I am second from the left, with Marcella, Pam, and Bridget.

    I am a native of upstate New York, born in Albany, and currently living in the growing community of Ballston Lake, NY.  I worked for the State of New York for 25 years, and retired early.  At the age of 52, I became a full-time college student, graduating from what is now called the University at Albany - SUNY with a degree in American history.

    I am married to my wonderful husband, J. Lawson Brown, who happens to be the father and grandfather of two of the founding members of All Toasty.  Lawson and I spend the summer months at our house on Great Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks, where we enjoy entertaining all of the family.

    I don't do much cooking these days, but I never say no to giving or attending a party.  And I am excited to do my small part in the building of All Toasty.

    Most days, it is only my husband and me, so we eat in the kitchen very informally.  I use few utensils, and my serving dishes are never matched.  I actually have various side dishes that match my plates, but for some reason, I seem to be saving them.  Just one example:  when we have corn on the cob, I put a trivet on the table and put the cooking pot on top of it.  We then take the hot corn right out of the pot.

    When I do entertain, I bring out the big guns.  The meal moves to the dining room; I use the Haviland china I inherited from my mother, sterling silver flatware, and silver serving pieces.  Top that off with the Waterford water glasses that I bought at the Waterford factory on a family trip to Ireland, flowers, and candles and my table is beautiful and ready for company.

    As the years have gone by, the number of people at my table has dwindled to two (not that there is anything wrong with that.)  My husband and I are seniors and food has become less of a priority than when we were younger and had family around.  Today I am more apt to serve quick meals for two and almost never have leftovers.  I do like to bake, so cakes, cookies, and breads are always on the menu.  I am always interested in what others are doing for dessert!

    I don't experiment much when I cook, and tend to stick to the tried-and-true recipes that I've collected over the years.  Every once in while I will pull out an "oldie but goodie" and smile when I get compliments and questions.  Does anyone remember "Poor Man's Stroganoff?"