Don Hamberger cooks food for events at Christ’s Reformed United Church of Christ in downtown Hagerstown. Hamberger said he is a self-taught cook.
“Mainly because if I wanted to eat, I had to cook,” he said. “My mother and father both worked.”
He doesn’t follow recipes to the letter. Actually, he said, he thinks of a recipe as more of a guideline than strict instructions.
“I usually take a recipe and do it to my own liking. I add flavors that I like,” he said. “I go to the refrigerator, I see what I have. I’ll put some of this in and leave some of that out.”
Hamberger said he came across this recipe for chicken pilaf about 20 years ago. He couldn’t remember where it came from, but he liked it for its old-fashioned quality, and its peppery flavor.
“I like food with a little heat in it. Most of the time I use smoky paprika,” he said.
— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor