About Lois Carter Crawford: A Little Bit About Me
About Me: Lois Carter Crawford
Hi. It’s Lois in the kitchen. I have always loved to cook (read: eat!) and make food for family and guests. Well not always. Some of my family members are pretty picky eaters. So, I’ll clarify. I love to cook for people who love to eat what I make. I show my love by doing things for those I care about, especially making them tasty—usually healthy—food.
What Makes Me Happy?
I love spending time with friends and family—especially grandkids. I love coffee, cooking, eating, entertaining, sharing my food with others, learning new things, helping people, and providing a source of inspiration to women. I love to walk—particularly in nature where I can observe the plants and animals—and sit by a lake, river or ocean. I like most animals, especially dogs and cats. (I cannot go to the shelter because it makes me sad that I can’t rescue all of the animals, and I hate to see them cooped up.) I enjoy showing my grandkids bugs, worms and plants and teaching them how to catch frogs.
I love reading, making earrings, doing counted cross-stitch, yoga and science experiments (with my grandkids). Sitting on the porch, listening to the birds and crickets, drinking a glass of wine and conversing with my husband is relaxing.
I love hosting people from other cultures and I generally do it once a year for multiple weeks through a program at Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute. Don and I have hosted several people from Kenya, Pakistan and Burundi (a Hutu and Tutsi at the same time!), as well as many from different parts of the United States. We have learned a lot and made many friends around the world.
Mom Didn’t Know Best
Instinctively, I know which spices taste good together and which ones should not be combined. This is a blessed gift when cooking; I seldom make a bad meal. I also rarely follow a recipe exactly as it is written. I generally don’t rush off to the store to get the perfect ingredients. If I don’t have carrots but I do have zucchini, I just substitute the zucchini. For some great ideas, check out the substitutions list I posted.
For some recipes, of course, I measure everything exactly. Cakes, for instance, need to have the proper balance of dry and wet ingredients. My Favorite Chocolate Cake is delicious whether I make it with baker’s chocolate or I use cocoa; however, if I substitute melted baker’s chocolate for the cocoa, I add additional flour to compensate for the reduction in dry ingredients.
I learned to cook by watching my mom. She was a good, basic cook, but I learned early on that if I wanted it to taste like Mom’s recipe, I had to pay close attention when she was cooking. My mom also took a lot of shortcuts. Perhaps it was the period of time when people did that (1950s and 1960s). She never made cakes from scratch; her macaroni and cheese started with the Kraft box; and she put Lipton Onion Soup on roasts to flavor them.
I, on the other hand, never make cakes from a box (but I do make Ghirardelli Brownies (affiliate); they are delicious!), make Kraft Mac and Cheese (affiliate) only for the grandkids (because it’s all they will eat), and seldom use Lipton Onion Soup Mix (affiliate) for anything (although I still love it on beef or pork roasts).
Rather, I believe in using fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. I love whole grains and fresh-baked cakes, cookies and breads. I always read the nutrition labels for the foods I buy that are prepackaged or canned, and I make nutrition labels for all the recipes I post (unless I’m distracted and forget…so if you see one without a label, please let me know!). As I get older, I realize how important this is for good health, especially as I watch my friends and family sicken or die of various cancers and heart disease.
In addition, I have developed some health issues myself over the past many years. After I had a heart attack in 2007 and was diagnosed with diabetes, I began to look more carefully at what I was eating. Although I thought I was eating well, I found that I was eating far too many calories, fat, sugar and simple carbs. Even though I was eating fresh fruits and veggies, I ate tons of carbs all in one sitting, and that is just not good for anyone.
I also determined that I am intolerant of standard milk and can only use goat’s milk or the chemical strain of milk that is known as A2. If I have more than just a bite of commercial cheese or milk, my joints hurt for DAYS. But A2 milk generally doesn’t bother me. I can drink as much as I want, and for awhile, I owned part of a herd of A2 cows. This meant I could get amazing raw A2 milk every week. So went back to drinking milk—whole milk, no less—and lost weight—even if I didn’t exercise. No more inflammation! Yay!
I also found that I definitely should not eat gluten. Although I am not celiac, I am very gluten-intolerant, and when I eat gluten, I get weird symptoms—being extremely ticklish, for instance! And I start not feeling well. But it’s so hard to resist homemade French Bread, isn’t it? And when I don’t eat gluten, I lose weight, even if I eat potato chips, gluten-free bread, and corn chips. So that’s a little side benefit. If you are gluten free and love bread, take a look at my Gluten Free French Bread recipe.
But I’m Not Giving Up Coffee
I do love, love, love coffee. That’s why I named my newsletter Smell the Coffee. Read more about it here.
More Reasons I Cook
Another interesting tidbit is that I tend to use baking and cooking as a stress reliever. My kids picked up on this pretty quickly (actually before I did). In fact, one time Roni said to me, “We must not be driving you crazy lately. You haven’t baked anything in a long time. Do I have to be bad for you to bake cookies?”
When I joined my first husband’s family, I was delighted with their mealtime rituals, and my outlook on family dinners solidified. Unlike my family of origin, my new family not only all sat at the table together for the evening meal, but they had a conversation! Conversation and food make great company.
I do have many stories that go hand-in-hand with the foods I make. I will occasionally tell you a little story about them. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as you do the recipes. I invite you to comment and tell us your stories, too.
You May Like These Posts From Recipe Idea Shop
- How I Healed Myself With Food
- My Favorite Chocolate Cake
- Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
- New Old-Fashioned Mac & Cheese
- French Bread
- Gluten Free French Bread
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