Family Affair

FREWSBURG – “I’ve cooked with my mom all my life and enjoyed it, but I was never really interested in cooking until I got married,” said Heleena Walter of Frewsburg.

She had a good time introducing Dan, her husband of 15 years, to the foods she grew up with, but were unfamiliar to him. Today they not only cook together, but frequently include their children in meal preparation.

“We do a lot of family cooking,” Mrs. Walter said. “Jeremiah likes to experiment with seasonings and to add Tabasco sauce. Avonlea likes to decorate and do the finishing touches. Madilynne can use a knife to cut green peppers and likes to stay in the kitchen from start to finish.

“We enjoy trying new recipes. I don’t like to bake, because it is too precise. I’d rather experiment with flavors and like to cook with wine. Dan likes to bake and can make a mean pie crust. He also likes to garnish.”

The couple has found that they “can make anything through YouTube.”

Not only does the family cook together, but they enjoy cooking with their extended family.

“My entire family likes to cook. We all bring our specialties and new and interesting dishes to my parents’ house for family gatherings. We’re always interested in trying new things,” said the featured cook. “It’s a taste fest at my mother’s. Food brings everyone together. It’s fun to see my family grow in so many ways.”

Her mother always makes a big Mexican meal when her sister comes home from Harrisburg, Pa. Everyone, including the children, helps prepare the enchiladas, chili rellenos, homemade refried beans and the viva la chicken recipe. Walter always makes his special salsa for the occasion.

“It takes the whole day to make our family’s Swedish meal, which is also done at my mom’s,” said Mrs. Walter.

The Swedish feast consists of korv, herring, ham, fruit soup, lingonberries, rice pudding and cardamom rolls. Wasa crackers and two varieties of Bond-Ost cheese are served, as well.

A few months after Walter lost his job, unemployment wasn’t covering their monthly bills.

“I prayed for something I could do from home that was edifying to others, had an inexpensive start-up cost, wasn’t sold online or locally, but above all I wanted to be passionate about it,” said Mrs. Walter.

“I did a web search on home businesses. I chose a couple, but once I started looking into the integrity of the companies I chose Blessings Unlimited. I chose this business for several reasons, but one was because all of the Christian book stores had closed in this area,” she continued.

“The company really spoke about making this your ministry, not just your business. I liked that they were referring to the parties as ‘gatherings’ and that each gathering began with prayer. I am excited about hosting a mother-daughter blessings brunch on Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at The Corner Coffeehouse and Bistro, 54 Main St., Frewsburg,” she continued. “I am hoping this will be a time of renewing and repairing relationships between moms and daughters.”

Mrs. Walter homeschools 11-year-old Jeremiah. Ten-year-old Avonlea is in the fourth-grade and 4-year-old Madilynne is in pre-K. They both attend Robert H. Jackson Elementary School. Both she and Dan are on the worship team at Jamestown Nazarene Church. She enjoys finding new Christian music artists. She is also an independent consultant for and is the daughter of Vern and Linda McCraw of Lakewood. Dan’s mother, Janet Ervin, a long-time employee of Quality Markets bakeries, and his Grandma Petransky, who is known for her chocolate chip cookies, both reside in Frewsburg.

The family is excited that Walter began his new job Friday as the manager of The Corner Coffeehouse and Bistro, where his wife will have a display of Blessings Unlimited today from 2-5 p.m. and tomorrow from 1-3 p.m. Reservations for the Mother-Daughter Blessings Brunch can be made by calling before April 28 at 569-2012.