Special Interview with two great authors and chefs: Welcome Martha Cheves and Lillian Mort: The Book of the Week: Think with Your Tastebuds: For all dessert lovers this book is a must have and for all bakers and soon to be bakers this book is a must for your kitchen library.




 Born outside of Atlanta. Started cooking when I was 6.  Made my 1st biscuits at 6 that were so hard my brother threw one at my other brother and gave him a black eye.  Didn’t make biscuits again until I was grown.  Have always loved to cook and create new dishes.  Have a 1 son, 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren.  Used to have the family rate new recipes from 1 – 10.  Anything over 8 was cooked again.  I now have about 25 food testers who rate the dishes.   My dream, even as a child was to own my own restaurant using my own recipes.  But it seemed like the timing was never right.  Now I’m close to retirment age and owning a restaurant is simply too much work!  I get enough cooking for large crowds when the holidays come around.  I never planned on writing a cookbook myself but decided to write down some of my recipes, print it out on my computer and give copies to my kids.  The more recipes I came up with the more I remembered.  I’m a terrible speller so when I finished I gave my draft to a friend to proof for me.  She insisted it be sent to a publisher to see if they would be interested in publishing my little cookbook.  That was the beginning of my going from wannabe restaurant owner to cookbook author.




I was born in Ohio, grew up in western PA in a large family.  Our mother was a great cook and, as I have always said, she could make a meal from nothing at all, which is what she did during the depression years.  Wives did that and those meals are still remembered.  I started learning to cook standing on a chair and stirring doughs or whatever was being mixed up.  I started collecting cookbooks at age 12 and still continue with that.  I married Bill 56 years ago, and we traveled from base to base while he was in the Air Force.  We have two daughters, 5 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.   We have lived in Florida for 41 years.  I love family. baking, doing art work (now, rubber stamping), cookbooks, reading.  I’d rather cook a large meal for family or company than cooking for two.  I’ve had failures and successes with cooking and baking, but have not stopped trying to come up with meals that will please.




On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM, Fran Lewis ‪<>‬ wrote:

What made you decide to collaborate on this great book?  When I finally got to meet Lillian I knew she was just like me.  We both love to cook and experiment with dishes.  We are so much alike that we actually call each other sister.  We have grown very close within the last 4 years. Lillian here:  I have sisters and was so happy to add Martha as another one.  She is right; we are so alike in so many ways whether recipes or values in our lives.  Martha convinced me that we should write a cookbook together.  I was a bit hesitant since I love to read my cookbooks, but had no idea of what was involved in writing and publishing one.



Why desserts?  I think I may have been the one to choose desserts.  For several years I’ve made a new dessert on Sunday and brought it into the office so that was probably my reason since I already had several dessert recipes worked up.  I have to laugh when I think of why Martha said she wanted to do desserts as our first book.  I had asked, if we were doing a series, why not start with A-Appetizers?  Martha told me that when she thought of what she wanted to have first, it was desserts.  Of course, she laughed at her answer, but we went with desserts, which happens to be what I like to make the most.



Which desserts do you find the most challenging to create?  For me it has to be just about anything chocolate since I don’t like chocolate.  It’s hard for me to test for taste.  But my food testers don’t seem to mind.  I am not afraid to try any area of cooking or baking.  I was raised, in a large family, during the depression and WWII and we had to “make do” with what was available with no mixes even around then.  I have to admit that some baking scares me but the fear doesn’t stop me and I usually come out the winner.



Which ones would you suggest for a non-cook and non-baker like myself to attempt?  I think that even a non-cook and non-baker could actually make any recipe within the book.  We kept them simple and easy for beginners as well as busy people. Martha is right.  I call this book a great one for the novice, the experienced and busy person.  It fits everyone and we have tried to make it as easy to follow as possible.


What are the various sections in this book?  We have everything from puddings to pies, from cakes to breads and from recipes using convenience items to those “from scratch”.   Usually I do the quick mix recipes and Lillian does the from scratch.  I actually like the scratch made best but sometimes we cooks simply don’t have time so I try to find ways around the scratch made.



Which desserts are your favorites? Why?  EVERYTHING with white chocolate (I don’t like brown chocolate), coconut and/or nuts.  It’s impossible for me to chose just one.  Oh, count me in for the brown chocolate!  I’d be a chocoholic if it were allowed for me.  Of course, favorites of mine are recipes that were my Mother’s and Grandmother’s.  They are filled with memories.  I can still bring up the smells of Christmas from when I was a child.


What are the two easiest ones to make?  I think that Martha’s White Chocolate Custard is so easy and is still a dessert which is beautiful to serve. Martha’s Apple Sticky Buns are also very easy and so rewarding.  AH!  I love my White Chocolate Custard too!  But I do love anything that has white chocolate as an ingredient.   Which two require the most skill?  I guess the pies that require making your own crust, which I always do.  So many are intimidated by the very idea of making a crust.  The second choice would be making a cake from scratch since measurements are a bit more critical for success.  Sis has me on this one.  I simply can’t make a crust so I cheat and buy them at the store.  But I think having the recipes are important because it’s a dying art that needs to be kept alive.



What are the most important tips you can give first time bakers?  When you started walking you fell down a few times.  When you learned to ride a bike you fell down a few times.  You will most likely do the same when cooking.  I baked a cake once for my husband’s birthday that had to be held together with tooth picks.  I forgot to take the tooth picks out and he found them.  We had only been married about 6 months and this about killed me.  But I just kept on cooking.  Have confidence in yourself.  Gather your ingredients that are called for in the recipe and follow the steps given.  Don’t be afraid to stand on your own and try new things with any given recipe.  If the first try of adding something on your own fails, do keep trying with different ingredients.



How do you know when a cake is really done?  I use the toothpick method.  I insert it into the center and if it comes out clean it’s done.  I use the toothpick method (gee, we used to use broom straws!), or I lightly touch the center of the cake.  Also, if the edges are brown and pulling away from the pan, it is a good indicator of being done.



What kitchen tools are vital?  A good mixer (I like the hand held), a small food processor/chopper and a timer.  There are many more but these are the ones I use the most. Add to those, a couple of good whisks.  I use both the hand held and large counter mixers.  I have a good rolling pin, but used a Pepsi bottle to roll pie dough, when we were first married.



What mistakes do beginners make? For me it was and still is over cooking cookies.  Just because they are still soft in the center doesn’t mean you need to leave them in the over for another 2 minutes.  They will actually continue to cook just a bit after being removed from the oven.   If they are making pie crust, a light touch is best.  Roll from the center outward, not rolling from edges toward the center, is also best.



What is your next project?  Think With Your Taste Buds is an ongoing series.  Desserts was our first book.  We are now in the process of working up Beef which should be completed this winter.  Each recipe is being cooked, measured and photographed by either Lillian and I.  The e-book version will have full color pictures of each dish whereas the printed copy won’t.  Each dish is being tested and so far all have been enjoyed.  Martha answered it all on this one.



There is one thing I want to say and that is why we named the series Think With Your Taste Buds.  That is exactly what we want people to do…think with their taste buds.  I don’t like apsaragus but I love broccoli so when I find a recipe that uses asparagus, I ‘taste’ in my mind what it would taste like with broccoli.  This also works great with my dislike for brown chocolate.  Anything chocolate is even better using white chocolate as a replacement

Thank you Martha and Lillian
 (A Book and a Dish) (Main Site) (Martha’s Kitchen Korner) (Martha’s Recipe Cabinet) (Cookbook Site)

 (A Book and a Dish) (Main Site) (Martha’s Kitchen Korner) (Martha’s Recipe Cabinet) (Cookbook Site)