More About the Author
Marg Ruttan was born into a family of cooks and she seems to have learned to cook by osmosis. Mind you, her cooking skills often came at the expense of initial failures!
The first time Marg made shortbreads they turned out to be like hockey pucks! Her brave hubby, Fred, used to take them to work and dunk them in his coffee to soften them up. One of his buddies commented, "Those cookies are so hard we could throw them at the cement wall and they wouldn't break". Needless to say, Marg was mortified. However, she's made thousands of shortbread since that time and they have gotten rave reviews.
Another of Marg's early adventures in cooking involved apple pie. Marg and Fred were having friends for supper and she baked an apple pie. Everything was going well until she went to serve the pie. Once on the plate, the pie looked rather flat and her guest commented "Guess we're having economical pie tonight!". Marg quickly learned that you have to heap the apples up inside the pie crust to get enough to make a really good pie. However, all was not totally lost, the pastry was excellent!
Through these types of trial and error adventures Marg realized that recipes need to be simple and uncomplicated. They need to be easy to read and follow and on top of that they need to be fairly quick to make. Thus, she began collecting, creating and compiling recipes.
As a young woman, Marg wrote a cooking column for her daily newspaper for several years. Then when she moved West she again wrote a cooking column for some time. In 1992 she published her first cookbook, "Traditions of Home Cookies and Muffins" and in 1993 she published her second cookbook, "Traditions of Home Casseroles Soups and More". Both became best-sellers and were also published by a French publisher and distributed in Quebec, Canada and the French speaking parts of Europe and Africa.
Due to some fairly major health challenges, Marg allowed those two cookbooks to go out of print. However, with her health restored and coming up on the 20th anniversary of her first successful book, she has once again ventured into the cookbook publishing world.
Much has changed in those 20 intervening years and it's now possible to create a cookbook without need of paper and large investments in thousands of copies of any one book. That has provided the opportunity to create cookbooks that are much more reasonably priced and Marg is happy to pass those savings on to her readers.
Marg's cooking heritage goes back several generations. Her maternal grandmother, Maggie Jane, left her home town of Gaspe, Quebec and traveled to Schenectady, New York in the late 1800s to be with her sister-in-law who was expecting a baby. She helped the doctor deliver that child and cared for it and her sister-in-law for several weeks.
The doctor she had assisted got to know her and discovered her love of cooking. He offered her the opportunity to become an apprentice chef at the Van Wyck Hotel, which she promptly accepted. Some time after her apprenticeship was completed Maggie went back to Gaspe where she cooked in a lumber camp for years. Two of her sons became cooks and one of her daughters, Marg's mother, also became a cook, working at a hospital, a naval base and a children's home in that capacity.
On her Dad's side of the family, Marg's paternal great grandfather was a cook. He had nine boys, including her grandfather. As was the custom of those times, he taught all his boys to cook. Several of them became cooks and many of the next generation also became cooks. And several in Marg's own generation and the generations that followed also were and are involved in the food industry.
Good family fare with its comforting flavors and fragrances is the focus of Marg's culinary artistry. Over the years she has adapted, invented and collected recipes that are true flavor feasts. She has now compiled these recipes into a series of cookbooks that you will find indispensible in your kitchen. With her own grandmother, her Mom, who was grandma to her children, and now herself being a grandma, Marg wanted to focus her recipes on the women in her family who brought good food to the table, thus the series of "Grandma's Best" cookbooks has been born. You'll want to be sure to check out all her cookbooks and you may well find it difficult to decide which one you like best!