Fort Wayne – Annie Hunter Griebel of Allen County is looking forward to the end of the school year. That’s when she plans to retire after 28 years of teaching. Hunter Griebel, teaches chemistry at Bellmont High School and since November has been working part-time at The Java Bean Café, both in Decatur.
Because her two daughters, Audrey, 23, and Katie, 20, are attending college, Hunter Griebel, who says she’s almost 58, enjoys using her baking talents at the café.
But I do eat my share of sweets, I admit, she says with a chuckle.
Asked if her chemistry background helps with understanding the baking process, Hunter Griebel replies, Just the measuring and I guess the attention to the sequences of putting things together, maybe. Knowing what the purpose of an ingredient is for, like if it causes (ingredients to emulsify), the logic of why is pretty cool.
To provide nourishing meals, Hunter Griebel plants a vegetable garden in the summer and uses other tricks to keep meals healthy.
Vegetables, she says, we don’t put sauces on them. We steam them. I like to substitute in my recipes whole wheat flour for white flour. Not all but with some of them. I use plain yogurt for sour cream. When I make pies, I use oil or butter instead of lard for the crust.
Hunter Griebel likes to stay active, riding horses with her mom, Margaret Hunter, sister Jani Hunter and daughters.
We have five horses, she says. I putter a lot. We live on a farm and there’s always something that needs to be done.
Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?
A. Taste of Home. My sister has gotten me a couple of the big ones. I like the pictures and the recipes are doable.
Q. Do you have a lot of cookbooks?
A. Probably about 50. My mom and I exchange them.
Q. What’s your favorite vegetable?
A. That’s a big question because I like them all – tomatoes, corn and broccoli. But truthfully, there’s not many foods I don’t like. Just show me some food.
Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?
A. Liver. I don’t like liver.
Q. What one word describes your cooking style?
Q. What advice would you give beginner cooks?
A. Don’t try to get too fancy – at least at first. Basic is sometimes just delicious.
Q. If you were stuck on an island, what food would you have to have?
A. I could survive on bread and good soup. I love good chili and any kind of chicken soup, bean soup. I could go on and on. And crab bisque. I’ve never made that, but that maybe my next adventure. I do love bread. Cinnamon rolls, plain bread.
Cherry Cheese Coffeecake
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (light or regular)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside 3/4 cup of crumb mixture. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to remaining crumb mixture. Stir in the egg, yogurt and almond extract until blended. Press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar for 1 minute. Add egg; beat just until combined. Spread over crust. Carefully top with pie filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until center is set (may need to partially cover outer edge with foil if browns too much). Cool on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; remove sides of pan. Store in refrigerator. Makes 16 to 20 servings.
Cornmeal Blueberry Muffins
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill paper-lined muffin cups (that have been misted with cooking spray) two-thirds full. You may sprinkle a little sugar on the tops before placing in oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan about 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen.