Lioness hospitalilty

December 07, 1999

Lioness CookbookBy MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer


If the mere thought of whipping up a homecooked meal at the end of the day makes you exhausted, don't fret. With the help of some time-savvy Lionesses, along with modern conveniences like freezers and microwaves, you can eat healthfully without sacrificing your sanity.

"Time is certainly something that has to be better used," says B. Marie Byers, charter president of Hagerstown Lioness Club, which is offering the fourth printing of its "Lioness Hospitality" cookbook.

cont. from lifestyle

Byers certainly knows about not having time to cook.

The mother of two sons and one daughter, all adults, has been a member of Washington County Board of Education for 29 years. She also is director of National School Boards Association and is co-chairing Maryland Association of Boards of Education's annual conference. Byers, 64, also is chairwoman of Physical Fitness Commission of Washington County.


At St. John's Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, she is chairwoman of the altar guild, serves on the church council and is a substitute Sunday school teacher.

With a schedule like that, Byers has learned the art of making things ahead of time and freezing them.

"It's wonderful to freeze," Byers says.

Once the items are thawed, microwave ovens makes reheating a cinch.

Fellow Lioness Linda Tantillo has used her organizational strengths to maintain her culinary skills while staying busy outside the home.

The mother of two grown sons, she splits her time between Lioness and church activities. Tantillo is co-chairwoman of publicity with Eloise Shaffer for the latest printing of the cookbook and was one of four club members in charge of sight screenings this fall for Washington County children in grades one, three, five and eight.

She also is a member and treasurer of the choir at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown and serves on the church's altar guild and foundation, which distributes money to nonprofit and educational establishments. Tantillo also writes poetry and short stories for children and is a member of a local writers' group and Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

"I have always looked at cooking and baking as creative," says Tantillo, 66, of Hagerstown.

The Lioness cookbook includes plenty of simple recipes, some of which are made in one pan, so there's not much to clean up.

Low-fat substitutions can be made for many of the recipes' ingredients by those who are focusing on eating a healthy, balanced diet, Byers says.

Perhaps the secret to both women's success in the kitchen was starting young.

Tantillo was cooking complete dinners at age 12 in Germany because her mother often was ill. Her sister was not a fan of cooking but took on cleanup responsibilities.

When Byers was 14, her mother died, leaving her in charge of the cooking.

"You do what you have to do, and you learn things," Byers says.

Byers also credits her confidence in the kitchen to years in Girl Scouts.


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