'Galloping Gourmet' was an early influence for newlywed

Margaret Osborne-Burns is becoming a regular Suzy Home-maker. The 28-year-old newlywed makes and alters clothes, paints pictures and porcelain plates, helps make curtains and upholstery and she listens to the Marth Stewart channel on satellite radio all day.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

Margaret Osborne-Burns is becoming a regular Suzy Home-maker.

The 28-year-old newlywed makes and alters clothes, paints pictures and porcelain plates, helps make curtains and upholstery and she listens to the Marth Stewart channel on satellite radio all day.

She's a pharmaceutical sales rep for Merck, so her office is her house and the front seat of her car, she said.

Cooking has become an increasingly large part of her life.

She never took any classes, but she used to watch Graham Kerr, aka "The Galloping Gourmet," every day after school. She would write down his recipes, but she never made any. She still finds scraps of paper with her notes on them in her mother's house.

Then she got into watching the Food Network and she discovered she could actually make things from a recipe, she said.

When she started dating her future husband, Rob, almost a year ago, he offered to make dinner for her on their second date. He cooked chicken and bought macaroni and potato salad to go with it. "He was a bachelor," she said. "He did his best. I didn't care."

But for their third date, she cooked for him. She prefers to make everything herself from fresh ingredients. "He thought he was eating gourmet," she said. "It was really funny."

Now she tries to cook every night, and she's got a few go-to recipes she knows her husband of two months and two days really loves.

But she loves to experiment and gets ideas from TV and the radio and from the Internet.

Not everything goes well. For Rob's 30th birthday, Osborne-Burns wanted to make a stuffed angel food cake. She started making the cake from scratch, but she couldn't seem to get the egg whites to fluff up. She baked it anyway, but it just wouldn't rise. "It turned out like a tire," she said.

Her studies and her experiments have netted some real cooking lessons.

When making a dish like today's any pasta dish: "Always put the water on first."

Recently from the Food Network: To get the best flavor out of dried spices, crush them in your hand before adding them.

And finally: "Don't experiment on your friends. Experiment on family, because they'll be honest."