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 Katherine in the Kitchen: Comfort Food for the Hilbers' Blews

Katherine in the Kitchen, 2011: Volume 1- available for purchase now!
Growing up, there were three places I felt at home. One, of course, was my parents' quaint two story red brick house built in 1929- not only filled with antiques, but an antique in itself. My favorite part of this house is a two-way tie between 1. the 250 square foot front porch complete with wooden swing and 2. the country-style kitchen. If my parents' house was a food, it would be homemade macaroni and cheese.
My mom and me eating my Granny Strickland's Cherry Coke Salad at Thanksgiving in my parents' dining room 

My second home was yet another red brick house, this one complete with a "mudroom" "boys' room" and closet stuffed full of blankets (the home of the perfect hiding place in thousands of hide-and-go-seek games). If my Granny and Papa Poirot's house was a a food, it would undoubtedly be a juicy pot roast, complete with mashed potatoes and gravy made from scratch.

My cousin, Gillian, my Granny Poirot, and me icing Star Cookies in my Granny & Papa Poirot's kitchen

My cousin, Ashlea, my Papa Poirot, and me dying Easter eggs in my Granny & Papa Poirot's kitchen

And last, but certainly not least, there was my third home. In the front yard, this house had the most fantastic climbing tree ever found, and in the backyard, one could find banana trees and hummingbirds. My Granny & Grandad Strickland's house was watermelon, fried chicken, and chocolate cake. Maybe star cookies, too.

Granny Strickland giving me a taste of her chocolate cake batter in my parents' kitchen
These three houses were my safe places. They were home to my parents and my grandparents. They were home to Christmas mornings, Thanksgiving dinners, grandchildren, and anyone who rang the doorbell. Both of my grandmothers, Gertrude Albertina Hilbers Poirot (Granny Poirot) and Marjorie Louise Blew Strickland (Granny Strickland) were amazing cooks. Actually, amazing does not even do these women justice. They were like Martha Stewart and Paula Deen combined with Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck. Yes, they were THAT good. Maybe they were never on Iron Chef, but they could make pies that made your heart melt. My mom, Carolyn, is no exception to this family lineage of cooks. What she didn't already know from Granny Poirot (which was just about everything there was to know about cooking), she promptly learned from Granny Strickland.

My dad and me taking "the guts" out of a pumpkin on Halloween in my parents' kitchen
As a product of these two environments, cooking comes naturally to me. In fact, when people say they do not know how to cook, I just blankly stare at them. I find cooking quite therapeutic. Although I am, by trade, a fan of therapy, I also believe playing for hours in the kitchen with the people you love (or sometimes just by yourself) can result in a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled self... so, "Comfort Food for the Hilbers Blews" was born.  I changed the name of the blog to be "Katherine in the Kitchen" when I realized that nobody knew how to spell "Hilbers" (pronunced "Hell-burs") or "Blew" (pronounced "Blue").  Katherine in the Kitchen has a certain ring to it, and I have found it is easier for people to remember.  

My dad and me having a tea party in my Little Tykes house

This blog is for nobody except myself, really. I want to be able to keep track of both the recipes and the memories with which they come, so here it is. Someday, I want to be able to pass down this knowledge like these women have passed it on to me. Every recipe has a first try- a first spoonful or first bite. This blog is a compilation of those first helpings. Try them out for yourself if you like- I promise they will make your heart smile.
My dad and me making biscuits in my parents' kitchen
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Katherine

Me eating a cupcake

I graduated from The University of Texas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in education. I combined both education and psychology in graduate school, and in 2010 I graduated from Texas Christian University with a Masters in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor working at our local hospital as a Clinical Therapist. I am married to an amazing man, Andy, who I refer to as "fabulous fiance" and "Husband in the Kitchen." I love spending time with my family and friends who are there for me no matter what. I enjoy working out, cooking, and surrounding myself with people who inspire me!  


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My Inspiration
My Grandad Strickland flew photo reconnaissance P-38s in World War II. He and my Granny Strickland traveled all across the world, and my Granny Strickland collected recipes as she went. My mom now has the recipe book that was the product of their travels. I love the recipes, but how cool would it be to know what was happening the first night she had "Auntie's Sugar Cookies?" Here is the place from which my inspiration comes. I wish I could know these sweet stories from my Granny's generation, but I can not. So instead of dwelling on that, I decided to write my memories that I can pass down to my own family!
Me cleaning up with the beater in the bathtub at my parents' house after a very messy baking time