Much of my time at home is spent in the kitchen. I’m fortunate to have a large kitchen in my old home, thanks to renovations by the families who lived here before us, and improvements we have made, as well. The cabinetry is custom, local, and my appliances all are of good quality, though some now are fairly old. I have a nice gas stovetop with a hooded vent. My kitchen gets a workout, which I know is a familiar sentiment.
I grew up knowing a bit about preparing good meals. My parents both were good cooks. My Granny was a great Southern cook, and my Grandma Gunther and great-grandmother Mother Mac in Iowa served solid Midwestern and Northern fare. Of course, my cooking has evolved through more than two decades of marriage and family life. My children say I’m a good cook, though they’d like more variety. Decreasing home time in the evening due to school activities and sports often means a serviceable but uninspired dinner — some grilled protein, a starch, and a salad.
My family teases me about collecting recipes and cookbooks they think I rarely use. They’re wrong; I do use recipes — for inspiration as I create my own meals, doctoring up dishes with what I have on hand or with what I think will work nicely.
Inspire is what we aim to do with this issue of Evansville Living — the issue of the year with the greatest focus on food. After page 64 of this issue, you’ll find the Flavors Dining Guide highlighting menus of popular eateries around town. Also in Flavors, six local chefs imagine a menu endued with the brightness of spring.
We know food is fun, too, and that’s what we had putting together the feature, “Food for Any Mood” (page 40). Try our daylong themes like a progressive dinner party or our mood food suggestions to create your own day of culinary adventure.
I’m very pleased to present in this issue an excerpt of Herb Marynell’s and Steve Bagbey’s manuscript, The Mob Murder of America’s Greatest Gambler. In the story “Case Closed” (page 24), we present a chapter from the book revealing Ray Ryan, the Evansville oilman killed by a car bomb at an East Side health club in 1977, as a fast living, bookie cheating, Hollywood insider. This is a fascinating piece of Evansville history for those who remember or felt the explosion that killed Ryan and knocked out power on the city’s Southeast Side 35 years ago, and for newcomers who are not yet familiar with the lore of Evansville’s brush with the mob.
I hope you enjoy this issue! As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor