What's one of your first cooking memories? My Grandma Schlitter making pies. According to my mom, Grandma Schlitter had miniature pie tins and would make individual pies for her grandkids.
What is your go-to recipe if you have an event to attend and you've been asked to bring a dish? Mom's known for two recipes that are requested time and again - her spinach strawberry salad and her chicken and rice.
What is your favorite food? My mom closes her eyes and seems to go in a trance. Mashed potatoes and gravy - with homemade brown pork gravy. (You see where I get my taste for food?) Mom's other favorite food is homemade gingerbread cake - another recipe of my Grandma Schlitter's.
Why do you cook? Because I like to cook. I find myself standing at the stove with my hand on my hip just like I always saw my mother doing. Mom stops a second and glares when she sees that I'm grinning at her. "You're like your mom?" I ask, very cheekily. I stopped doing that because I am not my mother. (Editor's note ... it's just a long story. And if you're a woman, you probably understand that your biggest fear growing up is that you'll turn out to be just like your mother. But that does not apply to this editor. ... love you ma!)
Words of wisdom for other cooks: To hell with anyone else, cook what you like.
|My mama's the hot chick on the left. The other swell chicks are my cousin Trix (middle) and my Aunt Sue - another culinary goddess.|
Mama's Spinach Strawberry Salad
1 bag of prewashed baby spinach
1 c. Craisins
1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
Raspberry vinaigrette dressing with poppyseeds (Mom uses Kraft dressing ... I think)
Combine all ingredients, toss with dressing right before serving. If you're looking for a little extra crunch, slivered almonds or chopped walnuts are a good addition.