Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dressing Is the Berries

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dressing Is the Berries

Article excerpt

MARY BROWN insists she can't cook, but that didn't stop her from creating an original recipe - and even passing it on to share with our readers.

"That's what's so funny about this," she says. "My friends were absolutely astounded when I told them about it, because they know I can't cook."

Brown even has an excuse for what she perceives as a shortage in culinary skills. Her mother.

"She doesn't cook either, so I must have got her genes," Brown says.

Thank goodness for salads, she says.

"Salads are so nutritious. They're high in fiber and they fill you up."

But, she has discovered, they can get boring. "For a while, I had a refrigerator filled with a whole variety of salad dressings. I went from one end of the supermarket aisle to the other, buying every flavor of salad dressing, but they all started to taste the same."

Then her mother-in-law from Boston came to town, and they went out to lunch. "I had a salad there with a dressing that was so strikingly different, I knew I had to try to re-create it," Brown says.

Trouble was, she didn't know how - until she spotted a jar of seedless raspberry preserves at the supermarket (at the end of the salad dressing aisle). Shortly thereafter, Mary Brown's raspberry salad dressing was born.

Brown was thrilled. Not as thrilled were her husband, Frank, and their three sons: Michael, 10; Daniel, 8; and Tommy, 6. Salads just don't excite them as much as they do the family cook-who-can't-cook.

Or can she?

At last the truth comes out. Well, yes, Brown does make meals for her family. Hot meals even (thus disputing her claim that "usually the smell that comes from my kitchen is because I forgot to take out the trash").

She even admits that she likes to try new recipes that she clips from magazines and newspapers.

"But I'm a very basic cook," she stresses. "Not gourmet or fancy. I just try to maintain good nutrition without a lot of calories."

For Brown, who worked as a registered nurse for more than 15 years, that means fresh ingredients. Which means cooking from scratch. It also means she does a lot of cooking for someone who "can't cook," even if it is just "five ingredients and five minutes in the microwave. …

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