Someone’s in the Kitchen with Edna Porter
Published 10:54 am Friday, December 27, 2013
Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer
NEWSOMS—Edna Ree Porter has not forgotten how she insisted when her daughters were young that meal time was also family time.
“It was a time when the whole family could get together to have a good meal and talk about the day’s events,” she said. “It was a way to keep us close.
“So, when they left home,” Porter went on, “my brother, who is my only sibling, and I decided that we and our spouses would get together for dinner every two weeks.
“We decided this at our mother’s funeral,” she said. “We were just thinking about how our families were drifting away, I think.
“It’s been nine years since we made that pact,” she added, “and we haven’t missed a single time. He and his wife come here to our home once a month and my husband and I go to their home once a month.
“The women do all the cooking,” she said with a smile. “I enjoy that because I love to cook.”
Porter does indeed love to cook and her family, neighbors and friends can attest to that.
Although her two daughters, Norma Harakas and Rene Lassitor are married and live in South Boston and Michigan, respectively, they come home with their families — eight grandchildren— about twice annually and can’t wait to taste their mother’s home and country-cooking.
“I am a country cook,” Porter said. “I make a lot of casseroles and home-cooked vegetables from our garden.
“My husband, Norman, loves home-cooking, so I try to have a good supper for him.
“Actually, we sometimes have our largest meal mid-day and when this happens, we just have a light supper. But we always have one big meal per day.”
Although her mother taught her to cook from scratch without a recipe, Porter often uses one, she says. “I’ve also started making some non-country dishes,” she continued, “like Italian and others.
“We’ve gotten to like things like that in the last few years.”
She stays busy, she added. Aside from taking care of her home and cooking for her husband, she has been a volunteer with the Southampton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for more than 35 years and regularly transports people in the neighborhood who may need a ride to doctor’s appointments.
“That’s why I call myself a peacemaker,” she said with a smile. “I try to help people who have problems, things like that.”
She is also active in her church, Newsoms Methodist and is one of the first to bring something for the bake sales.
¾ cup cooked, mashed pumpkin
¾ cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp soda
Mix all ingredients except nuts. Spread on greased baking sheet, sprinkle with nuts and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
1 (8 oz ) pkg. cream cheese
2 tsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar.
Mix filling ingredients at room temperature. Turn cake out on towels sprinkled with powdered sugar and roll up until cool. Unroll, spread filling on cake and reroll. Wrap in waxed paper or foil and refrigerate.
Italian Crescent Bake
Italian Crescent Bake:
1 pound ground beef
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
½ cup sour cream
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. crescent rolls
1 (8 oz) can mushrooms, drained (Optional)
½ cup chopped onions
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp rosemary
Brown beef and onions. Drain and add tomato sauce and mushrooms. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Spread in bottom of 12x8x2-in baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top of meat mixture. In measuring cup, combine sour cream and spices and mix well. Unroll crescent rolls. Spread about one teaspoon sour cream mixture on each triangle. Roll up and place on top of meat mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in 375 degree oven.
NAME: Edna Ree Porter.
OCCUPATION: Homemaker and peacemaker.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD: Chicken, cooked any way.
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE FOOD: Mushrooms.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER COOKING: French fries.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST COOKING EXPERIENCE: I had a hard time learning to cook in an iron frying pan. I burned several things before I learned to adjust the heat correctly.
WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT YOU CAN’T COOK WITHOUT: Black pepper.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT COOKING: Go directly by the recipe and don’t rush.
WHO IS THE BEST COOK YOU HAVE EVER KNOWN AND WHY: Both my mother, Josie Butler, and my mother-in-law, Louise Porter, were great cooks. I learned a lot from them. They cooked the old-fashioned way, from scratch. They never used recipes, just seemed to know what ingredient and how much of it they needed and their dishes were always delicious. Both of their families had gardens and it was from them that I learned to can and pickle and I still do that today.
IF YOU COULD EAT ONE THING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE: Chicken.