How I Became a Pretty Good Cook

When I got married in 1982, I really didn’t know how to cook at all. You have to remember this was long before the Food Network, cooking shows and the Internet. Back then neighbors and co-workers would share recipes or maybe you would see a recipe in a magazine or newspaper that sounded like it might be good.

I worked with a group of women who were constantly sharing recipes. I was fortunate to eventually work my way into the group. One of the members taught data processing (remember that?) and made 3×5 cards for everyone when a new recipe was discovered. I still have my rubber banded pile of cards, food stains and all.

It was around this time that I started to enter baking contests. On my first attempt, I placed 3rd in the Kirby’s Mill (Medford, NJ) contest. The only requirement was that the main ingredient had to be apples. My entry was an Apple Cranberry Pie. The next year I entered my Dutch Apple Cheesecake, a recipe I had found in a magazine at a doctor’s office. I had to purchase a springform pan because I had never made a cheesecake before. Success was mine as I was awarded 1st place!

My competitive spirit inspired me to continue to enter contests. I gradually taught myself to cook. There have been a few clunkers along the way (My husband will never forget the Rueben Casserole) but generally it has been a tasty and successful ride. My awards are listed under the Recipes section under Culinary Awards.

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