There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. However, sometimes the person putting in the hard work of preparing, cooking and serving a that meal is overlooked. For Angie Gashette’s family that’s not the case, as her family proclaims her cooking to be the best in the neighborhood.
Gashette and her husband raised their two sons in Oak Forest on home-cooked meals almost every night. Now that her sons are grown with families of their own, she still loves to gather the family and cook for the whole group. Her family even jokes that Gashette’s sister moved into Oak Forest just to be closer to her cooking.
Her journey into the culinary world began at ten or eleven years old by way of baking. Her mother taught her how to make ice box cookies, which she still makes around the holidays. But the most important reason Gashette loves to cook are the bonds that are created when gathered together at home.
“I enjoy cooking, knowing that it will lead to people gathering and enjoying food and time together,” Gashette said.
“I like the preparing and the actual cooking—chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients out, watching sauces simmer, cakes bake. It’s my ‘me’ time. I can think while I’m in the kitchen,” Gashette said.
Mexican food is Gashette’s favorite cuisine to cook. She makes different kinds of guacamole, salsas, dips, enchiladas, tacos, arroz con pollo, beans, and tamales. Since tamales are more complicated and a lot of labor is needed to make them, they’re best made by a group.
“Angie has made many holiday and birthday meals for us. We have learned generosity, thoughtfulness and kindness all go a long way in the form of food. When company drops by, Angie always tells them there’s plenty to eat,” said Gashette’s daughter-in-law, Stephanie Gashette, “When people are ill or have hard times, she will take food or a special desert to them. It reminds people that someone cares, and that tomorrow is a new day.
It’s a trait that not everyone sees in today’s world.”
With new restaurants popping up seemingly every week that give many people an excuse to eat out, Gashette still believes it’s essential to learn how to cook.
“Rich or poor, everyone needs to learn to cook so that they can eat and take care of themselves. My mom always said as long as you keep staples on hand like, rice, beans, eggs, and potatoes, you will never go hungry,” Gashette said.
Gashette loves to answer any questions about cooking her family has and is always happy to share her knowledge with others. A cooking tip she shared with The Leader is that when something is too spicy or salty, drop a chunk of a potato into what you’re cooking to absorb the spice or salt.