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Cook's Corner

  • Chef cooks up homestyle favorites
    Sarah Sweet says her love of cooking was in her genes.
  • Chef cooks up homestyle favorites
    Sarah Sweet says her love of cooking was in her genes.The Leo-Cedarville woman says it began when she watched and helped her mother, Kathie Strassburger of Fremont, prepare meals for the family.
  • Grandparents build business around pie
    Sue Couch, 68, and her husband, Roger, 73, opened Grandma Sue's Pies and More Inc. in 2010, in downtown Roanoke on North Main Street. The business offers frozen homemade pies that cooks can take home and bake themselves.
Diana Parker | The Journal Gazette
Susan Gouty shares recipes for her vegetable soup and yeast rolls.

Teacher learns recipes for big church meals

Susan Gouty of rural Wells County enjoys cooking, sewing, crocheting, gardening and helping others.

A substitute teacher with Bluffton-Harrison MSD, Gouty, 63, assists with the senior citizen meals at New Hope Lutheran Church in Ossian, where she attends.

“We usually serve between 80 to 100 people,” she says. “I do the main dish. The ladies from church pull things together. We usually make pies. Seniors like their pie. It’s fun. Strawberry rhubarb always goes fast.”

Gouty has about 40 cookbooks but finds a lot of her recipes online.

“For senior citizens’ dinners, I go online and get recipes,” she says, adding, “If there’s a new recipe, I try it out first.”

To lower their grocery bills and eat healthier, Gouty and her husband, Thomas, plant two gardens.

“I put everything in a can or a box that I can get my hands on. We eat good,” she says.

Gouty says she and her husband share the garden’s harvest with their children, Alex, 31, of Indianapolis, Andrew, 25, of Denver and Indianapolis, and Anne, 19, a student at Butler University in Indianapolis.

Q. During winter, what’s your go-to meal?

A. I like to make chili with a couple of cans of my tomato juice.

Q. What do you do to keep meals healthy?

A. I’m trying to get more vegetables and fruit in a meal. I have lots of applesauce in the freezer. So I’ll have that and another fruit out. I usually have a cooked vegetable and a raw vegetable or salad. My husband and I aren’t eating as much meat as we used to. I don’t always make dessert. I take them to church, and then I can get a taste.

Q. What’s one thing people won’t find in your refrigerator?

A. Ooh, not in my refrigerator? Velveeta cheese. I never buy it. It’s not real.

Q. If you were stuck on an island, what’s one food you would have to have?

A. Probably apples. I don’t eat enough of them but I really like them. I had one last night with peanut butter as a snack.

Sunday Best Yeast Rolls

1 1/2 cups milk

1 stick butter

1/2 cups sugar

3 packages yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

4 eggs

8 to 9 cups flour

Scald milk; put in butter and let melt. Add sugar and cool until lukewarm.

In large bowl, mix yeast with warm water. Stir well and let stand a few minutes. Add milk mixture. Beat eggs well and add to yeast mixture. Then put in flour until stiff enough to handle.

Let rise until double, punch down and let rise again. Punch down again and shape into 5 to 6 dozen dinner rolls. Let rise again and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 5 to 6 dozen.

Freezer Vegetable Soup

Soup base:

1 quart chopped fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced onion

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dill weed

Additional ingredients for each batch:

2 cups diced cooked potatoes

2 cups water

To make base: Combine soup base ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Cool. Place 2 cups each into freezer containers. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Makes 8 cups.

To prepare soup: Thaw soup base. Transfer to Dutch oven. Add potatoes and water; simmer 30 to 40 minutes.

Rocky Mountain Brisket

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

2 tablespoons chili pepper

1 teaspoon crushed bay leaves

2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke

4 to 5 pounds brisket

Combine salt, pepper, chili powder and bay leaves. Rub meat completely with Liquid Smoke. Place meat, fat side up, in large roasting pan. Sprinkle dry seasoning mixture on top. Cover tightly. Bake 4 hours at 325 degrees.

Scrape seasoning off meat and cut in very thin slices across the grain. Serve with barbecue sauce. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Barbecue Sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 (14-ounce) bottle ketchup

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons celery seed

Combine all ingredients. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cook 10 minutes. Serve with sliced brisket. Makes 2 cups.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-0088; fax 461-8648; or email