Rose. Fan’s showered her with roses as no explanation was needed for this tender moment.
After seven years of touring, the Hollenberg’s were back in Calgary and barely making ends meet. Jack resumed his career as an electrician in the Alberta oilfields. Their credit needed re-established and their pockets were full of lint yet, the team stayed positive. With the help of some amazing friends, Sammy had the opportunity to attend culinary school. Culinary school led to a whole new dimension of life! SRH Catering, founded by Sammy Hollenberg, fed 100-400 people a day for 11 years! Sammy would feed folks during the day, and sing by night. Entertaining her guests while feeding their bellies was hard work that would soon pay off . Sammy was now known as, “The Singing Chef” which allowed her to re-establish her credit earning a down payment for a new home.
Sammy craved a simple life, she explained. “We eventually moved to Langenburg Saskatchewan, we just love it there. The people there are down home people who really care. It’s a friendly place where people don’t even have to lock their doors. I began a wellness business cooking healthy, nutritious, farm fresh food. This was new for Langenburg, Prairie Rose Wellness, was born and people loved it.”
Sammy’s career as, “The Singing Chef” exploded and she was given a spot on Canada’s Access TV presenting nutritious, homemade recipes while singing a song. She was offered a chance to further her career with her own show [filmed in her own kitchen], Sammy’s Cottage Kitchen! Going into her 4th season and at 70 years of age, Sammy isn’t done yet. As soon as September, you can catch, Sammy’s Cottage Kitchen on , Access Now TV. You’ll also see her pretty face and vocal talent representing Access Now, province-wide on public media, TV, and billboards. You think that’s it… Sammy Hollenberg is creating a recipe book with nutritious hemp recipes as well as providing, “Grandma’s recipes with a twist”!
“At 70 years old, everything is happening, it’s great and keeps me going! You just have to keep on keeping on. Live the life you love and love the life you live. Make a nice life for yourself. I have a lust for life and, I am living it” ~ Sammy Hollenberg
This woman is a rock star as Sammy, “keeps on keeping on”. Go through her videos and learn a new recipe. We all have time to experiment with some nutritious, easy to make, homemade meals as lock down persists. Have fun with it and sing along. Until next time...Stay Positively Golden Team!
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