Chocolate heaven

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When Judith Hasty makes her famous chocolate cake, she never makes just one.

“One is never enough,” she said with a smile. “People seem to really like it. In fact, when I’m asked to make a cake for any occasion, it’s usually this one.”

She laughed. “I took one to a family gathering once and my nephew simply fell in love with it. Now, whenever he sees me, he asks for his own chocolate cake.”

Hasty’s cake is her own creation, as are most of her dishes.

The reason for this, she said, is that she is never satisfied with a basic recipe and adds what she thinks will make it better. This is something she has always done.

“I like to experiment,” Hasty said. “Even when I was learning to cook in my mom’s kitchen, I’d add more spices, a little garlic or tomato sauce, things like that.”

The young mother of three has been cooking since she was about 10. She remembers spending hours in either her grandmother’s or her mom’s kitchen, just watching them cook.

As a result, she is a traditional cook like her mother and often uses her recipes today — adjusted, of course.

“My mom was very patient with my sister and me,” Hasty said. “She’d let us do our thing as long as we cleaned up afterwards.”

A native of the Carrsville area, Hasty teaches fourth grade at Carrsville Elementary School, the same school she attended as a girl.

In fact, she, her husband, Frankie, and their children live just across the highway from the school.

“I’m pretty lucky,” she added with a grin. “When the weather is good, I can walk to school.”

As would be expected, word of her culinary talents has spread, even to her classroom. On special occasions, she’ll take some of her baked goods to her students.

She also is one of the first to show up at the homes of family and friends when there is illness or a death — always with one of her special dishes.

“My passion is baking,” she said. “But I love to cook anything; it doesn’t matter.”

She doesn’t underestimate her love of the art — and has taken it to even another level.

Hasty is partial to anything connected to cooking and owns some 50 cookbooks, as well as a collection of about a dozen antique rolling pins. ←