Nina Rouzer works as a cook at the Cascade American Legion Post 239. But she learned to cook when she was still knee-high to a grasshopper.
"My grandmothers were teaching us to cook as soon as we could stand on a chair and lean over the counter," she said. "Starting out, we made cookies and cakes, anything easy that didn't involve a knife or fire."
Rouzer is secretary of One Mountain Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to benefit the Cascade-Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., area. She has several recipes in "Mountain Heritage Cooking Collection," a fundraising cookbook recently released by the foundation.
One of her recipes in the cookbook is Hungarian potato-and-egg casserole. The recipe was handed down to Rouzer through women on her mother's side.
"My grandmother was Welsh-German. She brought this over with her when she came here," she said. "She wrote recipes down in this tiny book, and I inherited it from her when she died."
Family is important to Rouzer, and not just as a source of kitchen traditions. Making food is a way to show family you love them.
"Cooking is fun. But you don't want to spend all day at the stove. Spending it eating with the family with better," she said.
Copies of "Mountain Heritage Cooking Collection" cost $15 and are available at Fort Ritchie Community Center and Sander's Market in Cascade, Dru's Books 'n Things in Waynesboro, Pa., and Flohr True Value Hardware in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.
— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor
Hungarian potato-and-egg casserole
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
Parsley for garnish, optional
Put water and salt in a medium pot and heat to boiling. Add potatoes, return to boiling. Reduce to simmer and cook until fork tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Cook onion in oil until tender.
Mix onion and oil with sour cream, salt and pepper.
Peel potatoes, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Carefully mix potatoes and sour cream mixture.
Arrange half the potatoes in small, greased, rectangular baking pan. Layer egg slices on potatoes. Spread remaining potatoes on egg layer. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika.
Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, until light brown. Garnish with snipped parsley, if desired.
— Courtesy of Nina Rouzer, secretary of One Mountain Foundation.