Horn prepares quick, delicious meals in #8216;French#039; kitchen

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

Linda Horn, who has a degree in home economics from Auburn University, doesn't teach cooking classes in Greenville these days. However, the Pioneer Electric employee's love of homemaking is certainly reflected in the warm, vibrant and fragrant surroundings of her Woodvalley Road home.

Welcome to French country

Fresh-cut flowers from her garden sweetly scent the air of her dining nook, decorated, like her kitchen, in a cozy French country style.

Her galley kitchen, streamlined for efficiency, features sunny yellow faux-finished walls, black granite countertops and new black appliances contrasting with crisp white cupboards with black hardware.

French country ceramics and a beloved collection of silver butter dishes and baby cups add splashes of color and light to both the kitchen and the comfortable dining area adjacent to it - and Horn always finds a place for black-and-white checks in her d\u00E9cor.

&#8220Every room needs a touch of black checked fabric,” she says with a smile.

Quick and easy

And every home needs some good recipes that stick to your ribs while being easy and convenient to prepare.

&#8220Early in my home economics career, I taught cooking schools, especially microwave classes and how to plan kitchens for the most efficient work space,” Horn explains.

&#8220Those principles still hold, even more so with today's hectic family schedules, no matter what the age of the family. That's why I rely on the microwave a great deal. It's energy-efficient, fast, requires less attention - and it keeps the kitchen cooler.”

The microwave chef says she rarely prepares less than triple the regular recipe when making beef dishes.

&#8220You only have to use one large cooking utensil, which saves on clean-up, and by preparing in bulk, it helps with future meal planning,” Horn explains.

She says she often ends up sharing her bulk dishes, like her spaghetti and famous taco casserole, with family members.

Favorite family recipes at the Horn house include taco casserole, pound cake, Riverview Plantation quail, gourmet blue grits, crunchy veggie salad, homemade biscuits, and orange rolls - the latter a recipe that is definitely not a &#8220quickie.”

&#8220I won a Montgomery Advertiser baking contest in 1981 for my orange rolls. It's a truly wonderful sweet yeast roll recipe that is worth the half-a-day it requires to prepareŠI am about two years behind in finding that day,” horn laughs.

As sources for recipes, Horn has collected several favorite cookbooks over the years, including her trusted microwave cookbook, Auburn cookbook, and the Capitol Cookbook for legislative wives.

She also relies on recipes swapped with her college professors, and dishes from some of the bed and breakfasts she and husband Horace have visited.

&#8220There are lots of good recipes out there. The Food Network is a great source; so is Southern Living,” Horn says.

&#8220You know, as Paula Deen says, ‘there are really no new recipes.' It's all a matter of adaptation, trying something a little different along the way.”

Mom is the best teacher

However, &#8220my best teacher will always be my mother, Eloise Salter. At an early age, she taught me how to make southern favorites,” Horn says.

&#8220We made biscuits, cornbread, cakes and yeast rolls. My mom is now

 85 and she is still sharing her cooking skills with us. She can pull off a holiday feast for an entire family. How lucky am I?” the proud daughter laughs.

&#8220I am comfortable baking yeast breads and most southern favorites. I will never match Mom's fig preserves, candied yams or cornbread dressing, though.”

Just as her mother taught her the culinary basics, Horn is now sharing the joys of homemaking with her grandchildren.

&#8220Now they are enjoying my kitchen with me, dying Easter eggs, decorating cupcakes and cooking Saturday morning breakfasts. We have a wonderful time together.”