Say hello to Dede~wvhomecanner!
Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
A. Soups. And anything to feed a bunch of people at once. Comfort foods. Did I mention soups?
Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
A. I don’t remember NOT liking to cook. My Mom has said more than once that I was cooking circles around her by the time I was 12. She doesn’t give herself enough credit for the good stuff she cooked that I still love. But she didn’t really LIKE to cook and when she married my stepfather she gladly gave the cooking over to him (he also loves to cook). I’ve always been fascinated by what goes into a dish to make it THE dish, the chemistry of cooking, and the visual appeal. I am definitely a “live to eat” not a “eat to live” person.
Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
A. Anytime I have been told that something I made is as good as what someone’s Mother made – that’s a triumph! Especially when it brings back a good memory for them. And when I ace a recipe – get it just exactly the best it can be – that feels great!
Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
A. I am lucky that I can’t think of many I have had – but I remember one about 10 years ago. I was packing food for the guys to take to a pro football game. They wanted potato salad to go with grilled brats. I had been having issues with potato salad becoming dry as it sat in the refrigerator – the potatoes were absorbing all the moisture in the dressing and I didn’t want that to happen to them with no way to fix the problem. Sooo I made it rather soupy the night before and packed it on ice in the cooler. Problem solved. Ummm–they had potato salad SOUP at the game. They laughed. I was mortified!
Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
A. I have a love/hate relationship with my kitchen. The house was built in 1952 and everything is pretty much original. Big inefficient kitchen space. Little counter space. Not enough or weird shaped storage. I have plans, have accumulated things for it. Just not happening so far. I have hope! It will be a green that will compliment the old blue Mason jars that I have saved for storing staples and will have lots of vintage things. The framed poster that is my CiTR profile pic is already hanging on the wall, waiting….
Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
A. No, and No. The cellar room shelves (that no one sees) are! See answer above.
Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
A. Thanksgiving dinner for sure. Even if we are going to my brother’s and I am taking dishes, the whole shebang still has to be cooked here. We LIKE the leftovers. And afterwards has to come Turkey S**t for everyone (recipe here) and Turkey Gumbo soup for me. At Christmas I have to make homemade Chex Mix. They usually want it by the week after Thanksgiving – I have to hide part of it in the freezer.
Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
A. Good knives. Not expensive ones, either. Good ones that can be easily sharpened and fit my hand well as well as fit the job. A curved blade Granny Parer is a must. All my canning toys/tools. Canners, steam juicer, dehydrator, food strainer. Big stainless steel pots! I have few electric gadgets in my kitchen. I haven’t had an electric can opener in two decades.
Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
A. Onions. Yes, onions. So many things you can do with an onion and they are good for you. They can be eaten in any form from seed on up, they store well and can be used as medicine. They are savory and they are sweet, depending on how you prepare them. Can you tell I have thought about this before?
Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
A. Soup. Did I mention soup yet?? I love soup and can eat soup 365 days a year. For breakfast too. Hot and Sour and homemade Vegetable are two major favorites. Oh wait – French Onion or Wedding Soup. Homecanned Tomato! And then there’s homemade Chicken Noodle, Beef Pastina, Bean and Ham ……
Find all of Dede’s recipes here.
You can also find Dede at Yahoo’s Canning2.
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