scroll down to meet the family and find some recipes
My grandfather was a Steel Worker with a strong German background. He bought a farmhouse in Pittsburgh so that his three daughters would have places to live as they first married. My parents and their two daughters (a third daughter was born 14 years after I was born) had a complete living area on the main floor. My oldest aunt and uncle and their three children lived on the second level. The youngest aunt and her family lived on the third floor. Needless to say we had three mothers and plenty of siblings.
Cooking was a complete family affair especially during the holidays and during the yearly family vacation to Canada.
(Pap liked to make Canadian snap turtle stew but I don’t have his recipe. He cooked alone.) On holidays we usually had our special jobs. The salads were one of the specialties the kids helped with, that and setting the fancy tables. We also helped with peeling roasted chestnuts for the stuffing and making marshmallow yams. The youngsters automatically did dishes after the holiday meals.
When Mom cooked, I was usually at her side peeling potatoes or measuring ingredients. Mom was so much faster than I was, but she was also very patient. She was always glad to have help.
My mother always enjoyed baking and experimenting with recipes. It’s her love for experimenting that sparked my interest in trying new recipes. She loved to teach her methods and try new recipes with our assistance. She was VERY tolerant of our mistakes. She loved to bake cookies and we loved to taste-test them. I have several recipes that we consider our comfort foods, all of them with roots in Mom's cooking. One example is the creamy scallop casserole. Mother especially likes scallops. Since she also likes creamy foods the casserole is a perfect combination of both.
I am the mother of three marvelous young adults. My oldest son, Michael Todd stayed in Missouri. He is a software engineer for Enterprise. I don’t get to see him nearly often enough. Anyone can guess that I fix his favorites when he comes our way.
My daughter, Amanda Marie, lives in the Philadelphia area and just presented us with our first grandchild in December. She is a genetic counselor.
My youngest, Thomas Alan, is graduating from Geneva College in May and also getting married in May. I’m busy baking cookies for the reception. Cookie tables are a Pittsburgh tradition.
All three love pepperoni rolls and peanut butter balls. The rolls are a November tradition and of course the chocolate is a Christmas essential.
About Karen: Karen works as a psychiatric nurse, bringing compassion and concern for others to her job. "With psychiatric work," Karen tell us, "you use yourself as a tool and try to help others visualize the positives rather than getting hung up on the negatives. Building a strong rapport is helpful."
Of her private life, she says that "I'm blessed with an overflowing cup. God has definitely been good to me. I have a loving family and supportive friends."