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Open space and good cooking

November 07, 2004

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Judy Barr has lived in her bright duplex home across from Greencastle-Antrim High School's ball field for 10 years.

That's the same number of years she's worked full time as a waitress at Antrim House Family Restaurant nearby on Greencastle's main thoroughfare.

Barr's four children - one son and three daughters - are grown. Scott and Kelly live nearby; Sherry lives in Lovettsville, Va., and Sue in Charles Town, W.Va. Barr's daughters have provided seven grandchildren, and a recently finished sunroom contains small chairs for their frequent visits.

Barr doesn't do a lot of cooking - she can eat at her workplace - but if she feels like fixing dinner, she calls her son to join her.

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Staff Writer Kate Coleman recently sat at Barr's table, part of an antique oak collection that includes chairs, a bow-front china cupboard and buffet passed down from her parents' families.

Barr grew up on a farm near Greencastle, and, although she's just a few minutes' walk from the center of the little village, the view from her sunroom and deck and include plenty of green open space.

Her ham potpie - of which she makes beef and chicken versions - is a family favorite. She recently invited a brother-in-law out to dinner to celebrate his anniversary.

"Just make potpie," he requested.

How often are you in the kitchen?

Not very often any more. I still cook and have my kids over.

Where did you learn to cook?

My mom taught me.

Did you cook with your mom as a kid?

Yes. 'Go make the fudge,' my mom would say.

When was the first time you made potpie?

Probably in 10th grade. It came out of a cookbook, but I learned from my aunt. She told me to use the hardened fat - taken from broth that's been chilled - instead of shortening to make the crust.

Why do you keep making it? What makes your potpie successful?

Everybody likes it - at least they tell me they do.

Do you have a favorite thing you like to eat?

Not really. I roasted a turkey on Monday evening. As the weather gets cooler, I think about pork and sauerkraut and baked apples or fried apples. I used to bake them a lot, but I found this recipe for fried apples. Baked apples in the oven would take 45 minutes, and fried apples would take 20 minutes on the stove. Just put them in the skillet and add brown sugar.

Do your friends or family have a favorite recipe?

I just enjoy cooking, and they enjoy visiting and eating. They don't care. They'll eat pretty much whatever I fix.

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