Gach writes a cookbook

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WAKEFIELD—Not long ago, Debbie Gach, who lives near Wakefield, received so many requests for her recipes from her two grown daughters in Florida, that she decided to write and present to each of them her own cookbook.

“It has saved a lot of phone calls,” she said with a smile, as she showed off her creation.

Filled with recipes she has saved over the years, the front cover of the book proclaims, “I Love to Cook Cookbook,” by Debbie Gach.

A Florida native, Gach and her husband of nearly 10 years, Charlie, now live on their 115-acre farm near Wakefield.

“It is so peaceful and quiet,” she said. “My husband and I are learning to be farmers.

We have our own garden and a bunch of chickens.”

Gach says she already knew how to cook like people used to years ago on the farm, however.

“My grandparents were born and raised on a farm and I used to spend hours with my grandmother in her kitchen.

“Although they lived in the city at that time, she still cooked the same basic foods — nothing fancy —that she used to cook on the farm,” she added.

“I loved cooking so much that my mom bought me a toy oven, and when I was at home I made all kinds of cakes in it.

“Mom even started calling me ‘Little Susie Homemaker,’ she said with a laugh.

Gach’s recipes today are a little more varied than her grandmother’s, though, she said.

“As you go along, you create your own style. For instance, I work and I sometimes make a dish ahead, so it’ll be done for dinner when I get home. Although I love to cook, I don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as my grandmother did.

“Except when the garden comes in,” she added. “I used to freeze a lot of things, but ever since a hurricane caused our electricity to stay off for so long that I lost two freezers full of food, I reverted to my grandmother’s way of preserving food — I can.”

She said she inherited all of “Granny’s canning utensils” plus Charlie’s mother’s pressure cooker and uses them today.

The young grandmother says she is expecting her entire family for Thanksgiving this year. “I will prepare the turkey and dressing, along with several other dishes, but because there are so many of us, they all bring a dish as well.

Gach takes it all in stride, she says. “The cooking is not a problem.

“Actually, I’m looking forward more to seeing my daughters, Christy and Niki, Charlie’s daughter, Renata, and my 11 grandchildren.

Name: Debbie Gach

Age: 48

Occupation: Office manager/receptionist at the Ivor Veterinary Clinic.

Favorite food: Steak, with chocolate as a close second.

Least favorite food: Liver

What is the first thing you remember cooking? Cookies, when I was about 12.

What has been your worst cooking experience? When I first started cooking, I decided to boil potatoes and put the top securely on the pot. I learned the hard way that you don’t do that — it’ll boil over every time.

One ingredient you can’t cook without and why: Onions. If I can use an onion in a dish, I do, because I think it gives a better flavor.

What is the most important thing you have learned about cooking? Don’t leave what you’re cooking unattended.

Who is the best cook you have ever known and why? My grandmother and my mother. My grandmother was an excellent cook and my mother learned from her. I learned from both of them. In fact, I spent almost every afternoon after school with my grandmother. Granny used her own way of measuring — like a handful of lard, or a pinch of salt. My mother and I learned to do this, but for a new recipe, we often use the traditional measuring spoons and cups.

If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Steak

debbie gach’s salmon patties


1 (14 ¾ oz) can of salmon (remove bones and skin)

½ to ¾ cup of self rising meal

1 small onion, minced

1 egg

½ tsp salt


Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. Fry in small amount of oil until brown.