Stories From the Kitchen: A Delicious Meme

My growing collection of cobalt blue glassware in my kitchen window.

What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?

This was hard for me because it seemed like I was always helping in the kitchen instead of doing it all by myself. One year for Christmas I got the pans that made a tiered cake (in fact I still have them). I am going to say I was twelve. I loved little black and white illustrations in the Betty Crocker cookbook and on page 147 in showed how to use these pans with a Silver White Cake. I think that is what I made.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?

If I would have spent more time with my two grandmothers they would both be on this list because each them had their own style, but both their cooking styles revolved around garden fresh vegetables, hearty desserts, homemade dill pickles, and delicious fruit desserts and cookies. I spent more time in the kitchen with my mom. She made homemade bread many Sundays, simple comfort meals like pork chops and meatloaf during the week, and great desserts like Lemon Fluff and brownies in her "spare time"! From my mom I learned how to explore cookbooks for unique recipes, clip recipes by Dorothy Dean from the Spokesman Review, and the art of putting a nutritious meal on the table within sixty minutes.

Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?

The picture above shows me between my parents cleaning up after dinner at my grandma's house in Spokane. I don't even remember Dad ever doing dishes, but I love this picture of all of us together. We probably enjoyed dessert after the kitchen was cleaned up.

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?

Making candy and using a candy thermometer. Whenever I see words like soft ball and hard ball stage I shudder. I tried to make fudge once, but it was humid and I guess that changes the life of fudge. It was a disaster. I let other people make homemade candy.

What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?

Valued appliance: My dark blue Kitchen Aid mixer.
Biggest letdown: nutmeg grater.... where do you find the nutmeg to grate and how do you do it without shedding some skin?

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else!

When I was younger it was always a pack of Fisher's sunflower seeds with a can of Pepsi while reading a book. I don't think it is funny or weird, but I have always loved applesauce with any pork dish, particularly pork roast. I think it would be weird not to have the following combinations: potato salad with cold fried chicken, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, baked ham with scalloped potatoes. (notice a little potato theme will show up again below!)

What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don't want to live without?

pasta with other additions, good cheese, and a warm,fresh loaf of bread

Your favorite ice-cream?

Butter Pecan

You will probably never eat...

liver and onions

Your own signature dish...

Mitford Orange Marmalade Cake

Any question you missed in this meme, that you would have loved to answer? Well then, feel free to add one! Here are mine:

Which meal is your favorite to prepare?

I really like to create breakfast for a group because we don't have fancy breakfast very often when it is just the two of us. I love trying egg dishes, overnight roll recipes and pastries.

What vegetable is your favorite to prepare?

Perhaps it is because I am from the "Famous Potato"state of Idaho that I love to collect and prepare potato dishes.

Which cookbooks are the favorites on your shelf?

The Barefoot Contessa series, the original Betty Crocker Picture cookbook, The Habitat for Humanity Partners in the Kitchen series, Fix-It and Forget-It Recipes for Entertaining, and Pacific Northwest, The Beautiful Cookbook.

If you decide to do this meme, let me know so I can come and savor your answers.


  1. I absolutely love your blue glassware collection. And the photo with your mom and dad is precious.
    The first memory that pops into my head of helping mum in the kitchen is of peeling potatoes. I did that a lot :) Our elderly Scottish neighbor taught me to make shortbread and date teacake. Yum!
    I'd love the recipe for your orange marmalade cake if you'd care to share it. Marmalade is high on my list of favorite foods :)

  2. Okay, it is posts like this that show we come from different eras. I don't ever remember eating lemon fluff. Or brownies that often. And what is with the three tiered cake pans? I never knew you had these, or that you actually made a three tier cake. That is impressive. I love the picture of Dad and Mom and you at the sink at Grandma's house. Wow, Dad actually did pitch in and help with the dishes. The proof is right there!!! And all your cobalt blue looks beautiful!!!

  3. WR has to have applesauce with ham/or pork chop.
    I'm with you on the pasta cheese & bread. I could live on it.

  4. wonderful going to try it love that blue window


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