Someone’s in the Kitchen: Kitty Henry

Published 10:48 am Friday, October 25, 2013



By Merle Monahan
Contributing Writer

WINDSOR—Kitty Henry, a Southern farm girl, was already prepared to cook Northern foods when she married her husband, John, who was from Pennsylvania.

“I learned from my mom, who had to learn to use Northern recipes when she married my dad,” Henry said. “He was from Pennsylvania, too.

“It isn’t hard, but it is somewhat different,” she added. “For instance, instead of turkey dressing, they make a dish called bread filling.

“They use most of the same ingredients that we use for dressing, except they add mashed potatoes.

“But I like it,” Henry added. “In fact, I like to try new recipes, and I had no trouble cooking Pennsylvania Dutch, as they call it.”

Henry, 75, and her husband live just outside of Windsor and a few miles from Walters on part of her family’s farm. Their two daughters, Karen Phillips and Kay Phillips — the two husbands are not related — and their families live in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively.

“I love to cook,” Henry said, “and my girls just picked it up as they were growing up. I think, though, if we had to choose, we’d all say we prefer baking to any other form of cooking.

“Well, maybe not Karen,” Henry said with a laugh.

Kay cooks more than Karen because she has more time. But Karen works for Sara Lee, the bread and pastry company in North Carolina, so she is involved.

“Even though the girls are good cooks, they and their families love to visit us because, for one thing, they know I’ll probably cook something special. I even get compliments from my four grandchildren,” she said with a smile.

Henry has modified her way of cooking somewhat during the last few years, however, she says, because several years ago, her husband had some health problems and his diet was restricted.

She switched to low fat, low sugar and less salt, but says she hardly knows the difference.

“I was never heavy-handed on the fat and salt, anyway” she said, “and my husband is happy with anything I cook.”

Although they do not farm, she says they are fortunate to have fruit trees and a big garden. Having grown up on a farm, Henry and John love the fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as the home canned, frozen and pickled products she makes every year.

NAME: Kitty Henry.

AGE: 75

OCCUPATION: I am a retired insurance agent, but I have always been a homemaker.




WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST COOKING EXPERIENCE: When I was first married, I tried cooking frozen peas without water in waterless cookware. It didn’t work. The peas were inedible, but I did salvage the pan.

ONE INGREDIENT YOU CAN’T COOK WITHOUT AND WHY: Salt, because it gives foods a better flavor. We have had some health problems, however, so I have learned to use less. But the foods are just as good once your taste adjusts.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT COOKING: Have all ingredients on hand before you start and when following a recipe, be exact when measuring.

WHO IS THE BEST COOK YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN AND WHY: Both my mother and mother-in-law were excellent cooks and were the ones I learned from, so, I have to give them both credit. They were farm wives and cooked from scratch, using products that were grown right on the farm, like eggs, butter, fresh milk, vegetables and meats. Every meal they prepared was good. I think fresh foods are so much better than those purchased from a store.

IF YOU COULD EAT ONE FOOD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE: I can’t think of a thing I would eat for the rest of my life. In fact, I would think it would be extremely boring to eat just one thing.

Refrigerator Rolls


1 ½ cups milk

½ cup sugar

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ cup oil

2 pkg. dry yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

4 to 5 cups of bread or plain flour


Scald milk. Add sugar, salt and oil. Cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Add to cooled milk mixture. Add half of flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining flour to form stiff dough. Knead dough on floured surface until very smooth. Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Punch down dough in bowl. Rub surface lightly with oil. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to bake rolls, remove dough from refrigerator, knead lightly and make into desired shapes. Place on greased pans and let rise. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

NOTE:  This dough is good to make dinner or sweet rolls. When making sweet rolls use ¾ cup of sugar instead of ½ cup. The dough will stay fresh for five days in refrigerator.

Congealed Cranberry Salad


1 (6 oz) pkg of black cherry gelatin

1 (6 oz) pkg. cherry gelatin

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, reserve syrup

1 cup hot water

1 (8 oz) pkg of soft cream cheese

1 can whole cranberry sauce

¾ cup chopped pecans


Add enough water to pineapple syrup to equal 1 cup of liquid. Dissolve gelatins in hot water.

Stir in pineapple syrup and let cool. Blend cream cheese and pineapple until well blended.

Add cranberry sauce and pecans and stir until blended. Add to gelatins. Mix well.

Refrigerate until firm.