Cooking Kathy Style



Aunt Kathy


I know Donna is compiling a cooking guide but darn, I hate to cook. In a moment of frustration when Matt was seventeen I grumbled “I hate to cook!”

Shocked he replied, “But I thought you loved to cook.”

“What makes you think I liked to cook?” I retorted.

“You do it every day,” so much for the logic and wisdom of youth.


I probably picked up my attitude from my mother. She was an excellent cook. No one in the family has been able to adequately replicate her lemon meringue or apple pies. Despite this she would rather read a book than cook a meal. Reading was her passion. Perhaps it was because she cooked for five children who had a 19 year span between the youngest and the oldest. Between 1947 when she had a toddler and an infant and 1980 when the youngest left home she cooked at least 28,000 meals.

I too cooked for my family and during that time never served a TV dinner or instant mashed potatoes. My cooking was however basic and forgettable. Along the way I learned some non-cooking tricks that I will now share.


1.) Perfect 10 easy to cook meals and serve them over and over. According to Matt and Becca that was just what I did.

2.) Periodically make cookies for your children. They are easy made and create the illusion of a good cook in your children’s minds.

3.) Avoid elaborate cooking equipment. In 1982 we moved into our home on Nacoma Lane. Shortly after we had an open house party. I hired Kathy Towe to cater the event. As she and I and Rita did the preparation the other two began looking for needed equipment. They were appalled by my meager collection of cooking gear. Rita swore she was going to hold a kitchen shower for my next birthday. The shower never happened because, “It was obvious you would never use anything we gave you,” Rita explained.

4.) Do not cook fried chicken, buy it. I learned this after setting the kitchen afire for the second time.

5.) Cook like a Yankee: Yankees like their turkey moist and Southerners, at least the Thompsons, like it dry. In 34 years of marriage I was only asked to cook the turkey once, in our third year of marriage. However my Yankee children like moist turkey so I get to cook one for them at Thanksgiving.

6.) When someone complements you at a dinner for your contribution be honest. “Kathy, that cheesecake you brought was wonderful, what is the recipe?” Response, “No recipe, it was made from a mix that came in a box.” If you get a reputation for good dishes you get asked more.

7.) Work longer hours than your husband. When we both worked and TJ coached his cooking skills consisted of hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Ask Matt and Becca about my summer trips to New York to visit my family. When TJ retired from teaching and semi retired from the bank he began cooking supper for us. I was driving an hour each way to work and often stayed late after school. As he began to cook more his selections expanded. At this point he is a pretty good cook. When Frank Beaver retired and Sue was working at the bank Frank took over the dinner shift. I would stop by and stand in amazement at the beautifully set table and well balanced meals.

8.) Always remind yourself that you have other talents. For example writing humorous articles.


As I enter retirement I may cook more. I do like to cook something fun for parties. In fact I have already signed up for a class at the Folk School in cooking chocolate dishes. I just need one or two killer chocolate recipes to be remembered fondly by after I am gone.



Donna’s Favorite Sausage Balls

Served on Christmas Eve

By Aunt Kathy


1 pound sausage (hot or mild)

3 cups Bisquick

1 lb. or ½ cup grated cheese (cheddar or sharp.)

Only a die hard cook grates cheese. Buy it in a bag.


In a bowl mix ingredients together by hand. Form one inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 35 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

They can be frozen and used later.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 04:16