How Did You Learn to Cook?

You may know that I write cookbooks (as Ruth Glick) as well as romantic suspense novels. But of course, I didn’t always know how to cook. Some of my early experiments in the kitchen involved putting spices into canned soup. Then, when I was twelve, my Girl Scout troop took a cooking course at the Washington Gas Light Company. And when I was fifteen and my dad was very sick, my mom (who was getting a masters degree at The George Washington University), would leave me instructions for fixing dinner two nights a week while she was in class.

But when I grew up and got married, I realized I needed to know a lot more. One thing I did was make 40 different dishes from various recipes–some clipped from the Washington Post Food section. But my main teacher was Betty Crocker’s Cook Book.


As you can see, the old girl is now falling apart because she’s so well used. I learned a lot from Betty, like how to make a white sauce, how to measure flour without sifting, and how to store cookies.

Speaking of cookies, here’s one my favorite recipes from that old cookbook. I’ve updated it a bit. For example, I have you mix the dry ingredients together first and set them aside so they will be all ready to go into the butter mixture. Also, the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp salt. I leave it out. And apparently, Betty didn’t know about unbleached flour.


These cookies get their wonderful flavor from a combination of cinnamon and cloves.

3 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup seedless raisins
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts if you prefer)

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, and baking soda. Mix well. Set aside.
  3. Combine butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixer bowl. At medium speed, mix until combined thoroughly, stopping and scraping down sides of bowl and paddle or beaters as needed.
  4. Blend in flour mixture at medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl and paddle or beaters as needed. Stir in raisins and nuts.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an oiled or greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are nicely puffed and browned a little at the edges. Cool on wire rack.
    Cookies will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

My latest romantic suspense novel, Scene of the Crime, will soon be on pre-order and on special 99c sale on Amazon.


Wearing a new face, he comes back to the town where he was framed for murder to catch the real killer. Soon after he arrives, he finds the woman he has dreamed about the whole time he was in prison. But he can’t tell her who he really is, and he knows she will hate his duplicity. Then things heat up when the real murderers come after them. Can they prove his innocence and work out their relationship before it’s too late?

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About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

4 Replies to “How Did You Learn to Cook?”

  1. I learned to cook this past year really cook. O sure I could bake things before that. You see, my mom who is completely immobile due to immune diseases and my dad was in the hospital 4 times due to Covid and other serious infections. I never had to really cook for myself except in college but when I was thrown into a caregiver roll for both of my parents, cooking was a hands on thing for me.

  2. Hey, Ruth, this is very similar to my grandmother’s Hermits recipe. I make it but substitute mincemeat for the raisins. Sooo yummy. I try to give most away because I can inhale a dozen within the blink of an eye–well, maybe not that fast, but you get the idea. I think I’m going to try putting the batter in a bunt pan to see how that works. Enjoyed your post. 🙂

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