Grannie Pam knows her food
RUTHERFORDTON— Pam Peters has been cooking since she was 10 and has shared her culinary knowledge by writing cookbooks and teaching classes.
Peters, a member of the Rutherford County Visual Artists Guild who is also a painter and potter, has written two cookbooks featuring some of her favorite recipes.
"My grandmother started me in the kitchen when I was big enough to get in the chair," Peters said. "I've always loved to cook. It's another extension of my creative side."
It was her grandmother who inspired her to write the first book; "Grannie Pam's Favorite Recipes." When her grandmother passed away, Peters said she went through many recipes trying to find a pound cake like the one her grandmother made because it had never been written down. So Peters filled this book with favorite recipes that she cooked for her own children.
"I didn't want my kids to go crazy trying to recreate their favorite recipes," Peters said. "I always wanted to be my grannie because she could do everything. Now I am a grannie."
Her second book, "Grannie Pam's Prepping with Big Flavors", gives the reader a glimpse into Peters' life with recipes using sourdough, wheat berries, hydrated foods and recipes for making homemade laundry soap and deodorant.
"I do what they call heritage cooking," Peters said. "I do Portuguese, Swedish, good ol' country cooking and a little bit of everything. I like food and I get bored quickly. I'm always looking for new things."
Peters said she and her husband lost their jobs many years ago within four days of each other. The need to save financially caused them to look at things differently and they started a garden and make more of their own meals. That's one of the reasons Peters learned to can and dehydrate foods.
"If it can go in a jar and can't get away from you, it can be canned," Peters said. "I can meat, vegetables, better, cheese, pickles and all kinds of things."
She also shares her skills by teaching heritage cooking classes. She recently taught a class about making cheese in Waynesville.
"A lot of people got really excited about making cheese, it was amazing," Peters said. "I did a 20-minute mozzarella and I had a lot of onlookers trying to see it come together. I had a great time."
Peters in currently working on her third cookbook which will include using dehydrated food for camping and more canning techniques.
"I have a friend who is 55 and is just learning to cook. She said I needed to write something on canning because a lot of people don't know how to do it," Peters said. "People are really interested in learning how to do things the way our grandparents did."
Peters thinks that everyone should know how to cook and feed themselves.
"You have to know how to feed yourself and it's better for you than buying pre-packaged foods," Peters said. "I can't understand somebody not knowing how to cook. It's a life skill."
Peters cookbooks can be purchased at the Rutherford County Visual Artists Guild located at 160 N Main St. Rutherfordton. They can also be found on Amazon.com.