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You meet the nicest people in the most unusual places. I was riding my recumbent bike at the gym and started up a conversation with the lady riding the bike next to me. It was amazing the things we had in common, one of which is a love for cooking.
Her name is Nancy Pigg. No, I asked, she doesn’t know Esta Pigg, but everyone always asks her that. Esta Pigg is a delightful lady who lives in the northern end of the county and loves to cook, too. But back to Nancy. She is a single mother of one 7-year-old daughter who attends New Highland Elementary. She originally came to Elizabethtown as a U.S. Army wife.
As a divorced woman, with jobs so far and few between, Nancy has turned toward the idea of starting a bakery in Elizabethtown, where she can showcase her cooking and baking talents. Nancy said she knows there are many people who can cook better than she, but she is working toward having her own business for many reasons. One of the most important is being able to support her daughter the best that she can. Another reason is to have a job she can take pride in and to be able to give back to the community.
Nancy started learning to cook at age 12, as her paternal grandmother showed her many ways to cook and bake for her family. Nancy’s father is the 11th child of 12 and was born in Monticello. When her grandfather died, her family moved to another state, where her grandmother raised her children until they grew up and moved out on their own. Nancy used the knowledge her grandmother gave her to take care of her family and friends. She has cooked meals for soldiers and civilians at Fort Knox and the surrounding areas. She makes healthy food, depending on the individual needs of each person, including gluten-free foods and foods for diabetics.
Nancy has created new kind of pasta that she is in the process of selling. It has three carbs and 17 calories per serving, is made from scratch and is gluten-free. She makes her pasta with flax seed flour that she grinds, applesauce and water.
Nancy shared some of her recipes. She was such an interesting lady to talk to and I wish her all the luck in reaching her dream of having her own bakery.
3 to 3 ½ cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
Mix dry ingredients with butter and eggs. You may add dried fruit, chocolate, nuts or whatever items tickle your taste buds to make them the way you like.
Place in a long, shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into long slices, then in half. Put slices back on pan on cut side. Bake for another 15 minutes and then let cool to serve.
No Bake Dietetic Cheesecake
6 oz. whipping cream
3-8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup Truvia sweetener
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Whip cream until stiff peaks form; add sweetener, cream cheese, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until smooth. Pour in a graham cracker crust, chill for two hours. If you prefer a baked version, add 3 egg whites and bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Healthy Homemade Stroganoff
2 cups water
2 cups milk (whatever type you like)
16 oz. sour cream
3 tsp. crushed garlic
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. rosemary
1 lb. of ground beef or ground turkey
In a saucepan, add water, milk and sour cream. Mix together until warm. Cook meat in a separate pan adding salt, garlic, basil and rosemary. Combine meat mixture and sauce. Put over preferred pasta. Serves 8
Remember, you are always welcome to nominate someone for “One of Hardin County’s Finest Cooks.” October is taken, but November and December are wide open. Just email me your nomination. Also, if you have a recipe you would like to share or need a recipe you have lost, please feel free to share or ask for my help.
Nora Sweat, author of "Mama and Me," is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.