Pen grew up on a farm near a small town in Southern Idaho. After graduating from high school, she started college. But after the second year, was married and raised a family before finally completing college in 1985 with a degree in Business Administration, Finance emphasis, from Boise State University.
Work after college was primarily that of a Securities Fraud Investigator for the Idaho Department of Finance, Securities Bureau. Duties included the discovery and investigation of potential fraudulent practices statewide in the purchase and sale of securities, and to develop cases for enforcement actions taken by the Attorney General’s Office. This was a rewarding and interesting job, partially due to the number of enjoyable co-workers.
After four years at Finance, Pen decided to take her education to another level, and was accepted into law school. While there, she participated in Idaho Law Review and completed a one-semester externship with the United States Attorney’s Office in Boise, Idaho. Graduating and passing the Idaho Bar Exam in 1992, she first worked at the Idaho Department of Insurance, Investigations Bureau, investigating potential fraudulent claims and practices of individuals and agents, and developed cases for enforcement actions taken by the Attorney General’s Office. She later was in private practice in Boise, Idaho, for several years until moving to Grangeville, Idaho, in the summer of 1998, and getting married to Butch that fall.
From the time Butch and Pen started dating, she began taking an active role in assisting Butch in his endeavors outside of his work at Idaho Fish and Game. She started making sales calls for his first cookbook in the Boise area while living there, and then they began the joint venture of marketing the first cookbook after they were married. Along came the first television shows in the fall of 1998. This was new turf for both of them, but they got the hang of it quickly. While Butch, or Cee Dub, learned all about camera angles, Pen was busy on the production side of things. Her role was to operate the production kitchen, i.e., do the shopping, preparation, slicing and dicing, cleanup, and show menu planning, and make sure that Butch had all that he needed at his fingertips for each show, down to the minute details. This could get rather hectic; as a typical day would be shooting three shows. A total of thirty-nine shows were produced in three seasons.
Butch and Pen published two more Dutch oven cookbooks, one in 2000 and another in 2002. Pen learned the software necessary to be able to publish the books, meaning taking the raw word processed recipes and stories, and importing the information into a format that is suitable for printing. She edited all of Butch’s stories, input the recipes, and completed the layouts for the final drafts. As part of the publishing side of their business, Pen created BACK COUNTRY PRESS, a sole proprietorship, as the business entity to interface with book distributors for marketing purposes.
In addition to publishing, Pen and Cee Dub continue to operate an Internet business to sell camp cooking supplies and equipment. CEE DUB’S DUTCH OVEN & CAMP COOKING SUPPLIES, LLC began by stocking items that viewers would see Cee Dub using on his television shows. They now carry a full line of ,a href=”http://www.ceedubs.com/dutch-ovens-cast-irons.html”>Dutch ovens and other camp cooking equipment, shipping items all over the country as well as internationally.
Knowing that the Public Television Series would not be on the air forever, Cee Dub and Pen decided in 2003 to take the plunge and film another Dutch oven television series that they would own. They formed CEE DUB’S PRODUCTIONS to get the ball rolling. During the summer of 2003, thirteen new episodes entitled, DUTCH OVEN COOKIN’ WITH CEE DUB, were contracted for and filmed in various locations around the Tri-Cities of Washington. The series will premiere January 4, 2004, on KNDU, Kennewick, Washington, and KNDO, Yakima, Washington. The thirteen shows will then be rerun, so the series will run for 26 weeks, or six months. The plan is to film more episodes during 2004.
Pen has a very active role in the new shows. Her hats include Executive Producer, Producer, and Writer. All that sounds rather glamorous; but in actuality, it means that she is the ultimate detail person responsible for making sure that all the preparation is done to make things happen smoothly and efficiently. Also, there is a considerable amount of post-production work to complete the shows. Additionally, she does most of the still photography for the television shows as well as for the cookbooks and photo archives.
Along with these activities, Butch and Pen spend quite a bit of time on the road making appearances and teaching cooking clinics. As the popularity of Dutch oven cooking grows, there is more of a demand to travel and be away from home. But the flip side of extensive traveling is having the opportunity to make new friends. Both Cee Dub and Pen enjoy seeing the smiles on faces when a new technique is mastered. That is very rewarding and is worth the time away from home.
Butch and Pen make their home in Eagle, Idaho.