Heart of the Home

| May 2005

A Letter From Kate

Dear Readers,

When I was a young bride, and I lived far from home, I called my mom several times to get recipes from her. She was very helpful and made sure that I had most of my favorite recipes typed on cards before I left home. But I soon realized there were a few I'd forgotten.

I called Mom to get her recipes for tuna casserole and potato salad, but she told me she didn't have any because she just threw things together. She tried giving me the ingredients and directions over the phone, but the finished product just didn't taste like hers.

Now that I've been cooking for many years, I understand that you don't always have to follow a recipe. When making a few classics such as chili and banana bread, I always reach for my Betty Crocker cookbook. However, I've found that I can make foods the way I like them by modifying the recipe. For instance, when I make chili, I use pinto beans instead of kidney beans, and I add more spices and an extra can of tomato sauce that the recipe doesn't call for. With a few small alterations, you can turn a cookbook recipe into your own.

I have a few favorite recipes that I follow to the letter, but I've found that I often fall back on the recipes in my memory. Often, when I'm rushed, and I don't have the time to try a new recipe, I fall back on a tried-and-true, such as French bread pizza, goulash or even Mom's tuna casserole. It seems that the old favorites never fail to make my family happy.

It's funny how even the most simple of our favorite recipes can have a special place in our loved ones' hearts. My husband claims that I make the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the world, and I know that's one thing I can make that will always bring a smile.

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