Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
I like to get a big dinner and set up the table with my good dishes and shiny silverware and glasses on a real tablecloth. And invite my sister and grown-up kids to come and share.
I like to make candy and goodies for gifts at Christmas time.
I also enjoy cooking some of the same things my grandmother cooked on the farm where we grew up, and use her spoons or pans. I feel connected to her when I do that. I miss her.
Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
I learned to make muffins in 4-H when I was about 10. Even though my Grammy tried to teach me, I never really liked to cook as a child, I would rather just read her cookbooks. I had to learn, though, when I first got married. Then I worked for 30 years so had little time to cook. Now that I am finally retired I am enjoying trying new things and collecting cookbooks.
Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
I think the best was Grandmother bread, after 4 or 5 tries I finally got a loaf that looked half decent. This was just in the past month or so.
I do roast a pretty good turkey as well, DH says I make good cookies, and I can bake beans in a bean pot in the oven.
Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
Too many to tell about! We moved every couple of years when I was first married, and I had to get used to a different stove all the time. Burnt a lot of stuff! I am lucky to have a family that isn’t too fussy about what they eat.
Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
My kitchen is small but efficient. I guess you would call it a galley kitchen. Everything is on one wall or the other. I like it–it is easy to just turn around and put things on the stove or turn the other way and put things in the sink. I have my mother’s chrome breadbox on the counter and some of my Grammy’s utensils around. I would love to have more counter space and cupboards, though. I have to use my oven for storage for stoneware, pie pans, etc.
The best part is a window over the sink, which overlooks our back yard, flower garden, and stream. We often see deer or turkeys out there, or ducks or beaver swimming by. The foliage in the fall is outstanding!
Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
Ha ha! Organized and tidy? What’s that? My pantry consists of just my kitchen cupboards, and everything is crammed in there. I will say, though, that my drawers now are organized. I just cleaned them out a little while ago and took a lot of stuff to the thrift shop. I can open and close them now without things getting stuck.
Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
Coming from a long line of New England farmers, my favorite is baked beans on Saturday night with corn bread or biscuits. That’s an old Maine tradition that I try to keep. I even bake my own beans sometimes (not all the time!).
Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
My Grammy’s cast iron fry pan and griddle, wooden mixing spoons, bean pot, my Pampered Chef baking stone, Rada knives, and microwave.
Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
Probably crackers and peanut butter and milk! (Maybe I would need to take a cow!)
Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
Tomato soup and crackers or oatmeal with brown sugar.
Some of brookdale’s favorite recipes that she’s contributed to Farm Bell Recipes include:
- Apple Molasses Bread Pudding
- Real Cocoa in a Cup
- Stovetop Rice Pudding
- Microwave Homemade Applesauce
Suzanne McMinn on May 6, 2011 | Permalink
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