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Posted on Wed. Jun. 25, 2014 - 12:32 am EDT

Grandmother publishing family recipes

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I still want to learn …

A. To make sausage. I even have a grinder.

I can’t wait to …

A. Have all my family home so I can cook a nice big meal for them.

Fort Wayne — Jan Hinds of Fort Wayne says she has always collected recipes. She and her husband, Roy, have five children and five grandchildren, so when she decided to save the family’s recipes, word soon spread and she found herself creating her first cookbook.

“I wanted to preserve the recipes. I started with my pie cookbook – ‘Pies (Not So Secret Family Recipes),’ ” says Hinds, a self-published author.

“When my mother-in-law, mother and sister found out I was doing a cookbook, they gave me cookbooks with handwritten recipes. So what started out as saving recipes turned into a heritage of cooking – five generations of recipes.

“You feel a bond with your grandparents and great-grandparents, and you know this is what they made for their family,” she says.

Hinds, 60, says it usually takes about two weeks to put together a cookbook of about 50 recipes.

She says the fun part of doing a cookbook is taste-testing the recipes.

“The most consuming thing is formatting or entering the recipes,” she says.

Hinds says she’s learned many cooking tips as she read the handwritten notes on the recipes.

In “Cookies (Not So Secret Family Recipes),” Hinds added this note to the recipe for Jan’s Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe: “My grandmother, Helen Kump, taught me about cookies: Add flour for a softer cookies and shortening to make them crispier.”

Since publishing her first cookbook, Hinds has added seven more to the collection. She still has a large file of unpublished recipes. But she recently published her first book of fiction, “Sneaking Suspicions: Book One of the Tharon Trace Mysteries.”

All of Hinds’ books are available on

“I just love writing,” she says. “When my kids were little, I wrote a book – it took me four years. I printed it off the computer. I read it and then destroyed it. I didn’t want anyone to know I wrote it.

“But I’m proud of this book,” she says, holding a copy of her newest work.

Hinds has planned three more books in the series.

Smiling, she adds, “There will be dishes in my books from my ancestors.”

Q. Which one of your cookbooks is your favorite?

A. “Pies (Not So Secret Family Recipes).” I am a pie-aholic. It has my favorite pie recipe in there – Barbara’s Pecan Pie.

Q. Do you only use your cookbooks for recipe ideas?

A. No. I go online and look for things. I would look at what I have on hand and make up something.

Q. What do you do to keep meals healthy?

A. When I can, I substitute olive oil. You can’t use olive oil in everything. I have trouble substituting butter. In the old cookbooks, they used a lot of shortening, oleo and butter.

Q. What’s your favorite vegetable?

A. We go through cycles. One we’re partial to now is kohlrabi. It’s in the cabbage family. It’s got a mild flavor. You can even slice it up and put it in salads.

Q. Who’s your cooking idol?

A. Probably my mother-in-law. She’s got a knack for seasoning. We had company over one time for dinner, and they were complimenting me. My son said, “You should taste my grandmother’s (cooking)!”

Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?

A. Wine or any alcohol. We don’t drink.

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

A. Oh, it would be pie. Any kind but coconut. I’m not a coconut fan.

Grandma Helen Kump’s White Bread

2 packages active dry yeast

3 5/12 cups warm water, divided

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 tablespoons shortening (Hinds will substitute oil for shortening)

9 to 10 cups flour, divided

Soft butter or margarine, as needed

Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Stir in 2 2/3 cups warm water, sugar, salt, melted shortening and 5 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl and turn dough to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down dough, roll and shape into 3 or 4 loaves, sealing edges and putting in greased loaf pans, turning to grease top. Let rise again until double. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes 3 to 4 loaves.

– From “Breads (Not So Secret Family Recipes)” by Jan Hinds

Jan’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cups flour

1 cup walnuts, finely ground

3 cups chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Mixture should be light and fluffy. Mix in remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. Bake in 350 degree oven for 11 to 13 minutes. Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Variations: Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: Reduce flour to 2 1/3 cups and add 1/2 cup cocoa with first five ingredients. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies: Make variation for Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and add 1 cup Crème de Menthe chips for part of the chocolate chips.

– From “Cookies (Not So Secret Family Recipes)” by Jan Hinds

Potato Soup With Sausage Gravy

4 cups potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

1 medium onion, chopped and sliced thin (or 3 green onions, sliced thin)

1 tablespoon butter

1 quart (4 cups) milk

3 tablespoons flour

1 egg, beaten

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1 pound ground sausage

1 cup hot water

8 to 12 slices homemade bread

1 tablespoon chopped dried parsley

Sauté onion in the butter in the bottom of the soup kettle until it is just starting to soften. Add the potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add milk, salt and pepper, then reheat. With fork, blend together egg and flour. Add hot broth to beaten egg and flour, a little at a time to thin the egg mixture and gradually bring it to temperature of broth. Stir back into soup. Let cook for a few minutes. Brown sausage in skillet. Remove sausage and drain grease. Return sausage to hot skillet. Add 1 cup hot water, loosening the drippings with a metal spatula to make the sausage gravy, which is not thickened. To serve, place a thick slice of homemade bread in the bottom of the bowl. Ladle soup over the bread with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and drizzle sausage gravy on top. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

– From “Soups (Not So Secret Family Recipes)” by Jan Hinds

Butter Rolls

1 cake yeast or 1 package fast-rising yeast

1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

1 cup milk

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided

3 eggs, well-beaten

4 1/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Crumble yeast into a large bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of sugar. In another bowl or pan, heat the milk until just barely warm and stir in the 1/2 cup sugar, salt and 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter.

Combine with beaten eggs and pour over the yeast, stirring to combine. Add the flour gradually, beating after each addition.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 2 1/2 hours.

Divide dough in half and roll each to a 1/2 -inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.

Use a glass to cut out circles of dough and place them on baking sheet. Brush half of each circle with melted butter, fold in half and seal. Let rise again for 2 1/2 hours and brush with more melted butter.

Brush on melted butter and bake in 400-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Brush warm rolls with more melted butter. Makes 2 dozen.

– From “Breads (Not So Secret Family Recipes)” by Jan Hinds

Walnut Horseshoe Cookies

1 package dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups shortening

2 eggs, unbeaten

Powdered sugar


1 egg, separated

1/2 cup sugar

1 pound ground nuts (1-pound package of shelled walnuts ground up in food processor)

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired, mixed with nuts

Soften yeast in small quantity of warm milk with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Work the shortening into the flour and salt.

Add yeast mixture, eggs and rest of the warm milk. Work into dough.

Put in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Filling: Beat 1 large egg yolk. Beat egg white until stiff peaks form. Add egg white to yolk, and beat in 1 cup sugar and ground nuts, making a granulated mixture.

Take out of the refrigerator enough dough to make 6 or 8 cookies at a time. Put a little sugar on the working surface and a piece of dough the size of a walnut.

Roll oblong with a glass.

Put a little filling on the dough. Roll up and shape into horseshoes.

Place on greased pan, seam side down, and bake at 325 to 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until they begin to brown a little on the ends.

Roll in powdered sugar. Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Note: Dough may also be filled with prune, apricot, strawberry or peach butter.

– From “Cookies (Not So Secret Family Recipes)” by Jan Hinds

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

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