Taste of Home asks Field Editor Sue Gronholz about her favorite Best Loved Recipes. Order your copy of our greatest cookbook ever and enjoy the very best from cooks just like you.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Taste of Home Field Editor?
My favorite thing about being a Taste of Home Field Editor is sharing recipes. I have been an avid recipe collector since I was in high school and I love to swap good recipes with my fellow cooks. Taste of Home allows me to do that on a grand scale! Not only do I regularly send in recipes to Taste of Home, but they have given me wonderful opportunities to share my love of cooking.
And how long have you been a Field Editor?
I’ve been a Field Editor for Taste of Home since it began in 1993. I’m one of the original “1000 country cooks” and quite honored by that! I still have the letter that Taste of Home sent to me, introducing me to their new magazine and inviting me to be a Field Editor. My recipe for Taffy Apple Dip appeared in the Premiere issue. Since then, I’ve had numerous recipes printed in Taste of Home and its sister publications. I still have all the issues in which my recipes appeared! I’m currently working on a Taste of Home scrapbook for myself, which will highlight 20 years of good food and wonderful memories.
Who taught you how to cook?
I learned to cook from my mom and both of my grandmas. When I was little, all three of them would let me (and sometimes my younger sister) “help” in the kitchen, even if we weren’t actually too much help! They were patient and taught me the basics of cooking and baking. My parents and grandparents all had large gardens, so when I was older, I helped snap beans, shuck peas and husk corn for the freezer and clean strawberries from my grandma’s huge strawberry bed. My sister and I also took turns making dessert to pack in my dad’s lunch box and provide a sweet ending to our family meals.
What inspires you to cook?
My family (husband, Todd; son, Justin and daughter, Heather) is my main inspiration for cooking. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than providing a delicious meal for them.
When my husband and I were first married and our kids were small, I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. We were on a tight budget, so I relied on my big garden to provide much of the food for our meals.
I enjoyed gardening so much, that my husband built a small greenhouse for me. We started selling our extra bedding plants, herbs and heirloom produce at the Dane County Farmers’ Market.
Within a few years, we moved from our city house on a double lot to a country property with 8 acres. We built 2 greenhouses and had a store on our farm. In addition to selling at the market, we started selling to several prominent restaurants and I became good friends with the chefs who worked there. They encouraged me to experiment with my cooking and offered lots of helpful tips.
This added fuel to my creative fire and soon I found myself teaching herbal cooking classes at Moraine Park Technical College and giving numerous presentations to local organizations. Our daughter often assisted me with the classes and presentations and our son helped us with the restaurant deliveries.
My love of gardening and good food turned into a family business and we all look back on it fondly!
Do you consider yourself a cook or a baker?
While I consider myself both a cook and a baker, desserts are my passion! I’ve always enjoyed making birthday cakes for our kids and as far as I’m concerned, a meal isn’t over until the dessert has been served!
After our kids left for college and we closed our greenhouse and produce business, I did the baking at two area coffee shops. My coffee cakes and cheesecakes were favorites with my customers and I received many special orders for them. Although I’m no longer at the coffee shops, I still enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. My husband doesn’t mind being my “guinea pig” and I appreciate his feedback. I have several new cheesecake ideas “in the works”, as well as a few herbal treats. Who knows, once I have the recipes perfected, they just might appear in Taste of Home!
Who is your favorite person/persons to cook for?
My favorite people to cook for are my family and friends. Whether I have a houseful of guests or it’s just my husband and me, I’m happy to be able to provide a delicious meal.
What’s your least favorite dish to prepare?
My least favorite dish to prepare is fried fish. My husband loves to go ice fishing during the winter months with his brother and nephews or our son or daughter and usually manages to come home with a nice catch of pan fish. As much as I look forward to eating the fish, I really don’t care for the amount of time it takes to fry them up!
What’s your funniest kitchen adventure?
My funniest kitchen adventure was not having a kitchen at all. Our first home was a real “fixer-upper”, so when it came time for my husband to remodel our kitchen, the easiest thing to do was to gut it out and start over. We moved everything, including the appliances into our dining room. In order to wash the dishes, I had to fill my dish pan with water from the bathtub and use the dining room table as my countertop. Thankfully, this “adventure” only lasted for 3 months, and when we were finished, our new kitchen was featured in the August/September 1993 issue of Taste of Home.
What’s your favorite Taste of Home recipe(s) – and why?
I have so many favorite Taste of Home recipes, that I actually have a whole recipe card box devoted to them! Instead of having the actual recipes in each category in the box, I have the names of the recipes written down on an index card and which Taste of Home cookbook they appear in. (I have an extensive Taste of Home cookbook collection!) Some of my favorites include: Marla’s Maple Pork (delicious…I like to use a pork sirloin roast and cook it in my slow cooker); Pumpkin Sloppy Joes (I grow lots of pie pumpkins each year and this is a great way to enjoy them); Blueberry French Toast (this is a family favorite for Sunday brunch); Brunch Casserole (another favorite for our Sunday brunch); Brownie Pizza and Chocolate Chip Blondies (both are easy to make and taste so good); and my husband’s favorite cheesecake out of all the cheesecakes I make is Lavender Brownie Cheesecake (it’s one of my favorites too!)
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?
My favorite kitchen gadget is my Kitchen Aid mixer. After using one on a daily basis when I was working at the coffee shops, it was the first thing I bought after winning the grand prize in the Taste of Home Cookbook Recipe Contest. My grandson, Garrett, likes to help me whenever I use it.
What country are you dying to eat your way through?
I really don’t have a favorite cuisine and enjoy trying recipes from all over the world. I do like Chinese, Thai and Indonesian food and will occasionally treat my family to an ethnic meal. On the other hand, I’m just as happy serving sauerbraten and spaetzel or homemade chicken alfredo. Mealtime at our house is never boring because I have so many “old” family favorites that I just don’t make often enough and so many new recipes that I want to try!
Bonus Question: What’s your favorite food blog? Loveandhomaderecipes.com…of course!
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