Dartmouth Woman Cooks Up Family Admiration
When my wife Celeste and I were growing up, home cooking was part of the daily routine. In both our families, as we honor their memories, our moms were the undisputed gold medalists.
Who is the go-to person in your kitchen today? Jeanine Sasseville, Celeste's sister, is the matriarch.
Recently at a birthday party, Sasseville's coconut cream squares were a huge hit.
"You start by making a homemade pudding from scratch, not from a store-bought package, and pour it onto a graham cracker base," she said. "Then I whisk heavy whipping cream with vanilla, lots of vanilla and confectioner's sugar, until it's very stiff. Spread it, add more coconut and top with a red cherry for every piece." It's incredibly delicious!
What got Sasseville started at the stove?
"I started cooking when I was about 10 years old," she said. "I'd stay by my mother's side, watching what she was doing, and helping her. That's how I learned."
Over the years, recipes pile up. A beautiful compilation of recipes entitled Jeanine's Best: From My Kitchen to Yours was made as a treasured repository of incredible food ideas and directions that are important to Sasseville.
Is there anything she's not very fond of cooking?
"Liver, I don't like to cook liver, but my husband claims it's the best he ever had," she said.
When asked to name his favorite dishes she makes, Gene Sasseville didn't hold back.
"Oh my God! She makes too many of my favorite meals, but Jeanine's BBQ spareribs are, stand alone, the best – and nobody can come close to her strawberry-peach cream cake," he said.
If you're wondering why the homemade meat pies sell out at the Holy Name Sacred Heart craft fair every October and at Christmas, just ask the person who has pleased the gullets of many generations over the years.
As if dispensing practical advice to everyone, Sasseville said, "Read the recipes carefully, and follow instructions."