HOW TO GROW A SAM (recipe)

by Sam(antha Renard)

★★★★★ rated 5 stars (see reviews)

Prep time: 19 years


What you’ll need:

  • A spotify premium account (download the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack)
  • 5 cups of poetry books
  • Lots of markers (preferably blues and greens and glitter pens)
  • She loves journaling.
  • (You will need a vessel to pour her essence into)
  • A dash of confusion (and some indecision, maybe?)
  • lots of jeans.
  • Fuzzy sweaters, anything with stripes
  • Disposable cameras
  • Airheads Xtreme sour strips
  • Pretty sunsets
  • Cake batter ice cream

What you do:

1. To grow a Sam, you will first need a warm, kinda dry California climate — preferably Los Angeles. Sams are grown in Sherman Oaks, near Los Angeles, and love to be surrounded by tall trees, glowing orange sunsets, and really cold pools of water.

2. Add family. She’ll need three older brothers and two nieces to love and play Mariokart with, as well as a Dad to make the best food ever, and a Mom that loves baking cookies. Her family will be kinda weird, but all families are — she’ll need these lovable folks to get her through hard times. Her family will give her all the books she could want, and provide her with endless markers and construction paper to craft birthday cards and origami bouquets out of. For your Sam to grow up big and strong, she’ll need her family to never fear showing her love and support — by growing the Sam in this environment, she will only show love and support to her later friends.

3. Teach English! Sams always knew how to speak English, but to make your Sam especially Sam-like, she will need to develop an overwhelming love of putting her feelings into words. To help Sam, provide her with poetry books and ask her philosophical questions concerning how to be the best version of herself. Note: after asking such questions, allow Sam to chill in a nearby refrigerator and thaw with her thoughts. She will require marination in spices of curiosity, kindness, and complexity to produce juicy answers.

4. Show her some science! She’ll fall in love with the research methods and spend her summers at UCSD, interning at molecular biology labs and growing corn (she can teach you about corn when she returns). Given the time, the relationships she fosters with her teachers and community will make her feel whole. You will notice your Sam thrives in such environments where she experiences mutual respect and feels like she matters. She will work for her teachers in research positions, but she will also treat them like people — some of her favorite lessons will be taught by her teachers outside of the classroom.

5. Add music. She’ll make a playlist for every month and ask you to listen to it and give her recommendations (which she may or may not take; your Sam has most likely grown to be somewhat stubborn). Given the opportunity, she will learn to play double bass and ukulele and insist she cannot sing even though she does it all the time when she’s alone (and she probably won’t think kindly of the author of this recipe exposing her like that).

6. Add friendship. 5 cups. The friends she’ll meet will be kinda weird, but she’ll be wholeheartedly in love with them, and she probably won’t shut up anytime soon. She will insist on traveling to Europe with them, planning murder mysteries, visiting amusement parks, wearing capes, dancing at pool parties, and obnoxiously singing anything Disney at any karaoke party. These friends are especially important to her development of gratitude skills. Every night, she will be so grateful for having these amazing people in her life that she will write down a list of why she’s happy. Her friends will know and love her.

7. Send to college far, far away, to the land of Massachusetts. By now, your Sam is ready to leave her home in California and tackle the East Coast. You’re sad to watch her go — California is deep in her blood by now, and the poor thing will be clueless when snow starts falling out of the sky — but you’ll encourage her to go, because both of you know that if she doesn’t leave California for college now, she’s never going to leave.

8. Give her too many options. She’ll arrive at college, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, thinking she wants to double major in chemistry and philosophy, but she will rediscover her loves of English, Psychology, International Relations, Anthropology… oh no, you made Sam love too many things! She’s overwhelmed. Allow her to de-thaw for several hours. She’s too indecisive for this.

9. Show her the Camp Augusta Website. She’s confused – who is she? Who is narrating? Who is Randy? What is life? What is camp? What are embers? What is this new world: Manzi Village? What adventures could be in store? She seeks to re-ground herself with nature, crafts, and campfires. In addition to studying chemistry and asking the biggest philosophical questions, she will spend her upcoming time studying the Augustan ways and testing her communication skills. At this point, your Sam is pretty sure of what she wants to do in life, and she’s getting really excited for the summer….

10. Say hi. She really wants to meet you, she’s been asking me about you all day. She’s practically jumping up and down, knowing I’m typing to you. She really likes hugs but won’t hug you without consent and will do her best to respect your personal space. She really just wants to be your friend and she wants you to get psyched about this next summer, which she knows will be the best one yet.


“I am Groot” – Groot

“Woof Woof” – Doggo

“One of the best recipes you’ll ever use and with long-lasting flavor! I used this recipe before I came to college, and made sure to add a 6th cup of friendship: us! Two suggestions: add more cups of friendship so her Spotify isn’t overwhelmed, and add a car so I don’t have to keep driving an hour to hang out (she’s worth it, though). This recipe also thrives at Disneyland.

11/10 would make again.” – Becca, friend