Barbara Stafford

Master cook and author Barbara Stafford says:

“If you can read you can cook!”

“Those very words were uttered by my mother when my sister and I turned to her for cooking instruction at young ages.”

“Well, she put it back on us and told us that, if we could read, we could cook. That summed it up nicely and answered a question I had about why Mom wasn’t a very good cook – clearly she couldn’t read! Honestly, years passed before I uncovered the truth about her reading ability, and the family has not stopped laughing about it yet! Even though cooking was clearly not ‘her thing,’ she never discouraged us from trying new recipes. To this day she continues to brag about her keen ability to make ‘reservations!’ ”

“I still remember my first dinner party in my early 20’s and did I ever learn a lot from it! I shopped, prepared, cooked and entertained all in the same day. Big mistake! By the time our guests arrived, I was ready to go to bed from exhaustion. It was all I could do to pull off the evening. Note to self: shop a few days ahead of time and buy only the things the day of that can’t be purchased earlier. Prepare as much as possible ahead, even to the point of measuring out spices into little containers to be tossed into a dish after guests have arrived. Things like cheesecakes taste better when prepared in advance anyway. The more that is organized and prepared in advance, the more you will be able to enjoy your friends in a relaxed fashion. If the hostess and host are relaxed, the guests will be, too.”

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